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All the Love You Write

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A story about young love, first love, true love, timeless love, and the power of love letters.

Mark and Bethany are two mismatched high school seniors in a new relationship.

It’s doomed to fail.

Mark has adored Bethany since middle school, and she’s finally giving him a chance. Only, he’s clumsy at romance and knows he’ll lose her because of it. Bethany thinks Mark is sweet. Only, she’s afraid to commit her whole heart to him because he’s going into the army and she’s headed off to college.

Fifty years earlier, a boy and a girl from the same high school shared an amazing but tragic love story. They have now returned as ghosts and are interfering in Mark and Bethany’s relationship.

Who are they? Why do they care what happens to Mark and Bethany?

ebook

First published August 1, 2019

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About the author

D.G. Driver

22 books83 followers
D. G. Driver is an optimist at heart, and that's why she likes to write books about young people who strive to make a difference in the world. From her teen environmentalist in The Juniper Sawfeather Trilogy, a young girl teaching her friends autism acceptance and to stop bullying people with special needs in No One Needed to Know, a girl who bravely searches for a friend lost along the shore of a dark lake in Lost on the Water - A Ghost Story, a princess who desires to be more than a pampered prize for a prince in The Royal Deal, to a boy who learns that being genuine and chivalrous are the ways to win a girl's heart in All the Love You Write, Driver hopes to write characters that you'll want to root for.

When she's not writing, she is a teacher in an inclusive child development center in Nashville, and she can often be found strutting the stage in a local musical theater production.

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Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,039 reviews462 followers
September 7, 2019
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Bethany and Mark are being haunted by Mark's grandparents: Eileen and Joe obviously aim to smooth the path for this teen couple, despite all the opposition from Bethany's parents. Eileen and Joe had only a brief time together before he was killed in Vietnam. When Bethany and Mark find their letters, they begin to sense that Eileen and Joe are reaching beyond the grave to help them find their way to each other. Bethany is going to college, whereas Joe has always planned to join the army after graduation. Bethany doubts that they can last as a couple: they are just so different, but Mark has always loved Bethany (although I couldn't really fathom WHY he was so hung up on her) and Bethany finally agreed to date Mark - because she had grown tired of dating "louts". As the story progresses, Bethany and Mark experience the usual trials and tribulations of young love, including the inevitable love triangle and break up. But in the end, true love conquers all - with a little help from Eileen and Joe. Bethany sums up the gist of this story very well when she says:
"I think that when we die and move on, we are not like individual people anymore with just one path. We become pure love. We are able to be with anyone we loved and anyone who loved us at all times. Whether they've passed or are still alive.... From now on I was going to live life in the moment and not worry so much... to love completely, and without reservation."
I rate this charming story a 3.7 out of 5.
Profile Image for Ixxati.
282 reviews16 followers
August 12, 2019
I wanted to say thank you @netgalley and @d_g_driver for the free ARC. All the love you write by D. G. Driver going to be realese on August 20th.

Omg!! I hate this book at first but then it's getting interesting and I couldn't put it down. There are some parts that make me cried phewwww The ending goshhh I love the ending!!





🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
Profile Image for Cathy Ryan.
1,139 reviews63 followers
August 23, 2019
This is a full length novel incorporating an earlier novella—Passing Notes—which I read, so I’m including my thoughts here. Love Letters, the first part, highlights today’s changing world and how the ways of communication differ from not that many years ago. The art of letter writing is becoming obsolete along with the need for cursive writing, as computers figure largely in education and people use texting and emails to keep in touch. When Mark Dowd finds himself having to use a very old, odd-looking piece of furniture as a desk in his English class he notices a half hidden carving in the wood. A heart with the name Eileen stylishly carved inside. Mark tries to copy the carving, eventually with a marker pen on the back of his hand as he runs out of space on the paper.

Mark has had a crush on Bethany for years. She seems to reciprocate his feelings but his texts and emails don’t seem to be having the desired effect. Ever since Mark drew the heart on his hand he’s been receiving hand written notes from an unknown source, with advice on how to win Bethany back by writing traditional love letters. When he realises who it is, he can hardly believe it but he’s more than grateful for the help.

Mark’s letters to Bethany give his hopes a boost and a tentative relationship begins to bloom. While Bethany is helping Mark to clear out his grandmother’s room after she passes away, they find an old shoebox full of love letters hidden in the back of the closet dating from the war in Vietnam. There are parallels between this couple and Mark and Bethany situation.

