This book for me was a knock out, an absolute knock out. Well done Amy Harmon for delivering, once again, beautiful writing. She gives us the full Monte; complete characters and a gracefully well developed plot, all wrapped in brilliant writing.
I'm a city girl, born and raised, but I would live in Levan just to be Josie Jo's friend. She reminded me of myself at a younger age. This made Josie's character so relatable. Samuel was my 'dark knight' since the moment we met him. He was the gorgeous boy with a golden heart, bruised by tragedy and anger. We saw his tough exterior crack when he stood up for Josie-Jo. Her smile and growing love for him became the hammer and chisel that eventually set his heart free. Honestly, I had a bit of a crush on Samuel. He was that character that you'd want to stand up for you. It's a signature written into Amy Harmon characters. They have this strong exterior and are somewhat fragile inside while the main protagonist seems slight in form but has the heart of a lion and soul of a saint. I met such characters in another favourite of mine, "Making Faces" also by Amy Harmon. Anyone remembers Fern and Ambrose? It's a good signature to have in writing strong, complete characters.
Ok, back to this lovely book...
After the death of her mother, Jo didn't really have a female figure until she followed the white Cadillac up the hill and heard the music that made her cry. Of course, her Aunt was there but Mrs. Grimaldi breathed life into young Josie. The character of Mrs. Grimaldi was eccentric and passionate which added a bit of colour not only to the small town life of Josie but to the book as well. Josie discovered her gift of music which would be the tool to save her from a destructive path later on.
The plot had an interesting spin on a classic love story. She didn't realize, she had fallen in love and he fell in love but felt it was wrong because of the age difference. That's the ticket! Josie sounds like an older child but met Samuel when she was 13 and he was 18. Also, he was Navajo. Age and culture somehow couldn't keep these two apart. The plot thickens after Samuel graduates and leaves to join the military, he begins to write to her about his experiences. Of course, the letters got less and less until they stopped altogether. It was years later when Samuel came home to visit and ended up helping Josie birth a foal, that, things changed. That was one moment, I felt Samuel was between a rock and a hard place of having to turn her away from him. He saw the heartbreak but knew it wouldn't look right for a twenty something year old man be with a teenager. My mind completely understands but my heart screamed, "No!" and "Who cares?!" on behalf of Josie.
Tragedy struck just before Josie's wedding to Kasey Judd. The morning after graduation Kasey died and left Josie. The third fixture in her life to leave her. Oh, you thought Amy Harmon would stop there? Shortly after, her father had a stroke, on the morning she was packing for college. The point that Jo doesn't leave, everyone else does, was driven home.
Samuel came back when Josie needed it most but didn't expect it.
Josie sank into a black hole and when Samuel came back to find her there, he used the very things she used to help him. He let her realize that it's ok to leave; it's ok to walk away and follow your heart. Of course, their love finally comes forward and Josie is finally set free. I My heart simply melts for both Samuel and Josie who finally were free to love each other and find the beauty of life.
I must say I love Amy Harmon's books. She gives you real love and drama. I give this one
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Brave and honest are two words I will use to describe the author and his book. John Davis decided to be brave and write this memoir. He was very honest about his life. What's more refreshing? At first, I thought I was in for a 'story' in a sense. I quickly realized I was not reading someone's story but I was reading their truth. I was immediately drawn in.
There was no verbal fancy foot work. There were no hidden messages. There was simply John Davis' truth. I liked that he was very vivid in the opening. I was taken back to that frightening night with young John. I could feel the anger and frustration between his parents. I could also feel John's fear. There is one thing that is apparent and that is the descriptive writing in this book was very present. He did just the right amount of describing, not too much where the story gets lost in the words but not too little where you can't visualize what was happening. Although, I would have loved to get more of a physical visual of John while he was growing up. It would have helped in those stand out moments. For example to know how tall he was compared to his father; that would have bolstered the point of how John feared his father regardless of how tall or bulky he got.
The characters not only had roles in the book but John's real life. It is obvious why some were more prominent than others; such as his father and mother. In the early onset of the book we see that John mostly admired his father and that fueled his need to please him. His father wasn't the sit down and talk or play catch type of father. However, he taught John lessons he thought were important the best way he knew how. Giving random bits of advice was one example. But before long he would grow to hate his father. That's when John holds nothing back as he goes into the darker part of things. His mother made me angry. Of all the persons I thought would protect John, would have been his mother. Yet, I could see why she became cold and almost uncaring. After years of abuse and living in fear, it seemed like her maternal instincts switched off although it was still obvious that she loved her boys. Overall she faded in and out for me and I wanted to see more of John's relationship with his mother.
Later on the book, after a hardened John, finally seemed to shrug off the weight of fear. It was brought to light, what I believe to be the actual reason for the book, that he hadn't dealt with his past. His true past hit like a ton of bricks when his mother revealed his true identity and that of his real birth father. Long over due Mom! It seemed like her maternal instincts came back but with a sting. John of course went looking for his father and after a long search, he found him, in the obituaries. I felt my heart break a little for John. But for someone to put their life on paper for the world to see, he was obviously releasing a lot pent up heart break. I applaud him for that. Being united with his blood relatives three months after his birth father dies, it was one hell of a band aid for everyone involved.
I never expected to see a phoenix rising from the ashes when I picked up this book. But I see John Davis. A man who chose to rend his heart and show others, that it's ok to be vulnerable. I lift my hat off to you good sir. I give this one 4 stars.
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2015 was the year I launched this blog and it's one of the best things I've ever done. I've been devouring books ever since I learned to read. My first book I remember reading was Hansel and Gretel. By the time the car pulled into the drive way from the book store, I was asking for another one. Needless to say the love for reading is in my blood as my dad loves to read too. I didn't know that it would lead me here... a book review blog. I'm glad it did.
It seems I am attracted to good books. I couldn't put this one down. I found myself up at 2 am reading Faceless. The title first of all got my attention. I wanted to read it. The opening was an interesting set up for what we would be reading. Big bodied Eli,being bullied and our tiny leading lady Mackenziebecomes his focus. The pace of the book was fast but comfortable; nothing felt undone with the plot.
The characters were supernatural beings whether they were aware of it or not. There wasn't alot of complexity to most of the characters. Eli was the most layered having being the 'tall, handsome and brooding', guy that suddenly showed interest in Mackenzie. He was the one who opened up and showed more of himself. Mackenzie and Nicky were pretty much open books.
The author chose to blend supernatural with the human world. Mackenzie being inexplicably strong when having a 'panic attack' and Nicky being able to see things or have 'feelings', lent the characters to much speculation about their supernatural powers.The book progressed quickly and jumped right into the action. The enemies became friends and protectors. The real enemy remained "Faceless". I guess that was deliberate. What saved this book was that there was some closure. We got reasons why things happened, a sense of who the enemy really was and that things would change. These changes would eventually evolve into something good.
Honestly,the plot was to the point and didn't give a sense of depth. This book was good but seemed more like a 'long short story" if you will.
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I've always been a fan of fantasy. This book is one of the reasons why. The story had me interested from the beginning. Something that I always look for in books.The journey got me excited.It's always great to be taken for a ride that has me sneaking peeks when I really shouldn't. The characters were well developed and the plot was good. Although I could see where things were going after awhile, the introduction of each new characters was like adding a piece of the puzzle. They were added not just to make up the character list but to add to the plot.The characters were truly what added to the twists of a plot that was otherwise straightforward and somewhat predictable.
Hello, I'm Tammy and I love books! I love writing and reading them. I love them so much I just can't stop talking about them.