Review: Just One Thing by Holly Jacobs

20140612-122043-44443951.jpg Loss is powerful. So powerful that sometimes people lose themselves because they are so distraught from the grief of losing someone else. In Just One Thing, Lexie didn’t function as her normal self anymore. She created a shell of a person in order to get through her days. Bartender Sam did the same thing.

And because they couldn’t crack their shells, to all at once release their authentic selves, they did it one thing at a time. Lexie and Sam exchanged one statement, one feeling, one story each week, until they formed a friendship– a real, honest, trusting friendship.

I loved hearing their “one things.” It’s rough to climb out of grief. It’s painful to trust someone again. Telling a friend one thing and being able to hold back the rest makes the climbing easier. It makes telling the NEXT thing easier. I totally sympathized with Lexie’s loss and grief and feeling of emptiness. And I knew she’d feel fulfilled again once she shed her shell.

I read for fun, you know, so I appreciated the wit, the poignancy, and the romance in Just One Thing. The story was about lifting up, healing, overcoming.

Lexie and Sam’s love story may have started out slowly and reluctantly, but when they healed enough to open up fully, they loved deeply and joyfully. Sigh. Dreamy, right? The whole book is dreamy. Deep and joyful love… that’s a happily-ever-after all day long.

-Calliope

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Review: Huckleberry Summer by Jennifer Beckstrand

20140612-125512-46512637.jpg Aahhh, young love! The tension, the fun, the sighing when you re-live a good date, the well-intentioned interference of the matchmaking grandparents…. Yeah.

Anna and Felty were successful in the match of their grandson Moses, and now they’ve moved on to shy Lily and brazen Aden. Beckstrand totally cracked me up with Lily blushing all the time, Aden the bad boy trying to be good, Felty and Anna bantering and giving sidelong glances. She writes likeable characters and strong dialogue. The story is meaty enough to sink into, but easy enough that I could read without working at it.

Aden and Lily’s love story was charming and believable. I liked how Aden kept persisting, even when Lily’s dad rejected him over and over again. The best part was when Lily used the strength of Aden’s love for her to stand up for herself. Brava, Lily!

I’ve fallen in love with these contemporary Amish young adults and their search for fun, friendship, and godly love. Bring on Book Three!

-Calliope

Read my review of book one, Huckleberry Hill.

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