Friday, March 11, 2016

Recent Read

So much for my previous plans.  Instead I bring you a review for a book that rocked me - seriously rocked me!

One Day Soon by A. Meredith Walters
Why this one: I happened to notice it received glowing reviews at both Amazon and GoodReads and very few bad ones.  The price was good so I gave it a try
Steam Level: The first love scenes didn’t happen until closer to the end and they weren’t very descriptive – but they were perfect, completely perfect for the book.
Genre: Young Adult
Outline: He found me in blood and tears.
I stayed with him through darkness and fire.

We loved each other in the moment between innocence and bitter truth.
We were the kids easily ignored, who grew into adults we hardly knew.

We weren’t meant to last forever. And we didn’t.

He ran away.
I tried to move on.

Yet I never stopped thinking about the boy who had fought to keep me alive in a world that would have swallowed me whole. He was the past that I buried, but never forgot.

Until the day I found him again, years after believing I had lost him forever.

And in cold, resentful eyes, I saw the heart of the man who had been everything when I had nothing at all. So I vowed to hold onto the second chance that was stolen from the children we had been.

Sometimes fate is ugly. Life can be twisted.
And who we are can be ruined by who we once were.

For two people who had survived so much, we would have to learn how to hold on before we were forced to let go.
My Thoughts: Every few years a book ‘gets to me’ on a very rare level that few books do.  The last one that did was Transcendence by Shay Savage and the one before that was Broken Wing by Judith James.  And now, this year, it’s One Day Soon by A. Meredith Walters.  This book has changed me in a fundamental way.  Its theme is homeless young people.  At the back of the book it states the author has worked in this field and it’s so obvious that she has.
As spring approaches, the squeegee kids start to come out.  I don’t know if others know who these young people are but they stand at the traffic lights of major intersection and when the lights turn red, they clean the front window of your car, hoping you will give them some money.  In the past I’ve always kept my fingers crossed that I’m not held up by the light and they won’t approach me, but now that will be different.  I’ll keep change in the car if I’m stopped.
This book broke my heart.  It’s told from Imigen or Imi’s first person account. It’s told in two times, a chapter 15 years in the past when she lived on the streets and then present time when she is a successful Social Worker at a hospital.  What both the past and the present have in common is Yossarian – or Yoss.  It’s Yoss who really broke my heart.  In the past he’s a young man, 18, who has been on the streets since he was 12 and left a very abusive home.  He sees Imi when she first runs away from home at age 16 because she’s pretty much been neglected by her scattered brained mother who puts whoever is her current boyfriend ahead of Imi.  Yoss can tell that Imi is an innocent when it comes to street kids and brings her under his wing for protection.  He is the leader of a small band of screwed up young people.  He and Imi fall deeply in love.  Even though the book is told in the first person, this author is brilliant in her ability to make us BELIEVE and FEEL this love despite their young age.
But Yoss has had to do some terrible, terrible things to survive and help his small group.  Thankfully the author hints at what he’s done rather that describe it, but since I think she’s a brilliant author, even implied and not even told from his POV, we feel his anguish and despair at the helplessness of his life on the streets and his self-loathing.  Even writing up this review is making me feel it again.
The present time line has Imi and Yoss meeting up again for the first time in 15 years.  That’s all I’m going to say for the present time as to say more would give away spoilers.  Enough to say though that even though it’s been 15 years since last they saw each other, their love and need for each other is still as strong and enduring as when they first met.
If you read other reviews, and I encourage you to do so, many of the reviewers say they don’t have the words to really describe this book and I add to their feelings.  This book is beautiful, it is haunting, it will stay with you long after you finish.  I was crying the last three chapters of this book.  And I mean could only read for a bit before I couldn’t see any more for the tears.  My throat hurt from trying to hold them back.  I have NEVER done this while reading a book before.  Transcendence made me cry at the end, every time I’ve read it.  But this one had me crying harder and much earlier in the book.  And it was a cry that I needed.  Things in my personal life have gone wonky again and while I know I need to cry ‘cause it does make one feel better after, I haven’t been able to.  But in reading and crying during the latter part of this book, though to be honest I probably could have almost from the beginning, it helped me.
I was thinking “I can’t recommend this book because it’s written so incredibly well emotionally but I can’t NOT recommend it as it’s one of those books that comes along very rarely and I don’t want anyone who loves the genre to miss it.  Even if they are affected half as deeply as I was it will be very emotional for those who read it.
Other reviewers have said that 5 stars is not enough for this book and in that I agree with them 100%.  I only wish we could rate higher for those books that rock your world and change you to your core.
Grade: 50 out of 5
Would I read it again?: When I’m ready for the emotional punch it will give me, absolutely!

1 comment:

S. said...

Hey, what a good opinion... but tell me, is the action more focused on the YA or the adult years? In terms of percentage?
Because if it's mostly YA, no matter how amazing I probably wouldn't read it.