Rating: 4 stars out of 5:
“Don’t look elsewhere; look to what you have. And what we have is each other. Always. I know we live our lives as individuals. I can look out into the world and see that. I’m not an idiot. But I also know that thirteen billion years ago, there was no ‘we.’ There was only an ‘I.’ Everything that exists now existed then. Everyone who exists now existed then. There is only one of us. And that, Brendan, is not New Age bullshit. That’s physics. To our detriment, we emphasize our individual spirits and journeys over our collective spirit and journey. We teach our children that life is a process of learning, but if we’ve been around since the beginning of time, what could there possibly be left to learn? We only need to remember what we already know. Our struggles are not born of ignorance, but of forgetfulness. If you want to attract love, the first step is to embrace the idea that we are all connected to each other.”
An unfortunate injury sends him back home where he meets Brendan, a law student with a flare. A skip on the record brings them back together, and be it auras or sparks, something keeps them together. It makes no sense, but within days they form an irreplaceable bond, one that will never break, not even when time stretches and lives come and go.
The question is, how do you measure the success of your life? Is it the number of home runs you hit or how many bases you steal? Or is it the lives you touch and the people who love you?
Before I go into my review, I want to note that I read this without reading The Nothingness of Ben or The Return first. Many people highly encourage doing so, but I took the dive and decided to try it without them. Do I think my experience suffered from it? Perhaps. I think there were nuances I likely missed, and that the last part with Trent and Brendan would’ve been more emotional for me had I been through the other books and experienced it there. Still, I enjoyed the book.
When I’m reading, I save page numbers for quotes. I can usually tell how much I liked a story by the number of quotes, and I’ll just say that this one has quite a few.
At first, I was hesitant. The beginning was a bit lackluster for me, including a slip-up in which the author named one of the characters before he actually introduced himself. It took me a while to actually buy into them, but once I did, I flew through the reading.
It’s important in a romance to have the main characters stand out, but I also love a good cast of side characters, and this was chalk full. The author did a brilliant job of weaving the life into their stories and making me care. I fell in love with Bill Walsh, Quincy, and of course Stanton and Hutch.
I will say that if you haven’t been spoiled as to the a particular theme of the book reincarnation, the chapter before the last one will be a bit of a shock to you. Hints are dropped throughout the story, but I’m not entirely sure I would’ve caught it as much if I hadn’t been spoiled previously. It’s sad on its own, but hopeful when you know the underlying story.
I’m very excited to read the other two books now and then maybe come back to read this again and find the little things I missed. Overall an enjoyable read that had a lot of heart.
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond. On the note of the cover, Paul Richmond did a great job of capturing an image that I think speaks to the story. There’s significance to the number 8 and it’s vague enough to let the reader have some imagination, while still capturing one of the characters.
ebook, 230 pages
Published September 29th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163216227X (ISBN13: 9781632162274)