Bethany’s future lies in college and Mark has always planned to join the military. Will a long distance relationship work? Bethany has her doubts, which intensify as they near graduation and aren’t helped by spirit interference.

All The Love You Write is a complicated (in the emotional sense) teen romance, written well with sensitivity and some lovely imagery. Teenage uncertainty and self consciousness is captured effectively and the historical aspect was obviously researched. I enjoyed the paranormal thread but was surprised by certain reactions I wasn’t expecting. Including strong messages about love, this is an entertaining read that, for me, could have been tightened up more in the third part. But who wouldn’t love a hand written love letter as opposed to a quick text or email. The story has thought provoking content and it would be an awful shame if this creative skill and expressive method of communication is lost completely.

I chose to read and review All The Love You Write for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,553 reviews1 follower
September 3, 2019
All the Love You Write by D. G. Driver is a sweet young adult romance, and my first book by this author. Mark and Bethany are in high school, who are brought together by ghosts. I really enjoyed this story, but I found it a little slow. I think this book can be enjoyed by everyone, older adults might enjoy memories of the 1970's. I recommend this book for a good clean romance.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and the publisher. Thank you.
Profile Image for Eva.
58 reviews
October 17, 2020
All the Love You Write is a YA novel with a spooky twist! I think you'll enjoy it and you should give it a read if you're in the mood for a spooky romance!

I received a copy of this book from D.G. Driver. I first met D.G. Driver when I reviewed Cry of the Sea, the first book in the Juniper Sawfeather trilogy, for Multicultural Childrens Book Day in 2018. You can find that review on my blog. The thing about Driver's stories is that they NEVER go as you're expecting. Just when you think you know what's coming, you'll find you're wrong. Driver's stories never follow the expected narrative. I've read three of her novels and each time, I'm fully surprised by the plot twists.

Mark is head over heels for Bethany, his brilliant girlfriend. Mark thinks Bethany is way out of his league and that makes him insecure. He's dwelling on how to keep her interested in him as he wanders into his first class in high school. It is extremely overcrowded and he ends up stuck in the back of the classroom seated at an old, cluttered desk. As he's trying to find space to write, he finds the corner of the desk is deeply etched in beautiful cursive letters -- Eileen is written with a heart around it. He tries to recreate the writing multiple times and only succeeds when he writes it on his forearm in sharpie. He notes that it comes out perfectly and almost seems to glow on his arm. After that Mark goes back to thinking about Bethany and texts, "thinkn of u." Shortly afterwards, he finds a piece of paper jutting out of the desk and is surprised to find it is in the exact same cursive as the etched "Eileen" on his desk. More confusing, the paper has a short note that seems to be addressing his text message. The message admonishes, "What kind of note was that? Does it even make sense? You can't even spell, let alone romance a girl. Try again."

Now, I've read all the Potter books, so I know you should be deeply distrustful of anonymous messages giving you unsolicited advice. (I'm going to take this moment to say that I am dismayed by J.K. Rowling's hostility towards trans women. It's horrible that such a great series is tainted by it's author's prejudice and hatred.) In any case, I guess Mark didn't read the book because he starts following the beautifully-written advice. Good idea? Bad idea? You're going to have to read the book to find out!
Profile Image for Dana J,.
41 reviews3 followers
August 13, 2019
Bethany and Mark are from two different lives. Bethany is an honors student in the debate club. She dreams of going to college and succeeding there. Mark doesn’t do as well academically and is in the JOTC, heading into the army. He has had a crush on Bethany since they were little. With the help of two ghosts with invested interest in Mark, they try to bridge the gap between their worlds even as others try to push them apart.
I loved the dedication of this book. We always think our grandparents will be around forever and we will have time for their stories later. We should all make an effort to listen to them while we can. I also really enjoyed the concept of the book though I think it could have come together a little better. Switching POV’s was a good way to let us see what was going on through the eyes of each major character. My favorite character was Bethany. She made an effort to change how she looked at the world and defended her relationship to anyone who questioned them. She was also realistic about how hard a long distance relationship can really be.
While this book was good, some parts were a little too mushy for me. The similarities between Mark and Bethany and Joe and Eileen were sometimes too similar. I understand why it was set up that way but I wish Mark and Bethany had been able to have their own relationship that wasn’t always compared to his grandparents. I found it really hard to like Eileen after she started messing with Bethany. It didn’t seem fair to me to punish Bethany for what was going on. Not everyone can handle being in a relationship where one is in the military and that should be Bethany’s decision to make.
All in all, I would give this book a 2.5 or 3 out of 5. It is an okay book and I had no issue reading or finishing it. However I don’t think it will stick with me as long as some other books would. A review will be coming to https://devourbookswithdana.home.blog/ later this month!
Profile Image for Teri.
Author 6 books140 followers
August 19, 2019
I've read nearly every book D.G. Driver has written, and they've never disappointed me.  All the Love You Write is no different.

