Of all the books of Jennifer Millikin that I've read, this is probably the lightest. I've read two other books of the author which squeezed my heart dOf all the books of Jennifer Millikin that I've read, this is probably the lightest. I've read two other books of the author which squeezed my heart dry. This one, started out sad but there were a lot of funny and sweet moments along the way. And true enough, Aidan is the epitome of a male best friend. He would do anything for Nat. Everything. I ended up wishing Aidan were mine.
Natalie. I never felt sorry for her divorcing her husband. It's a relief that finally she's free of the situation that's slowly killing her. I think what broke her heart most was the fact that she chose the wrong person. A person who's only good for the time being but not for the long haul. She was blinded by the physical and the superficial qualities of Henry that she never actually took a deep examination of what she really needs. She was too hang up on not ending up like her parents that she forgot to see what's really important. That love is beyond the physical. It encompasses beyond what could be seen and touched.That love is far beyond physical chemistry or sexual compatibility. It's so much more. Love should be felt to the farthest nerve endings and to the deepest marrow of our bones. It should be able to transcend all the physical, emotional and mental barriers. If you really love the person, you embrace all of him/her, including all the baggage and what else.
Having a best friend is like having one soul in two bodies. That's why it's no wonder that a lot of best friends end up with each other. It's inevitable. It's like the most natural thing. The same thing with Nat and Aidan. No matter how they try to ignore their feelings for each other, it's going to manifest and takeover. And they were powerless to stop it.
Aidan. When he said that he doesn't believe in love, I didn't believe him. I know deep down that he still does. He was just waiting for it to finally happen to him. He was waiting for someone or Nat to prove him wrong. To prove him that you don't choose love, it chooses you. That's why you have to do even the impossible and the improbable just to heed it. And that's exactly what happened to both of them. More so with Aidan because he was so confused what to do about his feelings. He was in denial that he's capable of loving nor a love like he feels for Nat is possible.
What I really love about the story is Aidan being the absolute example of a male best friend. He's always there for Nat. He knows Nat completely. He knows how Nat's mind works. He knows what could make Nat feel better and he's also honest when Nat needs a doze of reality. Their relationship or friendship should be everyone's relationship goal.
On the flip side, I think Aidan's idea of love is a bit simplistic which I also get. To Aidan, love should be two-way. It shouldn't make one sacrifice for the other. There should be no compromise. It should be win-win, like one of the 7 Habits by Stephen Covey says. Like what his mom said, "Because you love the person, you would do anything to make him happy. " But then again, at what expense? I think this is the part which Aidan did not get and why lie? To him, love shouldn't be complicated. But in reality, it's not always that simple.
With that said, I was so happy and relieved that these two finally realized what they're missing and what they badly need - each other. Not just as best friends but partners for life. So, though I was expecting to have my heart broken and cry buckets, which did not happen, I still had a good time reading this. Like I've said, I was psyched to breakdown and then be put back up because that's usually how Jennifer Millikin's stories are like. But still, this is a really good story. It's a feel good story. A deviation from her usual but still very good. I just probably needed a good cry so I was hoping this one will make me. But no tears were shed but I'm still a happy camper.
I give this 4/5 reams of paper. The lesson learned from this story is be wary of those people who appear perfect or good in paper, because that's just they are - good only in paper. When it comes to scrutiny and going beyond, they won't pass. No matter how perfect they look on the outside but if the inside is hollow, there's never going to be anything you can do to fill that or improve what's beyond repair.
I had a hard time deciding what quote to put here. I have highlighted a lot as there were so many nuggets of wisdom here. If I could put them all in here, I would. But these are the ones that really really speak to me:
What I do know is every single person has a tapestry. And every tapestry looks different. Some tapestries will have four or even five marriages. Some will only have one, or none. Who's to say which one is better? Who's to say that either one of them is bad?
Sometimes, the very best in life is what's taking place in the background while we are busy focusing on what we think is right for us. - Jennifer Millikin, Good On Paper -
Thanks again, Jessica Estep of InkslingerPR and Jennifer Millikin, for the ARC. ...more
I have been behind in my reviews so I thought of finding a way to be able to catch up, even just a few posts. I came up with an idea that it would beI have been behind in my reviews so I thought of finding a way to be able to catch up, even just a few posts. I came up with an idea that it would be a lot easier for me to come up with reviews if I start with the stories that I can easily recall from the top of my head. So, I wouldn't be writing the reviews as to the order of how I received the books or what I read first but rather which one I can remember very clearly and easily. So, this story is one.
I was actually almost tempted to give up on this book - The Night. The start was so slow and so sleep-inducing that I'd wanted to just write it off. Good thing, I didn't because halfway through, the book started to get really interesting. New characters were introduced which gave life to the story. Exactly what I have been waiting for. Something to get me out of my near stupor. I was glad, I did not just stop when I was so tempted to.
