Book Review & Giveaway – Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Review & Giveaway – Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Book Review & Giveaway – Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins ReidForever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Atria, Simon & Schuster, Washington Square Press
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Genres: Adult, Romance, Women's Fiction
Narrator: Tara Sands
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
352 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

“Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.


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Book Review:

This book was a beautiful. Forever, Interrupted is a heartwrenching story of love lost too soon but it’s more than that. It’s story about new beginnings, of finding your way when everything seems bleak. I loved this book from the tragic introduction through the hopeful ending.

The blurb on the cover says this book is “not your average love story” and that couldn’t be more true. Usually in romance books,  two people meet each other, fall in love, and live happily ever after. In Forever, Interrupted, only two-thirds of that comes true.  This book is a love story. An intense supernova love story. Ben and Elsie fell in love in a few short weeks. They fell in love and got married and within 6 months before Ben was ripped from Elsie’s life. His time on Earth was cut short by a tragic accident that propelled Elsie into emotional turmoil. She wasn’t the only affected by Ben’s absence. His mother, Susan, who didn’t even know about Elsie’s existence was still nursing the loss of her husband of thirty years when her only son died. Elsie’s friend, Ana. Elsie’s parents.

In Forever, Interrupted, you follow Elsie as she navigates her way through grief. Interwoven through those present chapters are fleeting moments in the past of Elsie and Ben’s momentary yet impactful love story. Reading this book felt like I was in a boat at the mercy of the fickle sea. One moment the sea is calm and serene and the next I was clinging to the sides as the waves crashed around me.

The apartment, the one I have loved since I moved in, the one I considered “ours” when Ben moved in, now betrays me. It hasn’t moved an inch since Ben died. It’s like it doesn’t care…The apartment is acting like nothing has change. Everything has change. I tell the walls he’s gone. “He’s dead. He’s not coming home.”

Elsie and Ben’s chapters were almost too much to bear, knowing how it would end, but I couldn’t help but become attached to them as a couple. I loved all of the simple mundane moments they shared. With her characters, Reid takes real, everyday people and gives the reader a glimpse into their lives. Ben and Elsie’s story didn’t rely on extravagant displays of affection. But instead, their love was found in taco grease and library books, in foot rubs, and back spasms. Their love story was one you could relate to. I could envision myself as Elsie. And it’s that connection that made me feel the loss that much more.

“I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming on too strong with you. Because I don’t mean to overwhelm you. I keep telling myself to cut it out. But then I keep doing it. I’m typically a pretty low-key guy, but I’m just…not low-key about you.”

Elsie’s narrative was painful to read. Her emotional reactions following Ben’s death were honest and something any grieving person would do. Her thoughts and actions were raw and, at times harsh but still whole-heartedly true.

Why me and not them? Why couldn’t that guy have died? Why am I not here right now with Ben looking at a sad woman pacing on the street, on the edge of a nervous breakdown? What right do they have to be happy? Why does everyone in the world have to be happy in front of me?

All I have is this overwhelming sense of dread. That and my anger towards these two little shitheads who wont’ get their smiles out of my fucking face.

If I were to judge Susan at face value, I would have said I didn’t like her. She was unimaginably cruel to her only son’s widow. But I was patient with her character and I could understand that her reactions were shrouded in grief and not unlike some of Elsie’s own reactions. But as I was on Elsie’s side, I wanted to dislike Susan in the beginning.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author everyone needs to keep an eye on. Having read After I Do and now Forever, Interrupted, I can now say with completely certainty that she’s on the small list of authors that I will automatically read anything they write. No questions asked.

Her ability to take the reader from completely wrecked to stupidly giddy is a sign of her gift. Her writing style is distinctive and moving without being over the top or ostentatious. Most of note the way she can make such profoundly heavy statements in so few words. Countless times as I read this book and After I Do, I felt like I had been sucker punched right in my gut just by reading her words. She put simple words together to form one powerful thought, often times on the sadder end of the spectrum.

I look at my face and I think that I had someone who loved this face. And now he’s gone. And now no one loves my face anymore.

I’ve never experienced a loss like Elsie and Susan has and hope I never do. But the way Reid told their story, taking you on their painful journey of grief and devastation, it felt so real. I felt everything Elsie felt following Ben’s death and was left with a sense of hope and renewal.

Read this book.

“I guess I’m worried that we will be so into each other so quickly that we will burn out? Sort of an acute romance, as it were.”
“King of like a supernova?”
“Hmm?”
“It’s some sort of star or explosion that’s so powerful it can emit the same energy that the sun will emit over its entire lifetime, but it does it in, like, two months and then dies.”

4 stars — Favorite of 2014

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid Forever-Interrupted-promo2Forever-Interrupted-promo3

Giveaway

Atria wants to give away one (1) paperback copy of Forever, Interrupted to one of my lucky readers.
Open to U.S. Only.
Enter in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

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