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Hooked. Hooked. Hooked. From the first page, to the last, I was hooked. I couldn’t help but feel the pain, join the journey, feel the hope, watch the love blossom and watch that fragile heart break apart.
The first thing I thought when I started reading this book was – OMG, is someone going to die? This book may have remind me a bit of two of my all-time favorite: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks and The Fault in our Stars by John Green – both of which didn’t really end like a fairytale would. I was just crossing my fingers that this time no one is going to die.
Can it be possible? Can J.L. Berg give me a happy ending?
Lailah knew how fragile can life be. She had lived so long, cocooned carefully in a tight bubble so that her weak heart wouldn’t fail. She had spent half her life in the hospital, and learned to live with whatever she has. She has never been to the ocean, never stepped foot in another place, she never went to school, never experienced prom, never had her first kiss, and never fell in love. All she had were her hope-filled Someday List.
But it is all going to chance the moment Jude, a nurse assistant, is about to be transferred in the cardiology unit.
He is a quiet guy who loves his solitude. He didn’t mingle with other employees, he likes to be alone, and no one knew who he really is. But three years ago, he was a wealthy man, who just graduated from college and has a beautiful fiancée. One wrong ‘selfish’ decision – he has lost the most important thing in the world. Ever since, he didn’t leave the hospital. He continued to roam around, sit in the corner where he said his last goodbye to the person who had meant everything to him. He was lost. He was broken. And he thought nothing could repair the break in his soul. Until he came across a cardiac patient, Lailah.
I thought there was nothing more to it than mere attraction, or perhaps, pity – I was in for a big surprise. Because their lives? It is more connected than what I imagined it would be. And as they spend more and more time together, Jude learns that he wanted this girl to be happy. That he wanted to cross off some things from his list one by one. It didn’t take long before he fell. And when he did, he fell hard.
Just when I thought they’d live happily, ever after – a heartbreaking news was given to them. Jude knows there was a way for all of this to go away, for her to have the one thing that she needed to live freely and cross off every single thing on her list. He needed to go and break her heart for her to have a new one.
You will not just love the main characters, but the secondary characters will make their ways into your hearts. Margaret, the HR person who saw through Jude and yet never pushed him to do what he wasn’t ready to do. Molly and Marcus who loved Lailah, they have given their lives, sacrificed most of their happiness for them to care for her in their own means. And there’s the nurse, someone I can relate too, because hey – I’m a nurse! She makes Lailah’s stay bearable by her positive attitude.
This book is filled with a lot of heartwarming and heartbreaking story, I couldn’t chose which was my favorite, or which one do I hate most. But one thing is for sure, it will be too hard for you to put this one down. I was easily engaged in reading, following Jude’s journey towards letting go, and forgiveness and Lailah’s story about living her life, despite all the circumstances.
Sometimes, even in our bleakest and darkest days, a flicker of hope would come shining through.
•Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.•
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.