This book is more than just intense, it's extreme. I believe the first chapter is supposed to suck you in, but if you are deterred from it due to it's graphic nature and intensity, keep reading, because it all changes after chapter one. It's almost as if chapter one is a whole other story on it's own. The second chapter will jump right into Talia as she was at six years old, which is quite a jump from the first chapter.
As a child Talia, she travels the world with her parents. I think this is every young child's dream and an experience very few actually get to have. She goes through tragedy, life pain's, and hardship. It's a bit hard to tell if the pain she experiences is due to her age, and feeling like her parents abandoned her, without knowing the parent's point of view. Either way she experienced pain, and that's all that is supposed to matter. I don't want to give too much away and spoil the book by over explaining.
Her pain is a bit unusual considering the situation and her age. It's very controversial and her lack of emotion could be due to her age, and being naive. Or maybe it's supposed to be a peek into the person she's going to grow up to become. Either way I could relate to a good portion of her life and enjoyed the read.
As you read about her life, you can't help but feel her pain, but also her happiness when it arises. She takes you on a journey not many will forget. You can't help but root for her happiness and her happy ending. The book left me with many questions. I plan on reading the other books in the series, hoping my questions will be answered there.