saw past my record or the color of my skin. Who ever saw me for me.
find my own path.
This book gutted me and let me tell you, there aren’t many authors who I let myself be tortured by like that. If the style hadn’t been flawless and if I didn’t know things would be okay in the end, I would have jumped ship. Because this book hurt. It hurts because it’s real. Because even when you want to throttle the characters for their choices, you realize that you would have done made the same ones, had you been in their shoes.
Layla’s character goes through a deep transformation in this second instalment and the portrayal of such metamorphosis was exceptionally well done. It was gradual and it happened to a molecular level, small and big traumas accumulating and changing her, until she was almost unrecognizable.
On the other hand we have Nico, this man who makes me so proud I feel like I’m his momma or something… although I’d tap fine ass ten ways from Sundays… so maybe momma is not exactly the best relationships example. Aaaanyway, I’m digressing. Nico is such a mature character and in this book we see him fight for his dream, but also for his girl. What I love the most about him is how, even in his time apart from Layla, he always thinks of her as his one and only. Being in his head, I had no doubts they would end up together. The separation seemed almost non-consequential because the feelings they have for each other are so strong, they literally cannot stay away from each other.
My girl. It’s a little crazy how fast I slide into thinking that way again, but I can’t help it. I have a feeling that no matter how long it’s been, whether we’re twenty or eighty, Layla’s always going to be my girl.
Saudade, the Portuguese word that means, in a very simplistic translation, nostalgia, is the perfect representation of what they are feelings. With how things are currently in my own personal life, having left family, friends and a life behind me to start fresh, it’s a theme that resonated quite loudly. I could relate to Nico because of this. You are never completely whole again, and you know you are the only responsible for the separation. You are doing what is best for you, for your future, but it’s mostly selfish and the sacrifices aren’t just the ones you make, but also the ones those who love you are forced to make. I could understand his action and agreed with them, but nonetheless his pain reverberated through me.
When I first realized that this book was going to be mostly about their time apart, I could sense a lot of heartache. I usually do not appreciate it when there are not many scenes with the two characters together, but in this case the author found clever ways to still have them around each other.
If you have a woman like Layla, you don’t work on the one fuckin’ night of the year you’re supposed to show her you love her. You buy her every fuckin’ rose in Manhattan. You take her out for a night on the town. You never stop kissing her because her mouth tastes better than water. It feels better than air.
My favorite scene of all was undoubtedly Thanksgiving. I loved the whole atmosphere, the carefree spirits, and how Nico and Layla basically outed themselves as a couple in front of his whole family. Right there and then, I felt like I could see their future, wrapped in the golden halo of unconditional love, family, warmth.
I don’t want to spoil the twists and turns of the plot. I’ll only say that this book touches a very important issue that today is more current than ever and will find many readers able to relate to it, unfortunately.
I now look forward to the last book in this series. The ending made my heart soar and I could not contain my happiness because I have a hunch book three will be the perfect conclusion.
Springsteen fanatic, hopeless romantic, and complete and total bookworm. When
not writing or teaching about writing, she is hanging out with her family,
playing soccer with the rest of the thirty-plus crowd in Seattle, or going on
dates with her husband. In her spare time, she likes to go running with her dog,
Greta, or practice the piano, but never seems to do either one of these things
as much as she should.