My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Truly adored this story! Poughkeepsie takes us on a rocky, inspiring journey of faith where characters struggle to overcome personal demons brought on by damaging childhoods and social injustices. As delicate as this story seems, there are surprisingly many laugh-out-loud moments—courtesy of its very quirky, tormented, but lovable characters.
Livia is a student who boards a train each morning where she sees Blake—a beautiful, mysterious homeless man to whom she offers an honest smile daily. She doesn’t know it, but Blake counts her smiles and dreams of someday deserving them. Words remain unspoken between the two until the day Livia decides to defend Blake’s honor from a group of taunting teens…and then bringing Blake happiness becomes all Livia can think about.
I loved the somber, yet uplifting messages provided by this story. How being born into an unfortunate circumstance may bend you, but doesn’t have to break you. How “homeless” may be your current status but doesn’t define you. With the amount of emotional weakness presented through this story, I felt nothing but an intense strength protruding from its pages at almost all times.
The gorgeous imagery and symbolism, as well as the deep spiritual element woven into this story added a unique depth. Many secondary characters take center stage, and the way the author maintains this story’s charm is impressive.
The only issue I came across: Some of the ending’s occurrences seemed a bit over-the-top. I don’t mind outrageous happenings in fiction, as long as they blend well with the story’s overall tone. Nevertheless, the unbreakable bond between brothers, and the love strong enough to conquer all made me embrace this wonderful story from beginning to end!
“Livia, you make the rest of the beautiful things in the world cry for even trying. You make it hard for me to breathe.”
▪ Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Very steamy
▪ Romance: Sweet and slow-building.
▪ Characters: Original, lovable.
▪ Plot: Centers on overcoming life’s obstacles.
▪ Writing: Witty, humorous, emotional.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: None
▪ Next Installment: Character spinoff