I loved Mercedes. Her life is anything but easy from an abusive husband and having to restart her life after she is widowed she just keeps rolling with the punches, not that it is always easy for her and even when it seems easy it is an illusion, but I have to hand it to her she knows how to take all those lemons life keeps tossing at her and make lemonade.
Levi’s world falls apart in hours and he is left to deal with his changed reality. As his depression gets worse and he continues to remain silent totally silent his mother sends him from their home in Australasia to Maine, USA to live with his father hoping that a total change will force him out of his funk. Now on top of all his other issues Levi must deal with the father he has not seen in years and the culture shock of living in a totally new place, but gradually he finds a few good friends including three year old Lucy and slowly puts his world back together. A moving story about rebuilding after a huge loss, finding the courage to live again. Levi touched me with his honest and open story and I loved watching how Lucy melted his heart and wormed her way into his life. Witty, touching and warm yet not afraid to ask tough questions and demand answers.
I loved Isabella’s story. I felt bad for her, but I loved her grandmother and her mother and Remy their confident outspoken neighbor who is good influence on all of them. Each of the women try to help Isabella with her issues surrounding the night her father disappeared, but being back on the island is forcing her to remember things she would rather forget, and teaching her new lessons along the way. Isabella must face the past to give herself a future she deserves, but it seems easier for her to simply lock it all inside, until the day she can’t. I loved the strong women in this novel and the quaint inland in this novel the senses of people and place are strong and Isabella is a wonderful girl facing something that is hard for people much older than she is.
I loved the way this story weaves the past and the future together so well. Reve returns to Massachusetts following the suspicious death of her husband Jeremy. She settles into a home on family land and tries to start over with her three daughters but life keeps getting in her way. If she wants to understand her future she must understand her past as so begins her journey into her family history and the secrets it holds. The story flows well and it kept me guessing and eagerly turning pages.
Toni and Ryan are a typical small town high school couple. They are looking forward to graduating and starting a life of their own, but those dreams are cut short when Toni’s sister Nichole is murdered and everyone thinks that Toni and Ryan did it. Life gives them no choice but to follow the rules and serve their time, but once that is done both of them vow to find the truth. They find that their small town has stayed the same in some ways and changed in others. As they unravel the past and try to find the truth they must also decide if they still have a life together and if they still want to. I loved the characters in this story, The characters play a key role for me in the books i read and these guys stayed with me after the book was finished as good characters do. The story is also told in alternating chapters of present time and the past. The story encompasses love, friendship, loyalty, family, truth and justice and does it well.
I liked this book, not because of the characters or the story although those things did masterfully show us how our personal and professional lives overflow and how we are all linked together somehow if one looks hard enough. What really caught my eye with this novel was the style it was written in. The novel basically reads like the file a divorce attorney would keep and the pages contained emails, letters, transcripts, legal documents, and all manner and means of communicating during such a proceeding. I found the style engaging and creative. It reminded me of Celia Aherns book where the two friends communicate and tell the story though letters, emails and such, i think it might have been called Rosie Dunn? The format of this book sets it apart and makes it an even more enjoyable and engaging read.
Ok first things first this is a YA book, and I freely admit that even as an adult I enjoy good YA books, so what made this a good book for me you ask? First of all it is told from the male viewpoint which is not all that common in my YA reading experience. The story is Ezra’s story and he narrates it for us. The story opens when he is elementary school and his best friend Toby experiences a freak accident at Disney Land during his eighth birthday party. The events of that day cause the boys to drift apart and we see them again in high school. Toward the end of Junior year Ezra is leaving a party after finding his girlfriend with another guy and is hurt in a car accident on the way home. He spends the summer in and out of the hospital and his injuries mean that he will no longer be captain of the tennis team or any sports team. He returns to school with a cane, a special parking permit and an elevator key. He spent all his high school years hanging out with the other athletes, but he is no longer one of them, they didn’t even visit him in the hospital, so he is feeling lost to say the least. He ends up signed up for debate which is headed by his old friend Toby and the two begin to find common ground and renew their friendship. Enter Cassidy the new girl in the equation, while she is new to Ezra she is a champion debater and has history with Toby and the other members of the debate team. Ezra is pulled into the world of the debaters and gradually Cassidy makes the way to the center of his world, until she realizes they have more in common that they first thought and no all of it is good. I found the story touching yet lighthearted. I’d like to see these characters in another book, perhaps while they are home from college for a summer. If you enjoy YA fiction, give this one a shot.