Monday, November 04, 2013

Living Again - Book Tour (V)


Kayley Carson thought she had it all--married to the love of her life, a great job, and a baby on the way. Then one day, her life changes forever when she loses her husband in a tragic accident. No longer sure how to navigate life after her enormous loss, Kayley clings to her newborn baby, her family, and her friends to keep herself living.

When she meets someone that challenges her belief that she's better off alone, she has to decide if she is capable of letting him in after swearing she was never going to love anyone the same way again.

She's not the only one with a painful past. He is struggling with trust issues after a previous relationship went horribly wrong. After a terrible misunderstanding brings out both of their insecurities, will the painful memories of the past keep them both from living again?"

Review—Living Again by LL Collins

Normally I would quote throughout my review with parts of the book, but for some reason I just can’t do that with this one.  This book is so emotional, the quotes aren’t needed.  I am going to do my very best to convey what I felt about it…not just what I thought.  Thoughts aren’t enough, this is a book that pulls on every emotion, and every feeling there is to be had.

First, Kayley Lynn Carson is probably the strongest woman ever.  Facing tragedy at such young age, something so devastating it’s amazing that she could carry on.  I cried so hard as I read the first part of this book, knowing that if it were me…I just can’t.  Wow.   Putting myself in Kayley’s shoes brought so many gut-wrenching emotions out of me.  I don’t know how anyone deals with the pain of loss, or continues to live knowing that part of that person depends on them; stares them in the face daily.  A constant reminder of what was lost, ugh, my heart.  Shattered.

And then for a year afterward, having an everyday underlying fear of the what-ifs.  No. Just no.  It’s too hard. 

As you can see, I struggled with this book.  I struggled because the thought of having to function, to remain strong, to continue to move forward when everything I’ve known has been ripped away from me and then the ghosts of that life haunt me daily.  His pillow, shoes, clothes in the closet, his toothbrush, the pictures on the walls…my child’s face.  Even now, I am sobbing as I write this review; this book just felt that real.
I will say this, it’s not all tragic and sad.  No, that is just the beginning; that part that jolts your very core.  It evolves from there.  The timeline of the story flows beautifully as does the relationship forged, and sealed.  This book is all about the journey.  The journey to find peace, love, and the happiness every person deserves.  It’s about family and friends.  It’s about putting the pieces back together when your entire world falls apart.  It was phenomenal. 

I can’t really express any more of how this book affected me.  Reading about life and death of your soul mate, watching your child(ren) grow, falling in love with another and the guilt felt because there are just so many unanswered questions in a sudden death of a loved one; the main one being:  is this really okay?  Is it?  I mean, how can one truly explain matters of the heart to your head?  Constant turmoil, which is the best way to describe Kayley.  Not knowing if moving forward can happen because she can’t possibly believe that true love can happen more than once…but Ben Nichols.  He is convinced that the reason it never worked with anyone else is because Kayley was meant to be his forever.

See what I did there?  I just jumped right back into my feelings about this book and then out again to explain a relationship that really can only be described as fate.  Alex was Kayley’s first love, her best friend, her everything.  When the life they shared is shattered and she is forced to pick up the pieces, meeting someone new and having a life of love and happiness is the furthest from her mind.  Meeting Ben and his persistence (along with some really great friends) turn Kayley’s life from one of just motions, to actually living again.  It really did feel like Ben was a gift, a gift from heaven. 

I loved it.

**5 More Than Just Breathing Stars**

Author Bio:
LL Collins is a 30-something teacher from Florida. She's a wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend. Her love of writing has found a home in the self-publishing world. Look for her debut novel, Living Again, coming October 4th to eBook and paperback, and her second novel, Reaching Rachel, in January 2014. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out and start writing and try to make her lifelong dreams of becoming an author come true. She has been a teacher for over ten years, a wife for 14, and a mom to two boys, 11 and 9.

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