Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars
This novel was powerful! I had read some of this author’s work before this title specifically, but holy shit you guys…This one has to be her best, most personal work that she’s ever written!
It was a whirlwind of emotions to get through this story, but it is something that EVERYONE should read. Yes, everyone; it doesn’t matter that it’s categorized a contemporary new adult romance. It’s a much deeper love story about finding the strength to make the right choice in an hard situation. The romance is nothing compared to the subject matter that this novel covers, all I can say is that it’s highly sensitive material, so I caution certain reader’s who don’t react well to heavy materials.
What It’s About:
Lily Bloom has moved away from her small town in Maine to start a new life in Boston, and she has begun to start her own business. Not too much later after she’s settled down, she unexpectedly meets Ryle Kincaid, an extremely handsome neurosurgeon. Both immediately feel a spark, but Ryle has a strange fixation to keeping it purely physical, no dating kind of relationship. Lilly starts to divert him from that notion, and they’re soon in an actual relationship, but part of her always wonders why he became that way in the first place.
Things take a tumultuous turn when a man from the past, Atlas Corrigan, also comes back into the picture and rocks her world. Atlas was her first love, and no one had ever connected to her like he did. With him back in her life, Lilly comes to realize that those who love us can sometimes be the ones that hurt us the most…
What I Liked:
- The Raw Subject Matter! There is another, extremely prominent part of the story that reader’s don’t easily expect early on in the story, but as it develops, the becomes a much stronger, deeper and emotional novel. I’m not going to give much information into what it is because finding it out for yourself is part of the experience, but it’s a great take on an important subject that is seen in today’s world. It’s something you always tell yourself: “Why would someone do that? I would never do that if it happened to me.” Instead of being an onlooker on the outside looking in, it brings readers right into the mindset of Lilly and all that happens, and brilliantly explains what could be going through a victims mind.
- The Complex Characters! The layers beneath each of the characters and their relationship was so incredibly well done, it exposes whole new layers that not too many authors can do. The author makes readers understand a dark situation that most people write off, assume before receiving all the necessary information, and makes it a way that they sympathize with a character, who to many others, wouldn’t believe they deserve it. It’s such an emotional ride, I found myself in tears at several parts in the story.
- The Letters! In the story, reader’s are brought back into the past through letters that Lilly wrote to Ellen Degeneres. Like flashbacks, Lilly talks about her childhood, her family, and how she met Atlas. It sounds a little ridiculous, but it surprisingly worked incredibly well for this story, and I love that the “Just keep swimming” quote from Finding Nemo is used throughout.
- The Power of Friendship! Lilly meets another woman in the story, Alyssa, and they become insta-best friends. A self-confessed “Pinterest Whore,” Alyssa helps Lilly by becoming her first employee and starting her new business. She’s an amazing character who’s hilarious and I wish she was real and that she was also my friend.
Overall, some books are read for pure enjoyment and entertainment. Other books, like this one, are read to hopefully allow readers to gain knowledge and perspective on a certain important subject that not everyone has been exposed to, or has ever had to face. Not that it’s something that anyone should ever have to endure what the main character goes through in their life, but I think this book allows a lot of people to maybe see inside the mind of a victim and see why it’s so hard for people who are in situations like this to simply walk away.
If people are looking for a lighthearted, easy going beach read then this is definitely not going to a story that they will enjoy. It’s heavy, raw, and emotional that stays with readers long past the time they close the pages. It’s not without its lighter moments though, and leaves your heart fluttering with joy that overcomes the darkness. Like I said earlier, everyone should read this novel.
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell