Review Copy via Netgalley
Published June 8, 2014
Life is all about the jigsaw, right? Finding the different puzzle pieces to complete your very own picture. A career you love, a house to make a home, a lover to complete you, and keep you warm at night.
Danielle Renton has a life, and she loves it. A recent law school graduate, she’d been floored when her boyfriend, Nate Lewis, enlisted during their sophomore year of college. At the time, she’d been concerned with what that meant for them as a couple, but in the years that followed, they’d learned to adapt to the logistics of an army relationship.
But when life throws her a curve ball, how will she cope? Can she pick up the pieces and make her picture beautiful again? Or does she realize that, sometimes, the pieces can be too broken to fit back together…
I honestly can’t review this book without spoilers. Though, personally, I don’t especially consider it a real spoiler. I guessed the ‘curveball’ before I started the novel, expected it. If you haven’t guessed it, or have and don’t want your suspicions confirmed, please be warned that this review is completely packed with spoilers. Not about the ending, but about the first 30% of the novel. Thanks for reading! If you want to see the full review, just highlight where the text should be!
So I obviously have a problem with letting things go. But, y’all, he was absolutely perfect. He knew her better than she knew herself. I would love to say that this book didn’t make me sob (because it did. Big, fat alligator tears) and I would also love to tell you that this is a book I love to pieces (but I can’t, because there are a few issues. I do love it, just not to pieces.) I love that she was finally able to love again and not wallow in sadness and desolation, but when I spent the first 30% of the book falling in love with her late-husband, 70% just isn’t enough to let me fall in love with the new one. Also the ending felt rushed. Now, onto the explanations and characters and such.
So, I suppose y’all are a bit curious why I only rated this book 3.5 stars when it made me cry, a rarity in pretty much all parts of my life. So here is the reason: though I found myself as conflicted with and saddened as Dani, I couldn’t really connect with just about any of the decisions she made. About opening her heart and closing it. About locking herself away and throwing away the key. About giving someone she hardly knew the combination number to get out of the safe she threw herself in. Yes, everyone morns in different ways. And Dani’s way of mourning is completely understandable. Please, don’t confuse what I’m trying to say. I’m trying to say that I found the reality of her opening up after nine months of solitude and work and people who know and care about her trying to help her to someone who just sort of appears to be a little odd. I suppose that’s a bit of the magic behind her late husband though- the fact that he knew just what she needed. I just don’t really like what she needed. After her husband is killed in combat, Dani is left heartbroken and unable to move on. Nate was perfect, is perfect and always will be perfect. He gives his letter to Dani to his friend, Tanner, to give to Dani upon his return home.
Through Tanner, Dani learns how to burst out of the shell she puts herself in. But, she is unable to forget Nate, her first love, and is riddled with guilt that keeps her tied to the past and unable to give Tanner her heart. Tanner isn’t going to wait forever, and feels he can’t keep trying to compete with a ghost for Dani’s love. The main question through the novel is can Dani learn to love again, and will she be able to let herself fall in love.
The execution of the novel was lovely, but since I freaking adored Nate to the moon and back, and didn’t really have much love for Dani, I feel that I wasn’t able to really enjoy the novel as much as I should have. Maybe if we only spent time with Nate for the first 5-10 perfect of the novel I would have fallen for Tanner a bit easier. Too much time was spent on Nate and showing the audience how freaking fantastic he was. I think that it Tanner got more time than 70% of the book, the whole me falling in love with him like Dani tries to let herself to would have been a whole lot smoother.
I really loved the writing. I saw and felt everything that the characters were feeling (hope +fear +love +confusion +hopelessness) and that was super important to this book, and these types of books in general. In the end, I personally think this was worth reading, but I wouldn’t go running to fetch myself a hardcover copy real soon.
Okay, y'all. Just highlight above if you're curious. Thanks for stopping by!