5 Stars…Because an honest and gentle plot is sadly underrated.
This story was a humbling journey, but not just one. It was several little emotional journeys all leading to the same outcome: me in tears.
Not exactly sad tears.
Although they weren’t tears from being overcome by happiness, either.
Nope. This author hits with the power of her words and the unfiltered pictures she creates with them. No sudden deaths, no vicious betrayals…no obvious reasons to cry.
I guess my tears were ones of recognition: of being able to pinpoint the beauty in life throughout such a seemingly basic plot.
But this felt anything but basic, and everything basic — all at once.
I found myself crying for the family members who’ve never been able to express their love for one another — and then suddenly a single, subtle profession feels like one of the most significant things I’ve ever read.
I cried for the friendships that were lost, but never wiped away. Friendships like yours or mine…the ones we may take for granted as we scurry through the hardships of life, never realizing how much of an impact they have until everything else is stripped away.
I cried for the love stories entwined that were so far broken, a small step forward felt like miles worth of victory.
I cried when Thomas smiled only because he’d made his friends laugh. Yeah, the author is that good…I cried because Tom smiled.
And not because I’m an unstable, emotional mess. (Although that excuse is still pending). But this author KNOWS how to create bottomless tragedy and then slowly build it up, offering only tiny crumbs of triumph at a time.
But it’s those little pieces that are everything.
Whether or not you decide to read Saving Francesca before this, I promise that you’ll feel like you’re a part of this story from the start. There’s a bit of confusion at first regarding how the characters all relate, but it all comes together quickly.
Unlike many books I’ve read, this author doesn’t dole out information in a list-like manner just because she’s introducing a plot. We have to work a little. Pay close attention.
Marchetta’s characters have a way of appearing as though they’ve been alive long before opening the book, and that they’ll somehow live on forever. They will draw you in close and they will pull tightly at your heartstrings. They’ll invite you into their lives and really make you feel like family—and that’s what I loved most.
I admit, going on about “crying” is not a conventional way for me to review…but this fact remains: It’s not often I find the *simple things* in life being appreciated and celebrated with such honest and raw conviction. And it’s these types of messages I remember most.
He comes from a broken home. The Mackees can’t be put back together again. There are too many pieces of them missing.
▪ Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
▪ Steam Caliber: Very mild
▪ Romance: Broken but emotional and impactful
▪ Characters: Beyond lovable. Every single one of them.
▪ Plot: Focuses on family, friendships, love, Overcoming and finding happiness and peace.
▪ Writing: Astonishing. One of the best authors I’ve read
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: None. Can be read as standalone, although Saving Francesca precedes this.