Review: Withering Hope

Withering Hope
Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The reason I found out about this book is because it used to be on the giveaway list, and you know how that goes. Cover’s nice… let’s apply for it.

After a while, I completely forgot about it, but upon being reminded that it still was somehow on my want-to-read list, I gave it a chance. Honestly, I’m glad I did.

My biggest worry was the probable cheating. I mean, the lass was supposed to get married. Surprisingly, Hagen managed to balance the romance in order to still make her past count, but without hindering the romance.

The romance… Tristan and Aimee have this connection that makes you want to go out and look every person passing by in the eyes to find your soulmate. Their love story is rather vanilla, without any particularly graphic scene, but it’s in the tenderness, the sweetness of their dynamics that the heart of this story lays.

I especially appreciated how they took care of each other, without any damsel-in-distress bullshit. They are faced with the dire conditions of survival in the rainforest and it was interesting to read about all the little tricks they had to come up with in order to live.

On a personal note, I loved Tristan’s story and how his past still plagued him, and had shaped him. Not just the violent, blatantly traumatic part, but also everything he had had to endure after coming back.

If for anything else, you should read this book even just for the epilogue. It was probably the most touching, heart-wrenching epilogue I’ve read this year, or so far… It was anticonventional and refreshing, and it gave that final tug to the ol’ ticker, making the romance even sweeter. Not in that unhealthy, sickingly way, but in the way that leaves you envious of the characters.

Hagen tells the story of their deaths too, many years down the way. When Aimee dies and Tristan dies soon after her, almost at the same time. Their relationship has always been intertwined with a sensation of destiny, and their magic vows in the plane promptly sealed this emotion to their lives. But the epilogue… That is what really stuck with me.

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