Wednesday, August 19, 2015

These are the Moments - Book Review

I discovered Jenny’s blog via Pinterest about two months before the release of her debut novel, These are the MomentsI wanted to make sure I supported her as an author because I am very interested in the self-publishing/indie author culture, so I even preordered it!

I'm so excited to add this to my collection of self-published titles, and I'm even more excited to add more to the collection. Although, my goal is to develop my career in traditional publishing, I want to support indie authors as much as I can, and maybe even self-publish myself.

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, but I couldn't seem to get my words to sound right. I found These are the Moments to be an impressive debut novel, not only with believable characters and an interesting plot, but also a subtle message that encourages some soul searching.

This is the blurb from the back of the book……

You can't go back.
You can't go back.
You can't go back.

Ten years ago Wendy Lake fell in love with Simon Guidry, who grew up and went away. Now, not much has changed. She's back at home, back from college, almost back to normal. Until Wendy's best friend gets engaged, sending Simon ricocheting back into her life, and leaving Wendy with the questions she's been struggling to ignore.
Do people ever really change?
Do two people, who can never make it work, actually make it right?
And most importantly, does she even want to?

Wendy is at the time of her life where so many life decisions are right in front of her. Her relationships, her career, and her passions are all clawing for her attention. She had thought Simon was in her past but now he's back, and Wendy is forced to come to terms with their history and the future, hers especially.

Jenny did a wonderful job with developing Wendy’s character. Her thoughts and emotions were very real and translated in a way that was relatable. Although it took me a few chapters to get used to the narration format (back and forth between present and past storylines), it was interesting to see how the young Wendy grew and changed into present Wendy.

I had few issues with the book besides some language that I thought was unnecessary although I understand why it was used. I also wondered what Simon's career actually was, as it was only referred to as a business career in the story. But those were really the only questions I had. I really enjoyed the relationship between Wendy and her sister Claudia, as it transitioned from a tense relationship to a supportive and loving one.

I think what made me really like this book, was that it challenged my own typical expectations. When I read books with romance, I’m expecting that the couple will be together in the end, that the problems will be resolved, that there will be a happily ever after. 

Note: The following statements may be considered spoilers. 

However, as I continued to read These are the Moments, I wanted almost the exact opposite. I wanted Wendy to move on from her past, to really discover all that she could be on her own. I really had no idea how the story would end until the very last chapter. While it had a bittersweet feeling, I felt proud of Wendy’s developing independence and decision to move on from her past. I think I sat for a while after finishing the last chapter, just thinking about the conclusion. It wasn't what I was expecting, and it wasn't really a happy ending, but it was a strong ending and I think it was exactly what it needed to be.

I really enjoyed reading These are the Moments and I’m looking forward to Jenny’s second book.

These are the Moments can be ordered at Amazon or Createspace. Writing inspiration and tips, as well as blog posts and publishing updates can be found on Jenny’s website Blots&Plots.