Nyrae has this amazing talent to craft stories that are so beautifully meaningful. Freeing Carter is no different. It's more than a story of a boy falling in love. It's story of the lengths people will go to take care of their family. The lengths people will go just to fit in and feel like they belong. The lengths people will go to hide the dangers they have to deal with. Carter Shaw is good at hiding himself. His mother is an alcoholic and Carter constantly is helping her and hiding it in the process. He watches out for this younger sister Sara. He dates Mel because he can, because she makes him feel more normal than ever. Carter also owns the basketball court... what he's good at, his release. Then Kira Dawson enters his life and she makes him question his decisions. Makes him question his choices and what he's worked so hard to hide. It's not one-sided though. Kira wants to know who she is and Carter just may be the person to help her. I really enjoy how Nyrae can take issues and turn them into beautiful stories. We've all been there where we do things just to feel normal. Where we do things we may not really want to just to fit in. Where we hide things that we don't want people to see. And most of the time all it ends up doing is hurting ourselves. Carter is that guy in this story. He's good-looking, popular, a guy everyone loves. Yet behind those smiles is a boy with a hidden home world. I loved how much Carter looked out for his family, only a person with a heart like Carter's would take on so much. Watching him meet Kira and finally start to crack made me love him even more. He's strong and he makes the decisions that have to made, not always the ones that he wanted to make. And, I admired him for it. The issues in this book are written so well. It centers around alcoholism and figuring out who you are. Yet, Nyrae doesn't make the alcoholism freighting... she puts a loving face on it. A face you would never want to believe has gone too far. It was different than the drunks you normally imagine and that made me love this book so much more because alcoholism hits home with me. Overall, this book was a fantastic read and if you're thinking about reading it... definitely give it a shot.