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