04 May 2013

Book Review: Love and Truth by Kathryn Vance-Perez

Title: Love and Truth
Author: Kathryn Vance-Perez
Publication Date: January 30, 2013
Rating: ✩ 

Eighteen-year-old Nicole Harrison has spent her high school years devoted to academics and dance, leaving no time for a boyfriend and a life. Her parents’ shocking divorce causes Nicole to believe that true love is impossible to find. After spending her life in a small Texas town, Nicole joins a foreign exchange student dance program in the country where she was born. After years dreaming about her birthplace, she boldly leaves her world behind and moves in with a host family on the island of Okinawa in Japan. She anxiously awaits a year of improving her dance technique while enjoying a world of new experiences 

Jonathan Hayes was born to a Japanese mother and American Marine father via a surrogate in the States. After his father’s tragic death in Iraq when Jonathan was only a baby, his mother moved them back to her home in Okinawa. As a child, Jonathan's mother immersed him in American culture to honor his father. His good looks and immense musical talent have left him with no shortage of female admirers. But after a bad break-up from his girlfriend of two years, Jonathan plunges into a playboy lifestyle that leads him along a destructive path. As his wounds begin to slowly heal, he tries regaining his self-respect by living on the straight and narrow. But his heart remains closed to the idea of love; that is, until the night he sees the beautiful and innocent Nicole Harrison, upon the balcony of his neighbor’s home. 

While Nicole tries to navigate an unfamiliar country, she also has to learn how to navigate the unfamiliar and unwanted feelings she's developing for Jonathan through some very heart-wrenching and trying times. 

Will her fears push him away, or will Jonathan show her the truth of loyal love…

If you were to ask me how it did go – I’d say it was okay. 

I hated Nicole, seriously, because I hate girls who easily cry over petty things. But I love her passion for dance, and her desire to travel and know the culture of a country so foreign to her. The details about the culture of Japan are enlightening, and it makes me want to experience the same thing as well. 

Nicole’s plan didn’t include in having a boyfriend. But one night, while sitting in the balcony, Jonathan passed by – and her world shook. She has a problem with trust, and no matter how Jonathan tried in proving that he can be a good guy – that he won’t break her heart, she won’t budge. The attraction was there, so was the fear. Nicole wasn’t ready to fall in love, and she wasn’t ready to get her heart broken. Then when Jonathan looked like he moved on (as per instruction from her) – she suddenly realized that she wanted him and wanted to take the risk… 

(If Jonathan looks like Tom Hardy - how can you say no? -_-)

Jonathan was someone you could trust and fall in love with. I don’t understand why Nicole was feeling hot-then-cold towards him. He’s hot, has the passion for music and definitely swoon-worthy. She was lucky that he spends time and woos her. 

It wasn’t a novel that would sweep me off my feet entirely (although I have to say I adore Jonathan and his karate moves). I was entertained, then bored, then entertained. The pacing of the story didn’t keep up and I was a little disappointed because I have been looking forward in reading this novel. 

“Sometimes pain and hurt are good things because it means you strived for something in your life.” 

“I’m not saying it will always be easy because we are human. Two people in love will always have uphill battles but it’s how you handle those challenges that truly matter.” 

“Perfection is not attainable,” he used to say, quoting Vince Lombardi. “But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” 

“I don’t believe in true love and I certainly don’t believe in love at first sight. Insta-love isn’t something that happens in real life. It happens in the books I read, but not in the world I live. Though here stands this beautiful, sexy, funny, sweet and amazing guy who has done everything short of professing love at first sight to me and I’m still standing here like a pair of lungs suffocating, needing him in order to breathe. I’m not running, I’m here, submerged in all of my vulnerability, taking the biggest chance I ever have with my heart and soul. I hope I’m choosing wisely. I stared at the ground and felt his eyes on the top of my head.” 

“I want you. I want you to be mine. I want to be yours. Because even though none of this makes sense, it just feels right.” 

“My girl deserves a man who’ll give his all for her happiness and I’m going to bust my ass trying to do that” 

“If love was just a label how could it hurt so badly?” 

Kathryn Vance-Perez

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