When I learned this story was the continuation of the author's 2015 novella, Passing Notes, I couldn't wait to read it.  As with the novella, this is a sweet, heartwarming tale, and I challenge anyone to read it and not have their heartstrings tugged.  The author does an excellent job at portraying the awkwardness of first relationships, especially in the case of Mark.  As the mother of sons, I saw several parallels and chuckled many times over his actions.

One of the characters frustrated me for a good portion of the book.  I wanted to tell this person they were doing it all wrong, but one of the ghosts took care of that for me.  I'm a fan of anything supernatural, so that aspect and the connection to Mark were some of my favorite things about the story.

The fact that Bethany excels academically and is on a college track, while Mark has struggled in school and chooses to serve his country in the army is a source of conflict between the couple.  It's also an apt depiction of how college isn't the path for everyone, while pointing out the many educational and career advancement opportunities within the military.

It's clear the author did her research into the time period of the Vietnam War - not only historic events that took place, but also how relationships and opportunities for women were vastly different from today.

If you're a fan of love stories - or even better, supernatural love stories, All the Love You Write is an inspiring tale with some some heartfelt messages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Rosie's Book Review Team. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Allyson G.
186 reviews4 followers
November 16, 2019
I was offered a copy of this book by the author to read for an honest review. I don't often read contemporary books but this one felt different. The characters felt real and relatable. They made poor choices, had second thoughts and captured my heart.
This story was more than a love story, it talked about relationships, and about finding out who you are as you enter adulthood. It is a beautifully written and touching book. One of my favorite parts was reading all of the love notes. I highly recommend it.
13 reviews
August 4, 2019
I received an ARC in return for an honest review.

Favourite Character: Mark
Favourite part: The ending. It was so sweet and well-written.

This story is SO sweet! This unique love story brings elements of the paranormal into a contemporary YA romance.

I loved all of the love stories in it and the author’s way of intertwining the love stories was extremely well done!

If you’re looking for a sweet story with a touch of the paranormal and two unbelievably sweet and swoon-worthy love stories and a book with several important messages about life and love - pre-order this book! It will be published on August 20th.

Thanks to D G Driver for letting me review this and for writing such a sweet romance!

Profile Image for Angelina Singer.
Author 6 books29 followers
May 23, 2020
A very clever premise with a fun and quirky writing style makes this story touching and intriguing. I will say that some of the dialogue seemed a little clunky and unnatural, but beyond that, I really did enjoy this book. But most importantly, it makes you think a lot about priorities and living life to the fullest. Bethany is a girl haunted by the ghost of her boyfriend's grandma.... who's doing her best to keep them apart. Read the book to find out why!
Profile Image for Corinne Morier.
Author 2 books38 followers
July 17, 2020
All the Love You Write by D.G. Driver 💖✍️
Genre: YA contemporary/paranormal 🧒👻🌷
My connection to this book: I belong to The Naked Reviewers and this was one of our August picks. I was greatly intrigued by the premise--I love contemporaries based on email/written letter communication, and the added concept of the "ghost helping their relationship" was interesting enough for me to want to pick it up. 💌👻💁🏻
My rating: 2/5 stars ⭐⭐

Meme saying Brace yourselves, the tea is going to be spilled here
Did I expect this to be a five-star read before accepting it for review? I'm not sure, but I did expect it to be at least four stars: the kind of book that, despite its flaws, you enjoyed reading and could see yourself recommending to other people. In The Naked Reviewers, we are encouraged to only accept books for review that we feel could be a four or even five star read, and in order for us to be able to determine that, the author gives us a writing sample (usually the first chapter of the book in question) so we can sample it and see if we'd like it. And after finishing the writing sample, I thought this could be a four-star read, easy. Even when you take into account the Lord of the Rings reference in the first chapter, which would have been funny except Driver misspelled the character's name (Golem versus Gollum) and therefore killed the joke, I still had high hopes for this book and thought it could be four stars. Not to mention that I've been eyeing a few other books by Driver, so I thought this was a good opportunity to get acquainted with her works.

