Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Recent Read

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

Why this one: I think it was one of those Amazon Recommended books plus the price was  very good

Genre: New Adult

Steam Level: Just about the perfect temp.  It’s hot but won’t burn my tongue

Outline: Three knocks can change everything…

"She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead."

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

My Thoughts:  Oh my, what a beautiful and emotional book this is.  I will be honest and confess though I’ve heard a lot of raves lately for NA books, I haven’t really paid them much attention thinking that at my advanced age I didn’t have much in common with the characters in the story.  Well call me So Wrong Kristie!!  (we must include both exclamation points.)  This book has it all!

It starts out heartbreaking and stays that way throughout.  December (or Ember as most people call her) has just had her world ruined.  She, her mother, sister and younger brother have just found out that their father/husband, a doctor in the army, was killed in Afghanistan.  Ember has to take over the family, her mother is too devastated to function and her younger sister, April, is acting out in not so good ways.  August or Gus, her younger brother isn’t old enough to help her.  The only one stepping is to help is Josh Taylor, Gus’s hockey coach and one time crush of Ember’s.  She has known him since high school though was never part of his crowd.  He was a top athlete, a bad boy and a chick magnet bar none.  Plus April had a boyfriend.  But that didn’t stop her from watching him with lust in her heart.

He is everything that her boyfriend isn’t during this difficult time.  And as if things aren’t difficult enough for Ember, she discovers something devastating about her boyfriend of 3 years, something that makes her evaluate her entire life.  She had been planning on going back to school some distance away, but between the shock of what she learns of her boyfriend and the fact her mother isn’t showing much signs of coming out of her deep, deep mourning, Amber can’t go back and transfers to the local college, though she does move out of the house and several miles away and moves in with a friend.

And Josh, who is attending the same college, lets her know that he feels a lot more for her than just friendship.  But there are so many issues to overcome before she can make him any kind of commitment.  She is discovering what a truly wonderful man he is.  Besides being patient, understanding, knowing when to give her space and when to be there, he s drop dead gorgeous, but because of all that Amber is going through, she’s very gun shy about offering him hope.  Her boyfriend really did a number on her, she’s overwhelmed by responsibility and there is Josh’s well deserved reputation as a player.  She sends him mixed signals.  She will let the relationship go so far, then she pulls back and then she does it again and again.
What makes this book such a gut wrenching read is how well the author tells the story.  This is a first person book, written entirely from Amber’s POV so what she feels, the author makes us feel.  Because we are in her head we get to really know and admire her for doing what she needs to do without any self pity.  We understand how complicated her feelings toward Josh are.  She is still a very young person, only 20 and she has a great deal of responsibility thrust upon her in the middle of her own loss of her beloved father.

She finally does let Josh into her life when she finds out something about him that could completely derail the relationship.  As you can tell, I really like Amber.

And Josh, of my goodness I want to be 20 again and have a Josh of my own.  The patience, the humor, the understanding he shows Amber is amazing.  The author does a marvelous job of letting us see Josh’s emotions, his love and longing for Amber, his pain towards the end of the book where he sees something and misunderstands and things are in danger of falling apart for the two of them and then his strength when it seems they have reached an impasse in their relationship even though it’s clear that they truly need and love each other to be happy.  Though normally I would have troubles believing a relationship between two such young people would  be lasting, but I have not a shadow of a doubt that these two will love each other forever.  This is a very emotional and poignant book and a few times the back of my throat started to hurt like it does in the sad part of a movie.
The only thing keeping this from being a 5 out of 5 book is it’s told entirely from Ember’s POV.  Many of the books I read these days written in first person or third person will have parts of the book from the hero’s POV.  I would have liked actually read Josh’s thoughts.  In the grand scheme of things though and how much I thought of this book, it’s a small thing.  But I was looking at the other books in this series and it looks as though the last book,  Hallowed Ground is a continuation of their story and it’s told from both POV.  I have two others to get through before that one and I’ve already purchased Eyes Turned Skywise.

Full Measure has been read and received very high grades from quite a few readers.  Well add me to that list now too.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5
Would I read again: A resounding YES

No comments: