Hey guys! Hope your week is off to a fantastic start and that this Monday treats you well. I have a couple of Mini Reviews I wanted to share today and I enjoyed both of the books! I received both of these arcs via NetGalley, and while the genres were different they both were highly emotional reads. I loved how varied my reading has become lately and how, so far, my reading slump seems to have passed and my mojo for reviewing has returned. Have you read either of these novels? What are you reading this week?
Book Title: As She Fades
Author: Abbi Glines
Pub Date: April 3, 2018
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
On the night of her high school graduation, Vale McKinley and her boyfriend Crawford are in a terrible car accident that leaves Crawford in a coma. They were supposed to spend the summer planning for college, for a bright future full of possibility. Together. Instead, Vale spends long days in the hospital, hoping Crawford will awaken.
Slate Allen, a college friend of Vale’s brother, has been visiting his dying uncle at the same hospital. When he and Vale meet, she can’t deny the flutter of an illicit attraction. She tries to ignore her feelings, but she’s not immune to Slate’s charm. Slowly, they form a cautious friendship.
Then, Crawford wakes up . . . with no memory of Vale or their relationship. Heartbroken, Vale opts to leave for college and move on with her life. Except now, she’s in Slate’s territory, and their story is about to take a very strange turn.
I seem to read a hefty number of novels that I can’t divulge many plot details on, and this one falls into that category as well. If you followed along with my Goodreads updates, you’ll have noticed my extreme surprise at a particular twist; from the reviews I’ve read thus far it appears I wasn’t alone, and I’d go as far as to say that no one has mentioned guessing it ahead of time yet. The twist alone earns it stars, but the writing also drew me in and kept me engaged. I will say my only issue was that, due to the twist, there was a change in the story that felt a bit rushed. If the twist had happened earlier, then perhaps we readers would have had more time to adjust to this shifting storyline and really connected with the second part much more. Overall, a great read and one I would recommend to fans of YA contemporary with a tinge of suspense and mystery.
Book Title: The Husband Hour
Author: Jamie Brenner
Pub Date: April 24, 2018
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.
Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family’s old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she’s forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.
One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.
What an emotional ride! This was a complex tale of the various stages of love and heartache, the secrets families keep, and a messy beginning at forgiveness and redemption. There is so much to love about this story, and I felt the author did a fine job at portraying some really tough themes in a respectful and honoring way. I always get teary eyed when discussing how greatly I appreciate the men and women who serve in the military and also to those who give the ultimate sacrifice; the fact that there are folks out there so selfless that they are willing to lay down their life for those of us they don’t even know will never lay lightly on my heart, and I could tell that Brenner feels the same while reading her creation here. There were so many twists and turns I didn’t anticipate, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that everything wasn’t tied up in a neat little package by the end. The story is messy and uncomfortable, but the writing is crisp and poetic as we are left with a glimmer of hope and a feeling of endurance. Highly recommended to those looking for a novel that warms and aches the heart in equal doses.