As always, this review is my own personal opinion and I tend to be a very picky reader (hence my screen name, The Discerning Reader) so if you enjoyed this book, you do you. I, personally, did not enjoy it, but I did not see any damaging tropes or bad representation for marginalized communities that would make this an objectively "bad book."

What did I like about this book?
Note: Usually, in my reviews, I try and be fair and balanced and discuss three things I liked and three things I didn't like as much, but in this case, there's only two things I enjoyed about this book, so you'll forgive me if it's a 2:3 ratio this time!

First impressions
Is this a pigeon meme saying Me looking for a new book to read, A contemporary romance where the relationship is built through letters, emails, text messages, etc., Is this a book i need in my life right now?
The premise itself was rather interesting, as I am a sucker for romances where the relationship is built up through written communication such as letters, emails, or text messages. And the first couple of chapters were very promising in that regard: Mark and Bethany are texting back and forth as they try and figure out this whole "dating" thing. Cue me dying of happiness.

The suspense is terrible, I hope it'll last
GIF of Willy Wonka eating popcorn and saying The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last.
For the first six chapters I was very intrigued to find out what would happen next. Mark is daydreaming in class and discovers that there was once a student who sat at his very desk who was dreaming about a girl named "Eileen." Turns out that the boy who once dreamed about Eileen is now dead and wants to help Mark win Bethany's affections, for some reason the ghost won't explain. I was intrigued to learn who this ghost was and what his reasons were for helping Mark.

So let's get into some things I didn't enjoy about this book...

Ghost? That's normal!

Mark tells Bethany and his mom about the ghost and they're just like "Oh, that's cool, there's a ghost." Ex-SQUEEZE ME? Normal people would be freaking out and taking their child to the doctor to make sure the kid's head is still on straight. And if your boyfriend was like "Oh, a ghost told me how to get you to fall in love with me," wouldn't you be at least a LITTLE squicked out, like, "ew, what a creepy stalker," sort of vibe? This just killed ALL believability for me and made me lose all respect for Bethany, Mark, and Mark's mother.

Speaking of the characters...
Change my mind meme saying Me reading this book, Neither Lance nor Mark are good boyfriends to Bethany
I did not like a single character in this entire book. Mark? Weird, creepy stalker. Lance? Anger issues and abusive tendencies. Bethany? People-pleaser who can't stand up for herself who has the opportunity to go through the most character development who, rather ironically, fails at everything despite being a straight-A student. Joe? Creepy grandfather who encourages his grandson to stalk a girl. Eileen? Creepy ghost-lady who ruins a girl's life for no reason. Bethany's so-called "friends"? Alpha-b*tches who encourage Bethany to "get back together" with Lance, said ex-boyfriend with anger management issues and abusive tendencies, after they witness him assaulting Bethany, who continue to try to bully Bethany into getting back together with Lance without anyone pointing out, "Hey, Lance is kind of abusive and has anger management issues, so maybe he's not a good guy after all." Mark's parents? See above-mentioned issue with the ghost just being "okay" with them.

And of them, Mark and Bethany were kind of the worst. They didn't work at all as a couple, with the only conflict in the entire book being a bunch of contrived misunderstandings. "But wait," I hear you saying. "This is a book about how writing letters and telling the person you love how you feel is the best way to get what you want, so it's ironic that they can't communicate! They have a lesson to learn that way!"

Normally I wouldn't sin this trope very much, especially in YA, but in this case, it's kind of hard not to sin because the irony hurts too much. Of course, if there had been other conflict besides the miscommunication, then this would have been dramatic irony, and a great way to drive home the theme of the book,

Both of them were stupid teenagers, and the only conflict was that there was a bunch of miscommunication, and if they just TALKED all the conflict would vanish. Normally I wouldn't sin this trope so hard, especially in YA, but when the entire concept of your book is literally "Writing letters," it's kinda hard to NOT sin it because the irony hurts too much. Of course, if there was other conflict BESIDES the miscommunication, it would be less of a sin and more of a "oh, they've got a lesson to learn here, let's see them get slapped with this irony" and it would have actually been interesting.

Change my mind meme saying Me reading this book, Bethany is a selfish bitch for not appreciating Mark's effort to convey his feelings to her and for lying to his face

And then at one point Mark openly FLIRTS with one of Bethany's friends. Lost all respect for everyone in the story after that. And then Bethany starts getting haunted by the "Eileen" from the past because apparently "Eileen" doesn't approve of Bethany being Mark's girlfriend, which made no sense because aside from some self-confidence issues, and being selfish and petty that text messages and Facebook posts aren't good enough for her, Bethany is a well-adjusted young woman, going off to college with a bright future ahead of her, and most importantly, SHE SUPPORTS MARK WANTING TO GO TO THE ARMY. At least, I think she does. There's one scene early on when Bethany's like "but will you have to go to war?" and then it's never mentioned again until the end when Bethany admits "I always thought that college was the only way to go, and anyone who didn't want to go to college wasn't worth my time," but she never actually thought that the entire time, it was just thrown in at the end as if it had been a huge "theme" this whole time.

But that's none of my business meme saying Throwing in a last minute I've learned my lesson speech by the protagonist as if it's been the theme all along without going back and rewriting core scenes to juxtapose apparent theme is a sign of a lazy writer, but that's none of my business

Oh, and can we just talk about that little "speech" of hers for a minute? She's talking about all the professions that exist that don't need a college degree, like "Who would fix our pipes? Who would write our novels?" (well, as a novelist, I take offense at this because I have a college degree, but also I acknowledge that you don't technically need a college degree to be a writer but it is hard to "make it" as a full-time writer so a lot of writers also have day jobs to support themselves, which often DO need a college degree, but that's beside the point). But then she says "If everyone went to college, who would teach our children?"

Angry anime girl raising her fist GIF

...Ex-SQUEEZE ME? I am GREATLY OFFENDED at this, young woman. You DO need a college degree to be a teacher. Either that, or you need experience in a classroom in order to get your credentials. Go fucking RESEARCH what teachers have to do to get their own classroom before making stupid declarations that disrespect the hard work teachers go through EVERY DAY. Heck, you HAVE FUCKING TEACHERS IN YOUR SCHOOL WHERE YOU GO EVERY DAY. ASK THEM IF THEY HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE AND IF THEY NEEDED A COLLEGE DEGREE WHEN THEY GOT THE JOB. MOST OF THEM WILL PROBABLY SAY YES, OR SAY THAT THEY AT LEAST HAVE AN ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE OR HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE WITH KIDS.

3. The suspense didn't last
Two buttons meme saying Stop reading and just write a DNF review, Keep reading because maybe it'll get interesting again, Me feeling obligated to finish the book because it's for The Naked Reviewers

Up until Chapter Seven, there was a whole little mystery building up about who the ghost was who was trying to help Mark, which kept me reading. I still hadn't yet become invested in Mark and Bethany's relationship, so the mystery about the ghost was the main driving force for me to want to keep reading. But as soon as we met Mark's grandmother for the first time in Chapter Seven, all tension from the story immediately evaporated. I knew immediately who the ghost was, what he wanted from Mark, and why he couldn't just rest in peace. All story-related questions were answered for me, and there was no reason to keep reading. I did keep reading after that, but it became a chore, and I alternated between slogging through chapters and skimming them, stopping to read only if there seemed to be something important.

In conclusion
All the Love You Write by DG Driver gets 2/5 stars from me for:
👍 An interesting story premise that makes me want to read
👍 The first few chapters being intriguing with the ghost aspect
👎 All tension evaporating from the story after Chapter Seven
👎 Unrealistic characters, none of whom are enjoyable enough to spend time with

This review originally appeared as a part of The Naked Reviewers. Indie and traditionally-published authors of all genres are welcome to send us their books for consideration at our website, The Naked Reviewers.com.

