Truth? I skimmed the parts I did read and only read the beginning and end. It wasn't my thing due to what felt like cliched, stock characters lackingTruth? I skimmed the parts I did read and only read the beginning and end. It wasn't my thing due to what felt like cliched, stock characters lacking nuances. The set up and entire situation was completely unrealistic but I could have gotten around that if I'd connected with the characters. Just didn't resonate but the another book by this author wasn't a hit for me either so maybe it's just that she's not a good book fit for me. I think plenty of people will like it. The writing itself is fine....more
I don’t usually read New Adult books anymore but this book reminds me of why I still occasionally try. Sure, it has the broken heroine and troubled heI don’t usually read New Adult books anymore but this book reminds me of why I still occasionally try. Sure, it has the broken heroine and troubled hero thing so overdone is this classification. It has some angst and drama. However, the treatment of it is very different and that makes a lot of difference.
This is a second chance romance. This is about two people who used to be a couple but fell apart after a tragic event (view spoiler)[ car accident where the H lost his leg which ended his ballet career and the h miscarried their baby (hide spoiler)]. Due to poor coping and issues with grief aided by the H’s mother who wanted them apart they fell apart and loose contact for 4 years. The H becomes an alcoholic for the first 2 years before he gets himself into recovery. At the book's start he has been sober and actively attending AA for about 2 years. The h turned obsessively into ballet with an unhealthy focus and her already problematic issues with food turned into full blown anorexia. She ends up depressed and breaking down after her inadequate coping. At the book's start she is fairly fresh out of an inpatient hospital stay and seeing a therapist.
While the book was still a bit more angsty than I usually go for I appreciated a few things that this book did differently than the typical NA. FIrst of all, love does not cure all in this book. These two have therapists, AA meetings, sponsors, inpatient treatment and all of that with a lot of self work is what is getting these two on a healthier path. If anything their getting back into a relationship adds stress to already fragile people and adds new challenges to their recovery. It’s worth it but still an additional thing to deal with on top of their healing. I appreciated this. It really bothers me when mental health issues aren’t dealt with realistically or bad messages are given out. This book mostly does a good job of realistically looking at the issues rather than using them for cheap plot device. I wish more New Adult books were written this way if they were going to include heavy issues, especially of the mental health variety.
Another thing is that the author allowed the natural angst to lie without pushing it to unrealistic extremes. Sure there were misunderstanding and trouble communicating but not in a way that felt gimmicky or a plot device. It felt natural to the issues. Also, things weren’t carried out too far or over the top. In general it felt a bit more realistic than what you usually find with NA.
The book doesn’t develop the side characters, few that there are, very thoroughly. It seemed that this was deliberate the keep the focus on the main characters. My reading preference is more light hearted books with a nice ensemble of well developed characters but I understood why this book did not develop the side characters very fully. The focus stays squarely on the two MC’s and their story.
The books writing style won’t work for everyone. It is chocked full of metaphors. It is metaphor on top of metaphors inside of metaphors. Even the characters thought and talked in metaphors. Some people will find that style beautiful and rich, I found it a tiny bit much but went with it. It was a little weird to have the characters think and talk in this style too but they are artists so I gave it a pass. My advice? Read a sample and decide if you can take it.
Safety Gang notes:
For those 4 years apart: (view spoiler)[ The h is celibate. This is mostly due to her coping method. She threw herself into ballet so fully she had no time to grieve but that also meant not time to form relationships of any kind. Also, as a side effect of her anorexia she lost her sex drive during this time which is a real consequence of this disease.
It is mentioned that the H, on the other hand, for the two years that he was an alcoholic, was not celibate. There are no details and it isn’t pushed for drama. He was in a very messed up place for those two years and doesn’t even remember the two years very clearly. Once he was sober it seems that he was celibate and I think it was mentioned that he also didn’t date at all. It is mentioned only in passing twice. Once when the hero thinks about whether to tell the h during their first real talk to scare her away because he is scared to start something with her again. There are no details. He doesn’t tell her then. In a later conversation when they both talk about the 4years apart he admits that there were others but that’s all that is said. She had already sort of assumed and moved on so didn’t hold it against him.
Normally double standards bother me but since the book stayed true to the diseases the two characters suffered and didn’t push it for drama or describe anything I was able to deal with it. (hide spoiler)]
No OW/OM drama["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The final note of this book leaves you smiling like you read a cute, fun YA book. However, the book is that in part, but is also much more than that.The final note of this book leaves you smiling like you read a cute, fun YA book. However, the book is that in part, but is also much more than that. It's a look at grief, loneliness and isolation. It's a look at having to start over somewhere new and finding your people and your way.
I've seen this book compared to Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (a book I adored- seriously stop everything and go read it if you haven't) and I see why but they are both sufficiently different too. I think this comparison is only valid on the surface.
There is an element of mystery surrounding who the secret correspondence is from but honestly, it's not why you'll keep reading if this book is a hit for you. I think most people will figure it out. The clues are there even though there are some small surprises and misdirections. I will say that I was very happy with the way that ended up turning out.
There are strong female friendships portrayed which is always a huge plus for me. The book also looks into family dynamics to a degree, especially in the wake of tragedy. I thought many of the characters were interesting except for the mean girl villains. They weren't sketched out beyond the typical perfectly pretty people being meanies.
Basically, the cute, hopeful romantic parts balance the heavier moments. Major points for the guy NOT being a manwhore. He was supremely likable and there were a few things that made him wonderfully atypical. Also, figuring out the friendships was very satisfying. I'd read more by this author.
I couldn't decide between 4 or 5 stars so I went ahead with 5....more
The grittiness made it mostly a miss for me. I didn't really enjoy it all that much till the last 25% or so when things began to lighten up and characThe grittiness made it mostly a miss for me. I didn't really enjoy it all that much till the last 25% or so when things began to lighten up and characters beyond the narrator were developed. Plus it's more erotic romance so those are always hit or miss for me, but here it made me uncomfortable with the set up....more
Read this forever ago when I was into suspense thrillers. I initially liked this series but I remember eventually getting tired of the way things justRead this forever ago when I was into suspense thrillers. I initially liked this series but I remember eventually getting tired of the way things just felt overly gruesome like it was about shock tactics. It might have been that I had read in that genre for a long time and was getting to the point where the genre didn't work for me anymore. Maybe the grittiness was too much after I had children....more