Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Lynetta Halat's 'Every Rose' + Giveaway

Every Rose by Lynetta Halat
Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 5/5 Stars


 Reader Beware: If you're not OK with having your guts ripped out and are not a bit of a masochist when it comes to reading, this may not be the book for you. If you're open-minded and willing to have a life-changing experience even if you have to go through the wringer emotionally, this is definitely the book for you.

What do you do when you realize you were foolish enough to throw away true, unconditional love?

Lorraina Dabney turns her back on her creativity and tumultuous upbringing to embark on a college career that will lead her to law school and to becoming what she values most in life—a controlled, powerful, respected woman. When she stumbles upon her childhood friend's artwork, she feels inspired to reconnect with him and her former self. This onslaught of emotion will send Lorraina in a tale-spin to figure out exactly why she abandoned all that she was, all that she could've been.

Coming from his own chaotic upbringing, Michael falls quickly and deeply in love with Lorraina at a tender age. Even her rejection can't stand in the way of his obsession. When she starts to date other boys, however, Michael finally relents, causing him to spiral further into a world filled with violence, drugs, alcohol, and women. Realizing this lifestyle will only lead to his further estrangement from Lorraina, Michael sets about to turn himself around before going to get his girl.

Michael Bang will have Lorraina questioning everything.

My Review:

This book somehow managed to both destroy me and rebuild me. It took me on tumultuous ups and downs, but I loved every minute of it. This book truly touched me in a way few have. It's one of those books that makes you think about and reevaluate your life. The characters are amazing and the story is well told and emotionally wrenching. I couldn't put this book down and just as the synopsis suggests I feel a bit like a masochist because of it.

This is the story of Lorraina and Michael. Lorraina comes from a rough upbringing with her image-obsessed family and her drunk stepfather. She became numb at a fairly young age and turned into someone she can barely recognize anymore. Then there's Michael who also had a tough childhood. He and Lorraina have been close since a very young age and he has pretty much always been in love with her. She rejected him romantically and he never really got over it heading down his own road of self-destruction. Lorraina reaches a point in her life when she begins to re-evaluate everything in her life and decides to try and reclaim what she has lost of herself. They work on finding their way back to one another and who they once were. I won't go any further than that so as not to spoil the story.

The writing in this book was beautiful. Lynetta Halat has a way with words, and dialogue in particular. Nothing makes me sadder than a story with potential told in weak, poorly chosen words and on the other hand nothing makes me happier than that great story told with carefully chosen, well crafted words. Halat definitely falls into the latter category. The dialogue between Michael and Lorraina is so real and sweet. The pacing of this book is also perfection. I hate a book that is oddly paced, which ultimately leads to either poor character development or poor plot development. This book suffered from neither of those afflictions.

The story is told from Lorraina's point of view and flip flops through time. You're reading and learning about her past as you go along with her present. This is tricky to pull off because if the two time periods don't align properly emotionally you have a big old mess on your hands. In this case they lined up perfectly. I felt like I learned everything about both Lorraina and Michael that I needed to know and when I needed to know it. I think it is also part of the reason I couldn't put this book down. I craved learning more about the two in their pasts and knowing what would happen between them in the present. Both time periods are equally captivating.

This is ultimately a story of finding oneself and growing into the person you were always meant to be. It's both inspiring and heartbreaking, but more than anything it is real and true. This is the sort of story that will stick with you and keep you thinking about both the book and your own life in regards to the book long after you put it down. It is one of my top picks from 2013 and an absolute must read. It might break you into little pieces, but it is well worth it.


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