You can find me, The Discerning Reader, here at these other locations across the Web:
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17 reviews2 followers
April 17, 2020
I loved the uniqueness of the plot and how the story unfolds with young romance that is sweet and innocent. I also loved reading about a romance from another time and the way the two connect. A very satisfying read.
Profile Image for Kimberly Zirkle.
173 reviews
August 27, 2019
All the Love You Write
I was really excited about getting to read this book. It does start off kind of slow but it doesn't take long to pick up.
This story is about a high school boy, Mark, who has been in love with Bethany since 7th grade. Mark has trouble with writing and communicating his feelings for her at first and starts receiving help from a mysterious Ghost Writer who then teaches him the art of writing love notes and how to set the foundation for a love that will last.


I received a copy of this book through netgallery.com to read and review.
Profile Image for Connie Huddleston.
Author 12 books38 followers
August 26, 2019
Driver has written a beautifully crafted tale of love, indecision, and teen angst, with just enough intervention by spirits to make it fun. I have read all of Driver's books, and she sent me this one for an advanced review. I highly recommend it to readers, especially teens.
57 reviews
Read
December 13, 2019
I thought I would enjoy this, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to my personal expectations. It didn’t feel authentic, as if the characters weren’t really people, but just being orchestrated in the story.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,064 reviews12 followers
February 8, 2020
This was a sweet, if fairly predictable story. It is broken up into three main sections, each of which themselves have some rather definite divisions. Overall, the feeling of the book itself was a rather disjointed hodge-podge of random stories thrown together.

Mark and Bethany are both good kids and they have a darling relationship. However, they both certainly have their issues, and they probably wouldn't have ended up together, at least not for very long, if it weren't for the intervention of some outside forces.

It was obvious right from the beginning who at least one of the old-time ghosts was. The other has a somewhat different agenda and for various reasons is harder to decipher right away. I found this character somewhat hard to believe in her ghost persona, mainly because the real-life person seemed to be much nicer and forgiving.

One of the two love stories ends in catastrophe, which we know just about from the very beginning, due to various events in the intervening time period. The other, for a host of different reasons, has a near-end that, while not as tragic, hit me nearly as hard and was incredibly sad. Eventually, that situation is somewhat salvaged, but an awful lot is lost along the way.

Overall, this is a love story and a mild ghost story, meshed together into a tale that somewhat resembles a coherent narrative. The writing itself was good; the words flowed together very well. But there were often times that dragged excessively, and also the different parts of the story didn't seem to jive too well. It took me a long time to plow my way through this tale. There were a number of things that seemed as though they were going to be important to the story, and then just weren't. The overall tale was a good one, but I just think it could have been better executed.

I received a free eBook copy of this title from NetGalley, and have willingly provided an honest review.

This review originally appeared on the So Few Books blog at: https://sofewbooks.blogspot.com/2019/...!
Profile Image for Emily Merrill.
Author 3 books260 followers
Read
January 1, 2022
*** ARC provided for review via NetGalley***

I was really excited when I was approved for this book, but unfortunately for me, the plot/characters just didn't click.

'All the love you write' follows Mark, a senior who is heading into the armed forces following graduation, and Bethany, the girl he has had a crush on for the entirety of high school. Mark and Bethany get into a relationship pretty quickly into the book, and this is where the issues began. Mark came across as quite obsessive towards Bethany, with strange behaviours and possessive tendencies that detracted from his character. I could understand Bethany's friend's concern for her relationship with Mark - a lot of the things he did were, to put it lightly, weird.

The main storyline in this novel surrounds Mark's grandparents, Joe and Eileen, a couple driven apart by the Vietnam war that acts as a parallel to Mark's impending deployment, and the effect it will have on Bethany and Mark's relationship. The saving grace of this novel was Bethany; aside from her not questioning Mark's odd behaviour, I did enjoy the exploration of deployment and how it effects romantic and family relationships. Bethany's journey towards acceptance of an uncertain future was my favourite aspect of the book, and I liked the comparison between her and Eileen's own past.

The idea of Joe and Eileen communicating with Mark and Bethany to advise them on their future was an interesting premise, but I didn't manage to gel with the execution. Eileen's attitude towards Bethany in particular just wasn't believable to me, and became quite petty considering that in the beginning of the novel, and throughout the revelations of her past, she came across as a fair and kind lady.

All in all, not my favourite read. However, if you're looking for deployment in literature, this might be for you.
Profile Image for Michaela Martin.
35 reviews4 followers
September 5, 2019
This is the story of high school kids Mark and Bethany, and how two ghosts helped their love lives flourish through love letters.

