Wednesday, 29 January 2014

True Love Story by Willow Aster

True Love Story

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn't so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places. Each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

Let me just get this out of the way right up front.  This is a book about cheating and the aftermath it creates.  It is about how love sometimes isn't enough.  It is about how we forgive and move on.  It is about finding redemption and about paying dues.  It is about deciding what we will not tolerate and sticking to our guns.  It is about healing and rebirth and second chances.

So, that said, could this have been a better read? Uh, yeah, I guess so.  But the letters Ian wrote to Sparrow at the end of the book?  I'd give this book a full star for that alone.  I mean, wow.  I can't remember reading anything that so perfectly encapsulated remorse and longing in all my days.  Just. Stunning.  I swear, as soon as I read them, all my bitchy gripes seemed to have vanished into the ether.  Seriously.  They were that good.

Yes, there where some issues along the way.  I kinda felt myself getting a bit irritated with Sparrow a few times.  All the clues were there and just because she's a preacher's daughter doesn't give her the excuse of being that dense.  I mean, come on, really?  A blind man could tell Ian was up to no good.  ALL. THE. CLUES. WERE. THERE. Idiot (okay, you're not an idiot, I actually liked you a lot, Sparrow).  It's not as though she were dumb, she totally wasn't, but perhaps too trusting.  Naive doesn't seem appropriate because I never her found her to be that either.  So I guess I'll stick with too trusting, she should have questioned things, she should have challenged Ian a bit more.  Altogether, though, she made up for it in the end with her badassery.  So, yeah, that was my one of two major grievances with this book.

Number two?  Hey, do you know me?  If you've read my reviews and you know anything about this book then you should know what I'm going to bitch about next.  Don't know?  Let me share the love.  Yep.  It's my favorite subject.  Rape.  Why ladies?  Why? Why? Why? Why is it okay to portray a woman getting sexually assaulted and then minimizing it.  9-1-1 anyone?  No?  That's where our tax dollars go.  Police, clinics, crisis hotlines.  *Shakes Head* I just don't get it.  And then, to make matters worse, the answer to the problem is beating the piss out of the rapist?  No, this does not a solution make.  I swear, I'm beginning to feel like a broken record here.  Can someone help me out?  Does no one else see the issue here?  Okay, that's the end of my rant.  I feel I keep beating this dead horse and expecting it to get up and give me a ride.

In any event, the writing is super good.  The story flows really beautifully and even during the times that Sparrow and Ian are apart, those spaces are filled in perfectly with Sparrow and Tessa's banter.  I really enjoyed the dynamics between these two girls and Tessa is a great example of what a good female friend should be.  Warm, loving, supportive and loyal.  Yay sisterhood!

Even though Ian was a total asshat and did some really rank crap in this book, I totally got him.  Especially when I read those letters.  Swoon.  Yeah, he messed up and deserved his protracted exile in hell, but seeing him unveiled made his actions make sense in some twisted way.  Not that it's okay, mind you, because it totally wasn't, but at least I understood it.  Put into the context of his former life I at least could empathize with him.  I applauded him, also, for getting his shit together and making things right.  Bravo Ian!

What I totally appreciated was that Sparrow didn't go running back to him, though I did sort of feel like that ending was dragged out a bit too much.  Even still, Sparrow held firm to her beliefs, maintained her backbone and said hells no.  She made the choices that felt right to her and even though I didn't agree with all of them, I agreed with her about Ian.  Whether or not you love someone does not void out the things done to break trust.  Those are issues that take time to work through and sometimes it simply isn't possible.  Toward the end she said some pretty powerful things about love and trust and every word rang true.  It was really quite lovely to see this couple have frank dialogue about what pain means, to understand it emotionally and intellectually, and be able to accept resposibility for it.  Kudos!

So, altogether this was a very addictive read.  The romance was steamy and stormy, the plot was well paced and interesting and I love how these people loved and crushed and loved and were gutted and loved.  I would totally recommend this to anyone looking for an atypical love story.

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