07 November 2013

Tattoos by Denise Mathew - Book Review

Seventeen-year-old Marilee Mackie has everything going for her, beauty, money and a bright future. But when she’s diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma her world falls apart. Instead of finishing her senior year she begins the fight of her life.

Nineteen-year-old Jax, an enigmatic hospital orderly, lives on the Strip, the proverbial other side of the tracks. With his edgy attitude, sleeves of tattoos and rocker look, he’s the kind of bad boy that Marilee has always steered clear of.

But when Marilee’s cancer strips every bit of her identity away, leaving her a shadow of the person she once was, all the things that mattered to her before no longer hold any meaning. Determined to make a difference in the world before she dies, Marilee enlists Jax to help her with something she calls the Peace Project, a way to use her college fund money to help the people who need it the most on the Strip.

With Marilee’s money and Jax’s knowledge of the Strip, the teenagers embark on an unforgettable journey. Where two people from completely different worlds see that miracles do exist, and that the darkest cloud of your life may be lined with the brightest rainbow.

Tattoos is a story about love, hope and the preconceived notions and barriers that we put between us for no reason other than the way someone looks or where they live. It’s about letting go of all the things that we thought were important in the quest for our true purpose. And that sometimes the people you never thought you could love, may be exactly who you needed all along.

"Sexual content, recommended for older teens."

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I was so sure it would be like The Fault In Our Stars all over again (with a different twist of course). I was ready for heartaches, tears and death.
I was in for a big surprise as the story took a different turn.
I was sick enough to die, long before I had a chance to live.  
Marilee Mackie is just starting to live her life. She’s seventeen, beautiful, rich and will be going to college sooner than expected. Until she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Instead of enjoying her life in school as a senior, her world comes to a halt as she spends her time in the four corners of the hospital room trying to survive her rounds of chemo and constantly fighting not just for her life but for the attention of her parents who is more busy with their lives rather than taking care of their ailing daughter.
Cancer wasn't a wart that your ignored, it was the fight of your life.
Here comes the HOT, mysterious, from the other side of the tracks, Nineteen-year-old Jax. He’s usually not Marilee’s type – all those tattoos that runs his sleeves or the rocker look that he’s sporting. But how can she not learn to like him when she can see how much he cared not just to her, but to other patients as well.  
Nothing that comes from the heart can be destroyed.
How can he spend time with her when she can barely look at herself at the mirror? Cancer was eating not only her body – but her person as a whole. Her life was slipping from her fingers – while girls her age enjoy their lives, she’s fighting for it. So, she decides to do something out of the ordinary and make a difference in the world before she dies. She asked Jax for help her with her pet project which she calls PEACE PROJECT. She is about to use her college money fund to help people who needed it the most on the Strip. 
One day we'll look back at this tattoo and remember how we met, and that even though it was the worst time in your life something good came out of it too. - Jax
Despite the fact the fact that she’s laying in the hospital bed, and he’s doing all the footwork – both of them were already making a difference and changing people’s lives. It didn’t take long for them to fall in love – it was unexpected, but not necessarily unwanted. But with death just lurking around the corner, ready to grab her anytime – will she be able to take the risk and gamble her heart?  
Marilee and Jax are two characters who you will learn to love. Especially Marilee, whom despite all the comfort money has to offer is a lonely girl. Imagine being sick and being all alone to suffer your illness. Gah! I wanted to slap her mother for being selfish and I wanted to knock some senses into her – your child is sick and she needs you, you need to cut all your crap and drama and be there for her before its too late! It may have taken a lot of pages, but in the end, she did a 180 and became the mother I never thought she was capable of. It was a sight to behold- SERIOUSLY!!!! Jax grew up with his Gran who can read the future. His Gran, although adorable, was a little bit creepy especially when she starts predicting. She made me SO SURE of my prediction. I thought it was going to happen, then it did, then it didn't. Yay. I have read this book faster than I thought because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN - will they or will they not make it???!  
It started with a bad surprise, and ended with a surprise as well. I may start reading this book expecting this was like Hazel and Augustus’ story – but Marilee and Jax are two different people whom I sure will grow on you like the former couple. Tattoos is a love story about two VERY different people, meeting in the most unusual circumstances, fell in love, and beat all the odds. But more than that, Denise Mathew gave us an amazing tale of hope – that even in our darkest days, there will still be a silver lining. Even in our bleakest days, something good is going to happen.
★ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.★

Denise Mathew loves good chocolate, lots of coffee, her kids and husband, when they behave, and of course writing stories. She believes that housework should be banned and wishes that potato chips were the most healthy and nutritious food on the planet.
She worked as a pediatric nurse for eleven years, once owned an online jewelry business and even taught English in Thailand.

She plans on writing until the stories run out, something she hopes never happens.


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