The description of this book immediately caught my eye. Two ghosts are helping these high school kids write love letters to each other, how interesting. The story was interesting at the beginning, Mark was getting help from his horrific flirting, which made me cringe and a little angry at what he was saying. The mysterious ghost ended up being his grandpa, and he wrote and mailed a sweet letter to girlfriend Bethany. Part 1 was all about Mark and figuring out how to write a love letter, through many practice trials and failures. Part 2 included the letters from Mark's grandpa when he was in the Vietnam war to Mark's grandma who had just passed away. Reading these letters was so sweet, and heartwrenching. Mark and Bethany really connected during part 2, and it was wonderful to see. However, part 3 brought some issues. It felt slow and drawn out for most of it. I would like to commend the author for doing an amazing job creating a character who was struggling with so much back and forth for Mark. I felt so frustrated with Bethany's indecisiveness, which is exactly what I want from a book. It made me feel so frustrated with her for not telling Mark about what was going on with her. It was such a good look into the mind of high school Bethany. Bethany's speech was one to remember, it was so good and enlightening to everybody, and to myself.

This book did not turn out the way I expected from the description, but it was still a good read nonetheless. I felt connected to the characters in certain parts, but also it felt long and drawn out during certain parts. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but I didn't love it.
Profile Image for Israel.
91 reviews19 followers
February 8, 2020
*
This book wasn’t that great. I had a lot of issues with it.

My biggest issue is with Mark, our main character. It seems like the author wants him to be romantic and sweet, but he came off as an obsessive jerk to me. He tried way to hard at the beginning, and his style to woe Bethany comes off as creepy and obsessive. When the main character isn’t great, that throws me off from the beginning. Plus, we see very little of their before-relationship, so I never rooted for them, and Mark’s desperation was...desperate.

The plot had issues too. So this ghost is just conveniently showing up to help him? We later learn they have connections, but it still seems odd. And then he tells his mother and Bethany about the ghost, and they’re totally fine with it. I would be freaking out!!! Mark just roles with it, too. The author missed an opportunity for conflict here, as well as a layer of realistic-ness.

My last issue is with formatting. Though it’s not a huge deal-breaker, it’s still something to consider. Text messages really should stand out in some way. I didn’t like that I had to stop and think about whether a sentence is texted or not. Little things like this are still important when they can quickly throw your reader out of the story.

I do have to say that the author uses some great imagery. I found many lines in the book that were so poetic and wonderful, and that was one thing that kept me reading.

*I received an ARC of this book on NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for TBHONEST.
733 reviews9 followers
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August 13, 2019
The plot had us so eager to read this book. It has everything you could possibly want romance, supernatural and a bit of mystery.
There is one flaw in the story, Mark one of the lead characters is not at all likeable. His attempts at wooing Bethany at the beginning, while you know the writer wants you to see them as romantic, come across as the poor guy is trying too hard and are slightly creepy. If it happened in real life there is no we'd end up dating Mark as his ways of expressing his feelings are obsessive. Also, some of the other characters reactions to the things Mark tells them seems far too "normal", yet if someone had told us that we'd be a little concerned for them. Whereas Bethany's character was great well written who you clearly saw go on a progressive and defined journey throughout the course of the story.
Other than that this is a very nice story. The author at times is quite poetic and creates some very vivid imagery that lends itself well to the story and how it unfolds.
Overall we found this book an enjoyable read and the ending had us smiling as it was very cute.
Profile Image for Genni Piatt.
123 reviews6 followers
August 31, 2019
For a fairly long book, there were some places where there was a lull in the writing. I really enjoyed it overall! The story of Mark and Bethany was cute and I liked the parallel with his grandparent's. Eileen's behavior as a ghost was kind of unexpected and I'm not sure I totally bought into it. The book was well-written, though, even if the plot wasn't perfect.
Profile Image for Sylvia.
Author 5 books46 followers
January 15, 2020
This book had me captivated from the first chapter. A lot of times when a story jumps from past to present, it’s hard to invest in both, but this book is written so beautifully and the characters are all so well developed that I didn’t feel that at all. This is the kind of story that makes you want to leave your special someone one a handwritten love letter.
Profile Image for Nerdy Housewifey.
433 reviews2 followers
August 12, 2019
I had a hard time with this. It started with the two already in a relationship so I never really felt invested in them. I stopped about 40% in I just couldn’t really get into it.
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