**Thanks for the ARC, P.S. Literary!**
When twenty-something Elsie and Ben elope after six months, they can't imagine slowing down their intense love, but the ink isn't dry on the marriage certificate when Ben dies.
This book. Just this book.
Story time! (Please don't tell me you thought--just ssh.)
Back when the official summary was released, I went over and read it. As a writer of fantasy, the word 'forever' catches your eye wherever it's used.
The summary? It made me cry.
I felt stupid, naturally but I quickly threw the book into my TBR. Even if I didn't read adult and not much contemp.
And I wasn't big on the whole girly friendship shiz either. I'm not some special snowflake on feeling iffy about reading some shallow girl recovery with some stupid alcoholic drinks and strippers.
I love Sex and the City but not everyone can write female friendships without making the women mindless tramps.
This book just--okay, so I saw the cover and we know me. We know how picky I am. We know how merciless I can be, slamming the art basics into people's faces. (Okay, maybe I don't do that, but still.)
This cover just...It's perfect. Just adorable the way the title curls around the rings (one ring cracked if you look closely.)
It's a soft blue with mustard gold rings.
Just pretty and wonderful.
More points for the book. But still, I was cautious. Books and movies and all sorts of artsy stuff can be hit and miss.
Especially me. I don't know what it is but I will put a book down no matter how far I'm into it. One wrong word, one banana peel and I toss the book over my shoulder.
I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to read a good romance novel with a realistic happy ending. (Not to bash the romance peeps--because I have a ton of romances I love--what are the chances I fall in love with a twenty-something doctor billionaire who has land on the moon and a knack for the sack? Mm. I don't do math well enough to know.)
So this could be the one. I'm not for romance-centered plots. I don't always enjoy them and grieving I know. Tragedy and death and that stuff I write and watch and sometimes, as every human does, I experience.
Still, I waited. I checked out the author, the wonderful Taylor Jenkins Reid on Twitter. I looked at the release date of her debut a few times, thought of the publisher as if I could figure out what to expect.
I went back to regular life. UNTIL the amazing happened.
It's one of those moments. Right place, right time. P.S. Literary offered to giveaway ARCs to the first five (or something close to that) tweeters who knew what date Forever came out and through which publisher.
I checked quickly, tweeted, and I was almost sure I was too late. Deflated, I reminded myself that come July (which was an eternity away) would come soon enough and my birthday was before that.
I could cash in the birthday for a brand new book. (BOOKS.)
But then P.S. was like, "GIVE ME YOUR INFO." And I died. I screamed, I flailed, I reported in, I worried, I watched, I waited.
The day it came in, I realize I was terrified of losing this ARC. As if losing it would unravel this country.
Did I mention? First real world ARC!
I danced with my book, serenaded with it, spoke sweet things to it, then I cracked it open and cried down my shirt.
I hate to admit it, but it's true. I cried so hard, so much in the first few chapters IN FRONT OF WINDOWS.
I'm sure the neighbors thought I was high. I'd be cackling one moment then crying "no" the next.
Reid has this amazing grip on readers. She controls when and what you feel but you're never anything other than with Elsie.
And for those of you who haven't lost anyone in any way (vampires,) this is exactly what happens when you lose someone.
Her storytelling is so intimate, so raw that if you have experienced grief, it almost feels like betrayal.
She gives away what goes through our heads, what we feel, how we act and the fact that as we grieve, we *know* what we're doing.
I know, I know.
And I'm sure some of you want to step away from this intensity but I beg to differ. As a society, we fluff up grief in our entertainment so that when grief happens in real life, we don't know how to handle it.
But death happens every day, to everyone. Not in the same day, but you get it.
And, as Forever, Interrupted reminds us, we survive.
I loved this book so much. I may have spammed everyone related to the book. (Sorry! I swear I'm the harmless kind of weird.)
The friendship was just so real and so...ugh. It's crazy but I wanted the fluff. I could hear and feel what happened as if it was real life.
So awesome. I love the ending. I truly do.
This is Taylor Jenkins Reid's first novel and I'm dying for her next. You will be too.
Out of five stars, I give her seven.
Forever, Interrupted comes out July 9, 2013 from Washington Square Press (Simon & Schuster.)