I fell so in love with Rebecca Yarros after reading and ADORING the first book in the Flight & Glory series, Full Measures (JOSH!! *heart eyes*). Beyond What is Given is the third standalone in the series and is Grayson and Samantha’s story, who we’ve met in the previous books. I was super excited for them because I was so curious about their characters – and while I ended up liking this book, it just didn’t grip me the way the other two books in the series did.
“There are broken people in the world, Samantha. But you’re not one of them. Dinged-up maybe, but not broken, and definitely not beyond repair.”
After getting expelled from college, Samantha wants a fresh start. She finds herself moving across the country and in with three guys, two of whom are good friends. The third roommate, Grayson, is absolutely gorgeous, but he and Sam get off to a rough start. Nevertheless, she sees beneath his gruff, stoic exterior a man who puts loyalty and duty above all else. I loved Sam, I completely, wholeheartedly did. She’s sassy, awesome, funny, and overall just a fantastic, flawed heroine I loved reading about. She’s in a rough situation with college, but despite the hot mess that she herself is, she takes it upon herself to discover Grayson’s past and get him to open up. What she doesn’t expect is for the chemistry between them to turn into something sweet, something treasured, something more.
“This is not a temporary thing between us. There is no deadline. I. Am. Always. Yours.”
He kissed me softly, his tongue tracing my lower lip. “So go ahead and fall. I’ve gotten really good at catching you.”
Grayson’s past is tragic and guilt-laden, and no matter what he does, he can’t escape it. He’s always got one foot in his present life as an Apache pilot, and the other foot back home in North Carolina, the source of all his demons. The one thing that makes him forget is Sam, her lightness wearing away his darkness. But when his secrets come out from the past to haunt his present, will he be able to keep Sam in his life without letting her drown beside him?
Beyond What is Given is no less emotional than the other two books, but there was a spark that was missing that prevented me from fully loving the book. While I completely adored Sam, connected with her straight from the start, Grayson I took a long while to warm up to. His past consumes him, so much so that at times I wasn’t sure he’d be able to get out of it. There were also parts about this book that annoyed the hell out of me. Grayson’s family is… god-awful. It was mostly his sister Parker who got on my last nerves. I HATED Parker. I honestly hated her so much. She’s a petty, mean, bully of a girl who does nothing but force more guilt onto Grayson, keep him drowning in the past, and create rifts between him and Sam. I would’ve enjoyed the book so much more if Parker didn’t exist… but she did, and her character sometimes made me want to throw my kindle at the wall in frustration.
I still love Rebecca Yarros though – she knows how to write, how to pack a punch with her words… but this book was not what I was expecting it to be. While the romance isn’t particularly slow, it was the whole overlying plot that dragged too much for my taste. The twist in the middle I was able to predict too, sadly. STILL – Sam and Grayson’s romance is sweet and heart-wrenching, the highlight of the book. Rebecca Yarros can write swoony characters SO well, and even when I wasn’t 100% sold on Grayson, my heart fluttered at some of the things he said.
“I’m in love with you, Samantha. You own me, body, heart, mind, soul, what there is to give, it’s yours.”
If you’re a fan of the series, I would suggest reading Beyond What is Given. I feel like it’s an it’s-me-not-you kind of book. I really did like it, but compared to the previous two books, I can’t really say it was as captivating or compelling. I will still be eagerly awaiting any else Rebecca Yarros has in the works – her writing is absolutely amazing and definitely worth the read!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: Flight & Glory series
#1 ~ Full Measures: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Eyes Turned Skyward: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beyond What is Given: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Hallowed Ground: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads