Author: Alice Hoffman
Published: November 1st 2016
Length: 272 pages
Source: Received for review from Netgalley
I’ve been really into contemporary fiction lately so I thought I’d try an adult contemporary! First of all, the cover of this book is sooo pretty! I was thinking about summing up the synopsis in my own words but I honestly don’t feel like I would’ve done it justice so, here’s the synopsis: ( from Netgalley)
‘Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.’
Reading through this summary I immediately knew this wasn’t going to be a light read, but I was also interested in seeing where this story would go. I feel like as a reader I’m over the unrealistic/unrelatable happy endings, that to be honest don’t really satisfy me as a reader. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the books I read are a work of fiction and one of my favourite genres is Fantasy but at the same time, I need to be able to relate and understand the plot and the ending for me to be fully satisfied with the book. ( okay I see a discussion post in the making!)
I loved this book, I’ll admit I didn’t finish it in one sitting and wasn’t rushing to the ending but I feel like this is one of those books you need to take in slowly… If that makes any sense at all :D.
Our main character Shelby is unlike any other character I’ve read about before, that’s what interested me the most. I’ve never been in this position before ( and God forbid I ever will be) but at the same time I really understood her perspective, understood the way she reacted to the accident.
She didn’t wallow in self-pity, but at the same time she was battling her own problems. How do you carry on living after experiencing something like that and being able to walk away with nothing but a few bruises whereas your best friend…. ( not going to spoil anything here)
The author also decided to make her family situation not the ideal that I usually come across. A lot of times when I read books about a tragic accident happening, there is always a loving support family at home, that I feel like the author includes to compensate for the horrific experience. But with this book the family dynamic was not that case, she had a loving support mother, but her mother was also dealing with a lot of problems herself ( again really trying not to blurt out a spoiler).
This book is probably best going into without knowing much, you let the book tell you it’s story without trying to predict what the ending’s going to be! I would really recommend this book to anyone, even if you don’t particularly like reading contemporary, this book will hopefully change that. It does have a bit of a slow start but once you get into it you won’t be able to put it down. Again it isn’t a light fluffy read, but once in a while I read books that would perhaps change my perspective, and make me more grateful for what I have. But it also helps me understand people around me that may be going through something tough, even including myself. This book was centred around grief and tragedy and even death but at the same, and I know just how cheesy/cliché this sounds, it does show you that there’s light at the end of tunnel. You just have to be willing to start and go through with that journey… Wow this got a little deep :’), in other news basically my book buying ban has gone out the window and I’m just going to admit it by making a book haul post! That should be up soon!