Wow. Just…wow. Definitely recommend!
Within these walls, he became my solace, my sanctuary, and my strength.
Like a white knight, he saved me from a life of gray and showed me a world full of color.
Within these walls, I gave myself to a man who said he would always fight for me and love me until the end of time.
But sometimes, not even love was enough when life got in the way.
When your heart was already damaged beyond repair, what was left to break?
Within these walls, I gave my less than perfect heart to the man I loved.
And then… he walked away.
So I read the blurb, thought, sure, I’ll give it a try…it’s probably going to go overboard on the angst, though…
Oh. My. Gosh. I loved this book. Jude and Lailah’s romance is just so sweet. And intense. And filled with chocolate pudding (I loved those scenes, but I kept thinking, those can’t possibly be on her diet! It was a total, “Ha! I knew it!” moment when her mother Molly made the same observation.) Their romance was wonderful…except when it wasn’t.
From the very first page, you know it’s going to go wrong–it’s a romance, after all, you’ve gotta have the black moment; plus, the prologue actually tells you so–but honestly, it’s all so wonderful for about two-thirds of the book watching them come together that it’s hard to imagine. I looked back at that first page at least a half a dozen times, thinking no, he can’t possibly leave her! He wouldn’t! He couldn’t! and knowing it was coming kept me turning the pages like an obsessed person.
Good thing I didn’t have anything pressing to do today. I would have been no good for it. All my attention was on Lailah and Jude.
Lailah’s problem is explained in the blurb–she has a defective heart, and has spent more time in the hospital than at her own home. She gets some emotional relief from journaling, but essentially her life is a lonely one within a very small, contained sphere. She’s started a list in one of her composition books–a “Someday” list of all the things she’d like to do…someday. She doesn’t really have a ton of hope that she’ll even get to do half of them, though–not without a miracle. For the most part, those items are so commonplace that they’re heartbreaking.
5. Stand in line for something.
23. Go grocery shopping.
30. Go to the library.
41. Buy my mom a birthday present.
91. Make a sandcastle.
106. Burn an entire batch of cookies.
129. See a waterfall.
The blurb only hints at the fact that Jude too has some major baggage to deal with. He once was on top of the world (or was he? There’s some serious layers there) and lost it almost overnight. He’s been stuck in a loop of pain and sorrow ever since, removed from the world and virtually all human interaction. Lailah saves him just as much as he saves her.
She gets to cross off #131 🙂
And it’s so good. Did I mention that already? 😉
I will definitely be reading more from J.L. Berg!
Rating: 5 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
A portion of the sales during the first week of release will go to a children’s heart charity.
About J.L. Berg
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.