|Release Date: April 26,2016|
Where do I even begin?
Let me preface that I loved Anne Jolin's "Saving Steele" but I wasn't too keen on "Chasing Rhodes" so I had no expectations when I received an ARC of this. I knew it could go either way for me.
As is my practice when I have a new book, I read the prologue (if there is one), the first two chapters, the last two chapters and the epilogue (again, if there is one). I know it is weird but, to me, the ending is just as important as the rest of the book. No matter how great the book is, if the ending does not tie up the story neatly, the book loses its appeal for me.
I almost didn't read this because of the ending. I couldn't stand the way it ended. Not to give it away (no, it is not a cliffhanger) but I didn't like it. I needed a resolution. I needed a bow to wrap up the whole story in a neat package. I needed a typical "the end". I almost emailed the author to tell her thanks, but no thanks, I can't review because I didn't read it. But, I gave my word. So I was going to follow through, albeit, belatedly.
I am glad I did. Granted, I wasn't prepared, nor did I welcome the emotions that this book evoked. I didn't expect to relate to the heroine. I didn't want to feel what she was feeling, to understand why she was that way or to empathize with her, even when I didn't agree with her actions and decisions. But, I did. I wanted to cry when her heart was breaking, I wanted to hide with her when she didn't want to face her issues. I wanted to cheer her on when she persevered and had a breakthrough. I wanted to hit her upside the head when I thought she was being stupid and stubborn. I had a whole gamut of emotions when I was reading and I didn't want to stop.
That's a testament to Anne Jolin's growth as a writer. Like I said, I didn't care much for one of her earlier books. Yet, in this book, she was able to elicit varying reactions from me. To the point that though I didn't like the ending, I am still giving this 5 stars. I think this book is also a testament to her bravery. It is often said that a writer brings a piece of himself or herself to every work. If that is the case, Anne Jolin brought a very private piece of herself to this book and managed to present it with eloquence and grace. For that, I have to give her props and like Anne Jolin always says, mad love.
Kindle version: http://amzn.to/2cisEtf
Paperback version: http://amzn.to/2cg10Mq
Audiobook CD version: http://amzn.to/2c2p4W2
-Review first appeared here and here.
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