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For This Life Only

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

Three minutes.

Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s plann
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  277 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was ok

Stacey Kade’s 738 Days was one of my favorite reads this summer. So my heart was ready to love and leap into this book at first sight! But…Yes, there is a but. My heart ended up disappointed.

For This Life Only introduces us to twins Jacob (Jace) and Eli and the whole Palmer family. Mr. Palmer is a Pastor in a small community. A father and leader with a lot of responsibility—the whole family feels the weight of responsibility actually. Jacob has always felt the pressure to be “good”. But tragedy
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it


I have been gravitating more and more towards books about grief and loss lately, which is how Stacey Kade’s For This Life Only came to my attention. While I can’t say that it resonated as strongly with me as some of the other books I’ve read recently with similar themes, I still found the book to be well-written and thought-provoking.

The best part of For This Life Only was the author capturing the voice of a struggling teenage boy so authentically. I’m not particularly a huge fan of books s
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking. Engaging. Hopeful.

I stayed up late to finish this one and it was worth every minute of sleep I lost.

Stacey Kade takes an honest, realistic look at family, faith, and the importance of discovering for yourself what you believe. No one can do it for you.

Jace and Eli are PKs (Preacher's Kids). As so often happens to offspring of religious leaders, they've been cast in their roles as Sinner and Saint. They're held to a higher moral standard, expected to always make the right choi
Danielle (Love at First Page)

3.5-4 stars

I liked this! At first I was wary of the heavy religious themes, but Jace's doubt and exploration of faith after his brother's death made him all the more sympathetic. His inner dialogue with himself felt wholly convincing for a teenage guy. With a side of romance - though I wish Thera's character had been given the same amount of depth, especially considering her own troubles - I enjoyed reading Stacey Kade's newest.
Fafa's Book Corner

Mini review:

I was really looking forward to reading this book as I have enjoyed the authors other works. Unfortunately this book was not for me.

The MC was rude and bitter. And I cannot read about rude and bitter people. It really bothers me. Also I feel like this book will be really dramatic.

Do not recommend.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Imagine a gender-swapped Footloose from the perspective of the preacher’s kid, and if you shift the focus from dancing you have For This Life Only. Kade takes the death of the “good one” of the preacher kids and explores how it shatters a family that’s not allowed to be less than perfect. The family dynamics are heart-wrenching, especially the issues Jace’s little sister has. And it’s very easy to relate to Jace feeling stifled by keeping up appearances. Sure, the romance is a touch Insta, but e ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For This Life Only by Stacey Kade is an emotionally moving coming-of-age story filled with heartache, love, forgiveness, and learning to find yourself.

Jacob "Jace" Palmer is the black sheep of the family at least in comparison to his twin brother, Elijah, and his little sister Sarah. His only desire was to play baseball and get a baseball scholarship so he could get far away from home as possible. Where he'd only have to be worried about himself.

However, a night of partying and needing a ride h
Mary Brebner
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Stacey Kade's writing since her adorable Ghost and the Goth series. She's not afraid to try out different genres and I enjoy putting her books in the hands of my students. This story...I know exactly who's hand I'm putting this one in first! :)

Jace and Eli are twins...and complete opposites. Jace is the wild child who struggles in school and in life while Eli is the golden boy, acing everything effortlessly and following in his father's footsteps, possibly as a pastor in the
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Stacey Kade's writing, so For This Life Only was a must read for me. It is just as heartbreaking as the summary makes it sound, as well as uplifting and purposeful. I loved the themes of this story - grief, soul searching, faith, families of the church, expectations and choosing to do the 'right' thing even when you're not sure what that is.

In Jace's family he is the destructive twin, while his brother Eli manages to effortlessly maintain the levels of perfection their dad craves
I really enjoyed this book. I was having quite the long day inside the lab, when I decided to pick this book up so I was able to read it in one sitting, while doing some lab works. And it was more than enough to keep the boredom away.

This book's portrayal of grief is so amazing, I could feel every emotion. Jace and Eli are twins, who got into an accident, which got Eli dead. Jace's life changed from that point, and he started to question everything in his life, especially things about his brothe
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book today. I planned to read just the first few pages and then go out with friends. Four hours and so many tears later, I finished it. This is the kind of book I live for. Not necessarily the subject matter itself, but a book that pulls you in from the first line and won't let you go until the last. The story was beautiful and heart wrenching. I won't spoil it, but Sara was so real to me that my arms physically ached to hold her and try to give her some type of comfort ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
We spent a lot of time putting you back together.

Oh man, Ms. Stacey Kade, you have made my heart go through so many emotions once again (ICYMI: Stacey put out the amazing NA book, 738 Days, earlier this year and it's a top contender for best book of the year for me!). Forewarning: For This Life Only manages to make your heart drop and sing all in the same book. SO.MANY.FEELS.

First, let's meet our characters. You've got Jace and Eli, twins who may or may not be more alike than they realize, plus
Heather Hughes
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I was really cutting it close, considering this book releases tomorrow. It was sent to me rather late in the game, but I managed to finish it with hours to spare.

We meet Jace and his brother Eli. They both get into a car accident late after Eli picks Jace up from a party. Jace dies for three minutes, but Eli is forever gone.

It takes a while for Jace to adjust and it's hard. He lost his twin brother. He watches as the tragedy nearly rips his ow
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Really beautiful exploration of faith and grief. Don't be put off byt he religious aspect. It's a strong factor in Jace and his families life but it's very well done - respectful but not overwhelming or preachy.

There's a small subplot about the church that I didn't love (I wish the focus stayed on the family) but I do see how it tied everything together in the end.

For This Life Only reminded me a bit of This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready - another story that tackled grief and re
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I did like the book.. but I didn't love it. I did not find it very moving.. even though some though stuff happened I could not get into it. I don't know if it was because the narrator was male ?
I did like how the accident made the main character doubt everything and how he learned to think for himself, and that it is okay to question stuff.
All in all not a very special novel, but is was okay.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I was intrigued by the premise but the father was too sanctimonious for me. I also wished that there had been a certainty about Eli's fate.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh man, I'm not crying, a bug just flew in my eye.

"I miss you. Every day for the rest of my life, however long that is. And I'm looking forward to seeing you again."

I didn't really know what to expect from this book. Reading the synopsis, all I knew going into it was that Jacob lost his twin brother in a car accident, and he and his family are struggling to cope in the aftermath of his death. Then Jacob meets this girl, Thera, who seems to help him through this tough time. WELL, I am here to te
Taylor Womack
Feb 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
As a pastor's kid and survivor of a horrible medical incident, I was really excited to read this book, but I was severely disappointed.

For This Life Only explores several themes that are much heavier than Kade's usual action-adventure romances. Survivor guilt, loss of faith and cultural bigotry are all twined around each other in this short novel.

As usual, Kade's dialogue is snappy and her pacing is strong. She does an excellent job of moving the story from place to place, making the setting fe
Juniper Shore
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
For This Life Only explores several themes that are much heavier than Kade's usual action-adventure romances. Survivor guilt, loss of faith and cultural bigotry are all twined around each other in this short novel.

As usual, Kade's dialog is snappy and her pacing is strong. She does an excellent job of moving the story from place to place, making the setting feel detailed and realistic.

Unfortunately, all the issues overwhelm the characters. Neither Jacob nor Thera feels like a real person. Jacob
The Bookish Bunny
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was both beautiful and devastating, an honest portrayal of a teenage boy struggling to cope with his twin brothers death, and his desperation for answers regarding life after death.

I'm grateful to Kade for addressing this topic, for writing a character who questions wether people truly end up "in a better place" after they die. It was interesting to read from Jace's pov as he struggled with the faith his parents were so desperate to hold onto in the light of tragedy. I felt like I cou
This was a good book. It was thought provoking and relevant to my life in a way, which was both heartbreaking and not at once. Some of the content was heartbreaking in itself, but I quite enjoyed reading Jace's story, his questions and confusion with the world and everything. It was an interesting take on life and the afterlife and I found I had a hard time putting it down as I grew closer and closer to the end.

There was only one main thing, at the end I wasn't crazy about, but I'm not going to
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
A heartbreaking, honest look at grief, faith, thinking for yourself, and choice. Jace's grief and guilt over his brother's death are piercing without ever descending into pathos, as are his family members', each of whom deal (or don't) in their own way.

I would put this on par with Jeri Smith-Ready's This Side of Salvation when it comes to books about teens and faith that are not preachy or overtly focused on conversion, but instead focus on why you believe what you believe.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
u know how there’s some tv shows that set up plot lines for 4-5 seasons but get cancelled at season 2 so the ending feels rushed and nonsensical and stupidly tying up lose ends when there could have been so many plot lines and characters explored but they weren’t and u feel upset about that? that’s what the ending of this book felt like
Rebecca Plaza
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: death, faith, twins
Thoroughly satisfying teen novel that will appeal to readers looking for big questions to contemplate.
Twin survives car accident and is left with questions of what's after, guilt and contemplation about who he is, helped by outcast girl from the opposite side of the faith spectrum.
3.5 stars
Maria Rossy (The Bolivian Bookaholic)
In three minutes Jace’s life changed. When he woke up, after an accident, nothing was the same, Elijah, his twin brother, is dead.
This is the story of a young man who struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother.

I want to start my review by saying that the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous.

After learning that his brother did not survive the accident, and seeing his family fall apart before his own eyes, Jace son of the pastor of his community, begins to doubt his beliefs
Crow  Reichardt
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absolutely stunning writing and worth reading.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
2) Well crafted protagonist, but not super engaging of a plot. More an inner journey than anything, but touching story of loss and faith.
Ellen Klock
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Jacob Palmer is a PK or Pastor's Kid and has difficulty living under the family strictures requiring him to always be on his best behavior since the neighbors might be watching and judging his actions. To make matters worse, his twin brother Elijah is on the fast track to follow in the steps of both his father and grandfather to become the pastor at the local church which has become a family legacy. Needing to get away from another night of scrabble with his parents and young sister Sarah, Jace ...more
Aug 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked Stacey Kade’s The Goth and the Ghost series, so when I read the description of this book, I was curious about her more serious take on death and the afterlife. While I thought there were a few things about this book that could have been stronger, all in all, I thought it was a good read.

Eli and Jace are identical twins and the sons of the pastor of a megachurch. They are both expected to be perfect, but while Eli seems to have no trouble doing what is expected of him, Jace struggles with
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The daughter of a minister and a music teacher, Stacey Kade grew up reading Harlequin romances on the sly in the basement. Kade is the author of two young adult series (The Ghost and Goth trilogy and the Project Paper Doll series). Her first adult contemporary romance, 738 DAYS, was released earlier this year.

Prior to writing full time, Kade worked as an award-winning copywriter for several Fortun

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