This story is about Chicago. The old Chicago. The dangerous neighborhood and where the whites and the black people don't mix. The blacks are still treated as lesser people. And like in most cases, in times of trouble and difficulties, some courageous soul rose up and stood up against the cruelties and injustices. In this story, there are actually two and then the whole neighborhood of blacks made a united front to stand against the person who took advantage of them for the longest time.
The main character here, Clive Baxter, a soldier who just came from war, comes home hopeful for a new start. But instead, found that there are worst things happening aside from the war. Worst of all, it's right in his home.
I was disappointed with Clive's character on the first few pages. He started as a very strong character, full of hope and ready to live the rest of his life far from the war zone but he ended up with the wrong crowd and doing things against his convictions. He knew that what he's getting into is wrong but he still did them. I know his conscience bothered him and I am just relieved that he managed to get out and tried to change things. That is the Clive Baxter that was introduced in the beginning of the story and I wanted the same person to be able to come of the chaos, if not stronger, even if the odds were so much against him. I think that's the true measure of a strength of a man. A real man.
So, even if I was partially disappointed of how the first few chapters of this story went, the ending had saved it. It was a real struggle for me getting to the end. I had to keep telling myself to keep going. I had to. I had to finish the book because even if it seemed that it might not go anywhere, I still have to get to the end to be sure I give it a fair review. With that said, I give this book 3/5 German World War II coats. The ending was the saving grace and if not for it, I would have totally given this a one or two rating. Add the fact that I can easily recall the two most interesting characters in this story. Being able to do that is a big plus for me. It means that the story or the characters in the story made an impression on me. The story gave me an experience that could not be easily forgotten or have drawn real emotions out of me which is what every reader is looking for in every story.
I didn't know him any more than any son knew his father. You look up to him. You never realize his faults until he's gone.
I know they say being in a war makes a man a believer and all that, but I saw first-hand what religion can bring. All those bodies of dead Jews piled in them holes in the ground. What if they don't believe? What if their religion didn't exist? I don't know. I guess, another reason to kill them would've been found.
You leave the army, then realize you never can. The war follows you. The war reminds you that it managed to control your soul. It continues to cling, gripping you.
-Matthew Murphy, The Night -
Thanks again, Matthew Murphy, for the review copy....more
So, this book is a suspense-thriller. At first glance, you may think that it's a bit of drama. I thought so. The title seems to suggest that some secrSo, this book is a suspense-thriller. At first glance, you may think that it's a bit of drama. I thought so. The title seems to suggest that some secrets are about to be uncovered. Major drama, right? Well, not too far out. This book is really a revelation. There's family drama, I give you that. Yes, secrets are about to be revealed and more.
I know I've said in my previous posts that I am a mystery, suspense, thriller fan. It's my favorite genre. The guessing game and the excitement keeps me glued to the stories. And being such a big fan, I have become familiar with some of the things that come with thriller stories. I then start to formulate my own theories as to how the rest of the story will unfold or who the killer is or what the big mystery is about. Unfortunately, in this book, my experience and great affinity with mysteries wasn't very helpful. This is a very riveting story and a few suspects were thrown in but were actually too far from what really is going on. And that's the best part. I love that a story could throw me out of my wits and keep me wondering. And at the end of it all, I would be flabbergasted because it was totally different. It's a satisfaction every reader loves, to be thrown out of the loop yet the ending is way way much better for it. I crave that kind of high. This story delivered it all with much gusto and much more.
Nothing could have prepared me for this story. The blurb may have been a bit long than usual but there's more to it. You would think that it has summarized the story in all its essence but you are very very wrong. There's more and much more. I love it! That's why it's good to read blurbs to at least know what you're walking into. But it's much more satisfying, like ice-cold water after a parching walk under the sun, to read each page and find out that there's a great deal more to know. It's an adventure in itself going through each page and be more confused and horrified that all your theories had to be scrapped. It's a great satisfaction to realize that the author is a master and has played you cruelly in her hands. Cruel because you can never figure it out for yourself.
I had the time of my life reading this book. I never put it down. I had to finish it if I wanted to maintain my sanity. I need to find all the hidden pieces and where each character fits into the story. The ending was so far out of my thoughts that it was a relief and really satisfying to finally know. Ah, what a great adventure it is having to accompany Detective Hobbs and be as astounded as she is when the truth finally hit her. It was wow!
I can't say enough how I have enjoyed this story and how I was confused and bewildered by the turn of events. I was actually happy to be confused and be out of my wits figuring it out. It's one of the best things about this book. You will never know. So, I gave this 5/5 puzzle pieces. Everything just fits perfectly.
There was something about accepting an apology so many years after the fact that made it insufferable It was like the nominal payment of a library fee many years after the book had been destroyed in a horrible fire - long after the fine was written off. - Jillian Thomadsen, All the Hidden Pieces -
Thank you again, Jillian Thomadsen for the review copy. I'm looking forward to you next stories that would make confused yet satisfied at the end. ...more