I wasn’t sure for a while how to review this book, and that’s why I waited so long after receiving it, and reading it to review it. I am not sure whether any of my fellow book reviewers can relate to this, but sometimes when I read a book, I need time in which to come to terms with what I have just read in which to really gain an understanding of how to review the book. Don’t get me wrong, I knew how I ultimately felt and reacted to the book, and yet I wasn’t sure what stance my review should take. However, after a month or so I felt ready to get the review onto ‘mylittlebookblog,’ so here it is! Hope you enjoy!
Love to the chords of a classic jazz band…
From the first time Lorraine, a plucky and competitive girl, contends on the playground against Isaiah, an impish boy whose smile gleams in more ways than one, the two of them can’t help knowing each other. Neither can avoid the passions and misfortunes lining the path to young adulthood, and when the break-up of Isaiah’s family disrupts the haven he’s shared with Lorraine, their natural relationship is eventually threatened by jealousy, grave trauma, and abandonment. As one year follows another, and another, what might it take to reunite these two companions in love: love undeniably real and unbounded by time? Oh, the hopelessness of a first romance! Two characters, young and innocent, destined to be together forever. The book chronicles the romance of the two characters, Isaiah and Lorraine who appear to be perfect for each other with an attraction that is almost instant. Although they share so many firsts, their first kiss, their first valentines, their first dance, Isaiah suddenly leaves for a new life with his father. The two lose touch and Isaiah falls for another. Lorraine is devastated by the information, knowing that she cannot and will not love another, but she pushes on and puts the heartbreak behind her. Skip forward in time and the two cross paths; where are each of them in their lives? Can they become friends again? Will love grow between the two? Read the book to find out! (No spoilers here!)
A strength of the book is the way the story is told; by accounting the relationship through the years the two main characters have known each other, allows for a extensive description of the relationship that both are involved in. Following them through the years is an interesting way of describing a romance and it really allows the author to delve into the relationship between the two. However, at times I did find myself getting lost as the author jumped between different periods in time, which was at times frustrating. Additionally the author flits between first and third person, and distinguishes this by labelling the chapters, ‘she’ and ‘me.’ I must admit, that as a reader I am really not a fan of this and I find that it distracts the reader and leads to a disjointed story. This was mostly seen in the way the writing was a lot more convincing during the first person chapters, and for me as a reader, I wish that it had been stuck too in all of the chapters. A real strength of the book however is seen in the use of the words used to describe the romance; the way that Keels manipulates words is flawless, and through this she manages to play with the readers emotions. At times the writing is almost poetic which really held my attention and pushed me to forget the problems I was having with the swapping of tenses. One thing that I found difficult was how ‘perfect’ the book was; when I’m reading a romance I want pain and misery and found this book a little, over-sweet. I understand the premise discussed, that being, there is only one for the other. However for me this was a little syrupy and I found myself feeling dissatisfied with the plot line. Saying that, this is a personal view of mine and many reviews have praised the book for this, meaning it will be dependant on your ‘wants’ from a romance novel. Another strength is seen in Keels’s ability to build up characters; Lorraine is delightfully written, she is competitive and spirited whilst also kindly and compassionate, which makes her likeable and easy to relate to and these characteristics are equally balanced with Isaiah’s. This is also notably a Christian romance and there are links to religion along the way, which are cleverly woven into the plot and do not overpower the storyline.
Overall this is a book about a childhood romance that will span a lifetime. With a strong understanding of prose and emotion the author really captivates the reader and describes the beauty of true love. For me it was a little perfect and therefore I found it a little tiring by the end, however the description and the understanding of how to play with the readers emotions is brilliant played.