Author: Rachel Choker
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Zondervan (Feb. 14, 2012)
Source: ARC copy from Netgalley
Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic
My Rating: 4 Stars
Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.
Rachel Coker's debut novel Interrupted was such an endearing read.
I couldn't help but feel sorry for Allie. From an early age she had a lot of responsibility on her little shoulder's, taking care of a very sick mother. My heart went out to her for all of her struggles and heartbreak.
But while I understood the way she was, so aloof and hardened I couldn't help wanting to be sad for her too, not because of what she was going through, but because of what she couldn't see that was right in front of her the whole time.
For the things that she was missing and for hardening her heart against being loved and loving someone else.
I love that this book was set during the era of WWII, I love reading stories set in this time period.
And while I know that the time period wasn't all full of romance and love (I mean there was a very real and very horrible war going on with lots of people dying every day) I can't help but think of handsome young men in their uniforms and women in pretty dresses falling in love. When men were gentlemen and women were ladies. There is just something fascinating about the time period that never ceases to amaze me so I really did enjoy the novel taking place between the years 1939 and 1945.
Allie really was a great character. She was downright mean at times but there was always that underlying edge to her that made you wonder what was underneath all that harshness. At times her soft and caring side came through just a little bit. Just enough to let you know that she wasn't completely hardened and completely lost.
Sam was a great character. I love how strong and steady he was for Allie. Always being there and taking her crap like he did and loving her all the more for it. He truly was the best thing for her.
Beatrice and Irene were such great secondary characters. I love how much they cared and loved Allie. How they never left her side and never gave up on her even though it literally took years for her to finally see what was right in front of her the whole time.
I loved the simple undertones of faith and love in this novel. That doesn't always work in stories, sometimes it can come off as preachy and overbearing and I really didn't find myself thinking that was at all about that in this book. I liked how Allie's faith and new found religion helped her grow and become stronger and happier.
I like in the end the person that she became.
Overall I think this was a great story about growing up and becoming a better person, how ever you find it along the way.