If I could give this book 10 stars I would do it without hesitation. This is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. Touching, riveting, adorable, endearing, captivating. A book you can’t put down and draws you in from the start. A true statement to the meaning of love, affection, friendship and true beauty.
I started reading this book when I saw the good ratings it had, and the recommendations from bloggers I follow. I was not disappointed and frankly, I agree with all the high ratings and continuous praises.
I finished the book, and decided it needed a review that would do justice to the feelings that arose in me. So here is my best attempt to do just that.
Fern is just an ordinary girl, a cute, funny and awkward red head living in Hanna Lake, Pennsylvania. Daughter of a Pastor, born late in their marriage, a miracle and a blessing to her parents. She feels ugly, she loves romance novels, she has a big heart, she loves her cousin Bailey, and she’s been in love with Ambrose Young since she was 10 years old. "If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?".
Ambrose Young has everything: good looks, great body, great friends; he is an extraordinary wrestler and a future full of promises awaits him at the end of his senior year, he is Hercules. He knows Fern but never gave a second glimpse at her, he just sees her as the little red head who’s always hanging around the gym with Coach Sheen’s son, Bailey, who is in a wheel chair and happens to be her cousin. Until the day he got to know her inner thoughts and therefore the kind of girl she is, he keeps her on his mind for a very long time. "Everybody who is somebody becomes nobody the moment they fail".
Life decisions are made, tragedy arrives and lots of changes unravel a story of redemption, love and finding the true meaning and the true blessings in life.
I thought this book was brilliant, and beautifully written. I have to say that we don’t have two main characters, nope, we have three because this story wouldn’t be the same, without beautiful Bailey in it. A true statement when I say: Bailey Sheen will forever be in my heart and He will always have a place on my top ten fictional characters list.
I really liked how Amy Harmon mixed, present and past, how the memories and pivotal events in our characters’ lives took place, and the true meaning behind each and every experience they went through. My heart ached for Ambrose, my heart ached for the families that suffered such losses; my heart ached for Fern, for the love and selflessness she always showed to everyone around her. And my heart ached, melted and got overthrown with joy every time I read about Bailey.
Yes, the book made me cry countless times, yes I was crying like a baby near the end, so much that the lines blurred and I stained my e-reader. And yes I was happy with the ending, yes we got our HEA, bittersweet and lovable.
I have to warn you, if you are looking for heat between the sheets, if you expect to read a steamy scene, you’ll be waiting forever. And truth be told I didn’t even notice, I didn’t need it because when you are reading something like this, all is implicit, all is there, and the feelings are what counts…. Don’t get me wrong, I totally would have cheered for sexier scenes between Fern and Ambrose, but… you can’t always get what you want!
I have so much to say about this book but, honestly I can’t do it without giving away the story. Well done Amy and thank you for sharing your thoughts, your knowledge and the joy you seem to carry on in life
."There isn’t heartache if there hasn’t been joy. I wouldn’t feel loss if there hadn’t been love. "."It always amazes me how people are placed in our lives at exactly the right times. That’s how God works, that’s how he takes care of his children.""There is a lot I don’t understand… but not understanding is better than not believing.""True beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade or wash off, takes time. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that makes the stalactite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooth the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would otherwise never exists."