11 April 2013

Book Review: Light in the Shadows by A. Meredith Walters

Title: Light in the Shadows
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: Find You In The Dark #2
Published Date: March 26, 2013

How do you keep going when you feel like your life is over?

Maggie never thought she’d see Clay again. So, she attempts to put her life back together after her heart has been shattered to pieces. Moving on and moving forward, just as Clay wanted her to.

Clay never stopped thinking of Maggie. Even after ripping their lives apart and leaving her behind to get the help he so desperately needed. He is healing...slowly. But his heart still belongs to the girl who tried to save him.

When a sudden tragedy brings Maggie and Clay face to face again, nothing is the same. Yet some things never change. Can the darkness that threatened to consume them be transformed into something else and finally give them what they always wanted? And can two people who fought so hard to be together, finally find their happiness? Or will their demons and fear drive them apart for good?

The thing about love, is even when it destroys you, it has a way of mending what is broken. And in the shadows, you can still see the light.

“The thing about shadows is that they're not all darkness. You need to have light to have shadows. So just look for it.” 
I have a confession to make: I'm torn. Did you ever feel so ambivalent about decisions that you spent so many times trying to weigh which will suit you best and will make you happy most? Reading Light in the Shadows made me contemplate a whole lot longer than deciding whether I should buy this pair of shoes or not.

If I were Maggie:

I wouldn't go out with Clay Reed because:
  • He broke my heart
  • He sent me a Dear John letter without any real explanation after all that we have been through.
  • He's mental (am I too being harsh about this??? being in the healthcare industry, I am not judgmental about people with bipolar disorders especially those people who are brave enough to ask for help and underwent treatment - but Clayton needed that uber bad wake up call to finally admit himself in a mental institution)
  • I has been in a depressive state since he left me. My whole world has been shattered. I wasn't the same again after he broke my heart
  • My whole world had revolved around him when we were dating, I forgot her friends, lied to everyone including my parents and even forgets my track practices
  • Can I handle the what-ifs of this relationship? Can I trust him not to slip into darkness and have me all broken once again? 

But in fairness to Clay...
  • He's trying his best to set things right. He should be commended for his effort. It was admirable
  • He got out of the institution not because he wanted to escape but he wanted to help his aunt in what she was going through.
  • He follows almost religiously what his therapist indicates and tries to avoid old habits
  • He's more social now and interacts with people rather than avoiding them. 
But I wonder - How far his change will go?

I love seeing Danny and Rachel going stronger. They still double-team to protect Maggie from Clay or anything that could hurt her. They were there when Maggie needed them the most. I like these types of couple who were very much in love with one another but weren't sucked into their own little world. 
“Do I need to remind you of the fact I will take you out at the kneecaps if you fuck with her, man? Seriously.” 
But I wonder: why the sudden change of heart when it came to Clay? I thought they were pretty sure in their stand about the Maggie-Clay drama? Where did they began changing their minds?

Maggie's relationship with her parents were almost back to normal. Clay wasn't around and there was no reason for any concerns. Maggie was busy doing work and school and she has not given them any reason to worry. Not until Clay returned.

Clay's relationship with his parents on the other hand did not have any significant changes, although I wished there were. I guess, some people could never change. 

The Ending: As I said, I was ambivalent all throughout the book. I was torn between wanting Clay and not wanting him back Maggie's life. But I love the fact that there were changes, not your typical happy every after where there is just perfection. A. Meredith Walters knew her craft and did her research well. She had written an ending that was happy coupled with a sting of reality. (which I greatly appreciate)
Life with Clayton Reed would never be sunshine and roses.  It would be lots of shadows with intermittent light.  And I was beginning to figure out ways to appreciate the light when I saw it.  Because that darkness was still there.  It most likely would always be there. 
The efforts Clay had shown and his eager desire to change and be healed made all the difference in the world. Clay's final decision astounded me. I seriously didn't see it coming. But it did, and everything just fell into places. Love indeed can change everything. :)
“I want you.  I want this.  So much.  But we can’t.  Not while things are still so unstable.  Please, just give me some time.  I want everything to be perfect for you.  I want to be the guy you deserve.  Just understand, that when we’re together again, it will be amazing and wonderful and my head will be in a place where I know I can give you everything you ever wanted.”  
If Find You In The Dark is Dark. Intense. Emotional Roller Coaster. Consuming, Light In The Shadows is still Intense. still Consuming. (but) Hopeful. Lighter.  

Reality Bites: I don't think I can be like Maggie who can overlook Clay's imperfections - or perhaps, I haven't just experienced the kind of emotion that she has for him. But if I were Maggie, I'd have to think a million times before I go back to Clay.

I don't think I can handle someone like him - so volatile. In truth, he scares me. After the stunt that he put Maggie through in Find You In The Dark, I have kept guessing what else can he do in case he tries again to stop taking his meds or forgets to take them. I seriously don't want to be in a relationship where I don't feel safe and secure.

Our heads have a nasty habit of ruining what can make us happiest.  And there are times in our lives when you have to put aside what we think is best and go with what you feel is best.
 “You are everything good in my life.  Even when I thought all I had was the darkness, you were there.  And you gave me something to live for.  I couldn’t let you go.  No matter how hard I tried.  I know now that’s because to lose you would be losing the very best part of myself.” 
We can’t pick up where we left off; because that was a place I never want to be again. 
For the longest time all I cared about was getting through the day.  When your every breath was an effort, that quickly became the extent of your expectations.

A. Meredith Walters

The New York Times bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including Find You in the Dark, Cloud Walking and Bad Rep.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

A. Meredith recently moved to England and is trying to get used to driving on the other side of the road, eating fish and chips and all things British :-)

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Find You In The Dark Series
Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark, #1) Cloud Walking (Find You in the Dark, #1.5) Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark, #2)

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