Hello everyone! I want to thank FMB Blog Tours for letting me participate in this tour! Down below you will see my Review of this Heart Gripping Story (I loved it!) and you have a chance to win 1 Free E-Book Copy of this Read, so take a look at this Giveaway! Thank you for stopping by, and hope you have a great weekend :)
Author: Abria Mattina
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Eighteen isn’t too young to run your life into the ground, but it’s not too old to fix it, either. The desire for change drives Willa Kirk from St. John’s, Newfoundland back to her hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario, away from her mistakes and the place where her sister died. She’s looking for a place to settle and rebuild, but Jem Harper just wants to get out of town, back to the life he knew before cancer. By letting the tragedies in their lives define them, they are both dying a little more every day. Welcome to the wake.
I want to say first, that I really enjoyed reading this truly amazing novel, and am glad to have read it!
To me, I saw this story to have messages of self-acceptance, loving yourself (even when you think it's impossible and not an option), and forgiveness. There are so many stirred up emotions, when we first meet Jem Harper and Willa Kirk in a high school classroom, in Smith Falls, Ontario. Jem has recently had a battle of cancer, and is now in recovery mode. Willa was sent to live with her twenty-five year old brother, basically kicked out of her real home, by her parents, to hopefully have a fresh new start, to not continue on a reckless/dark path, she was on the past two years... These two 18 year olds (that happen to share the same birthday!) are set up to be project partners in their social studies class, and at once, there is definitely a sense of distaste between these two; they actually can't stand each other. Is it because of Jem's insistent bad attitude, not just towards Willa, but towards anything else really or is it Willa's take no sh** attitude? Well these two just collide at first. Then, through their mandatory project, they have to now work with each other, and freely trade insults with each other, and sometimes there are hurtful words. Now after a short few weeks, these two have an interesting sort of friendship where they actually...wait...like to spend time together? Could there be more? Other than a possible relationship, there are real life situations that these two have faced, and now they are in a process that perhaps only them together can get through, but can they truly do it together and what lies ahead?...
Honestly, this was a moving story for me. There was just so much going on, and I loved it! What really just turned me on, were the characters. They were seriously written, developed well. Their personalities were sometimes familiar, and they were just believable. I love Jem. He is a young man that has been through so much. He was definitely a realistic character. His sense of humor, and Willa's, meshed pretty well, and at times, I found myself to laugh out loud a few times; the dialogue was just really humorous, and their lines, again, seemed realistic, like what people their age would say. Anyway, we know Jem has battled cancer, and now he is in the remission process, recovery stage, and at this time he feels physically week at times, and reading his POV was just so needed, and helpful, to really understand what he went through, and is going through. In general, I liked how we primarily read his and Willa's POV. At times if I was reading Willa's POV and she was having an intense scene with Jem, then later we would go next to Jem's POV and we actually sometimes go back to that intense scene I was thinking earlier, a scene I would think I need to know what he thought too, and we get to read his thoughts; so you see that at times throughout the story.
Willa, now I really liked her as well. She is someone that lost an older sister to cancer a few years prior, and knows a bit of what Jem goes through. I thought she was nurturing, but a feisty, tough as nails gal, that went through a stage of problems after her sister's passing, and it's very intriguing to read about her past, including a shocking secret that she has not really told anyone, until now. There are other minor characters that just fit so well into this story, including Jem's younger sister that seems to be a huge fan of Harry Potter, which was pretty cool and relatable!
This is a long read, but to me I find this story to be so worth reading! I felt myself just getting into the story, and once you start it, you really will not and cannot stop! I really enjoyed that these two characters sharing their love of music, and you read some pretty good playlists. What I also liked, okay loved, was the writing! There was a great flow, and I just can't wait to read more from this Indie Author; she has true writing talent that can be seen written on the pages. I really look for stories that have that believable aspects to them, and this one had it all over!
Now, I don't want to give too much away, but I dived into this novel, not so sure what to expect, and let me say, the ending, is not, well, not really what I was expecting, and to me, that's a good thing!! This is a story that has some light, humorous, witty type moments, but then there are darker and gritty moments, and you wonder, if there is any possible hope, but what can definitely be seen here, is love, and that was one of my favorite aspects, as read here, love can perhaps be the answer to all wounds/scars, and that to me, is what made this story even more beautiful.
My Rating: 4.7/5
I say R-Rated (Language and some strong Sexual Situations)
Abria Mattina works as Production Manager for the Ottawa Arts Review, an eclectic literary journal. Her work has appeared in Ottawa’s The Fulcrum and Canculture Magazine. Her poem “Circus” was published in volume 5.2 of the Ottawa Arts Review.
Abria holds a Certificate in Publishing from the New York University Summer Publishing Institute and a degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Ottawa. When she isn’t writing she enjoys travelling, eclectic books, blogging, and baking. She lives with her fiance, Daniel.
Her debut novel, Wake, is about the struggle to redefine life after experiencing cancer and caring for an ill loved one.