Monday, October 28, 2013

Let Love Heal - Release Day Launch and Review (V)

Perfection. We all strive for it, but what happens when the desire to be perfect consumes you? What happens when the need to bury your mistakes blinds you? 

Melanie Crane has always been the perfect daughter, friend, student – she’s been perfect at everything, in fact. But when she lets her insecurities, the ones that she keeps hidden from everyone, get the best of her, she falters in her pursuit of perfection. Melanie crumples under the pressure and buries her pain. Numbed by sadness and guilt, she is determined never to let anyone find out how broken she really is.

Bryan Mahoney may appear to have everything in order. He’s charming, witty and completely swoon-worthy. In short, Bryan has life all figured out, but appearances can be deceiving. When the landscape of Bryan’s family changes in an instant, he’s left to pick up the pieces. Not all bruises leave a mark. 

Now, weary and afraid, Melanie and Bryan must find a way to let love heal their broken and jaded hearts.

Review—Let Love Heal by Melissa Collins

The road to self-discovery is often a hard one; one that can only be traveled alone.  Melanie Crane has come to that point in her life where hiding behind the fa├žade she created long ago is no longer working.  Her insecurities are getting the best of her and could possibly ruin her life before it even truly gets started.

“I just don’t get it, Melanie.  I don’t understand why you don’t believe me.  I’ve told you that I like you, that I want to get to know you better.  I’ve done nothing but be patient with you and try to prove to you that I’m a decent guy.  Hell, I’ve moved around my entire schedule, even changed a few classes that I didn’t need so that I could be at work while you’re there and you…”

Bryan is that guy.  He’s the hot geek we all love.  Working in the computer lab at the University, he never thought the girl of his dreams would answer his ad for help…within ten minutes of it even being posted.  What starts out as clumsy conversation, turns into all out flirting and Bryan works very hard to let Melanie know that he wants her.  Only thing is, she is so self-conscious that disbelief colors her decision to give them a shot.  Bryan now has to prove to Melanie that he is truly into her, by showing her.  Words aren’t enough when the girl you’re trying to get doesn’t understand how she is the one you want.

“You’re not like the other girls that you think every guy wants.  You’re a breath of fresh air.”

And so it begins…

Watching events unfold in both past and present from just Mel’s point of view was different than the previous books in this series.  It was almost like the quote, “a breath of fresh air” in that you only got what Bryan was feeling when he actually engaged in conversation.  I liked the change of pace for Collins in this story and even though you only get one side, it was fantastic and I have no questions as to what Bryan was feeling.  He’s an open book. 

Finding out about Melanie’s past was a hard one for me.  She didn’t grow up in a broken home or have a family that didn’t care about her.  I loved how her insecurities were all her own and never fueled by those around her.  That is how I perceived this story as more about self-discovery than love.  Sure, love is a HUGE factor…but its self-love, and the love of family and friends to help one realize how good life really is.

“I’ve been so open and loving to all of the important people in my life – my mom, Maddy and even Reid in a weird brother-sister kind of way.  I’m always there whenever anyone else needs me, but it’s possible that I’ve left out one very important person – me.”

When Melanie finally lets her guilt win out, she confesses and lets the chips fall where they may…knowing Bryan’s side of the story as to his distance while they were apart just proves that she needs to work on herself before she can truly let anyone else in.  It takes harsh words and loneliness to finally help Melanie grow into the woman she was meant to be.  In that time, Mel can only hope that Bryan will one day see the changes and want to be a part of her life again.

“As the sun is shining a bit more often, I wonder if it’s time for me to change too.  Regardless of whether or not my future holds a chance with Bryan, like he said, I need to fix me for me.  And if this newer and better version of Melanie has even a sliver of hope to get Bryan back, then that’ll just be the icing on the cake.  This transformation isn’t going to happen overnight; of that much I’m sure.  Scary though it may be, it’s a change that I know will be for the better.”
“I’ve compared myself to other people for too long.  But I’m not them; I’m me….Now, I just have to figure out who me is.”

Self-discovery and growth is probably the hardest part of becoming an adult.  There are so many ways for one to lose themselves in even just everyday tasks and relationships.  One sometimes cannot even separate who they are when asked.  Who am I?  Some people never know and coast through life just as Melanie had…living to please everyone, be everything to everyone, love everyone…and along the way, she forgot to love herself.  I loved Mel’s story.  I loved how it began, how it progressed and how it continues (because it’s not over).  The emotion put forth from both Melanie and Bryan (as well as all of the others we have grown to love through this series) was not the traditional angst I felt in the first two.  This was deeper somehow.  Sure, there is a love story but the way it was achieved held so much more maturity than what I’m used to.  It wasn’t a typical “whirlwind romance” that blew up from the beginning and fizzled out only to be reignited later…no, this is about an imperfect girl striving to be perfect only to realize that by just being her (flaws and all) IS perfect for someone.  But mostly, this book proves that it’s okay to different and that there is truly someone for everyone.  I cannot wait to see what happens in the future.

“I can’t say that I’m perfect; God knows I’m far from it, but I’m finally okay with that.  I’m so lucky to have you in my life because you taught me how to love myself.”

**5 Perfectly Imperfect Stars**

I’ve always been an avid reader. Majoring in English Literature was a no brainer. Becoming a teacher and instilling my love for reading into my students was also a no brainer. I’ve spent the last ten years teaching and I’ve loved (mostly) every minute of it. When I was home on maternity leave for my third son, I discovered a new genre that sparked my creativity. My passion for writing sprang from my love of reading and once I knew I had a story to tell, I couldn’t wait to get it out there. I only hope that my readers enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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