Source: Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author returns with a sizzling novel of love, loss, guilt, and forgiveness.
Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.
It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?
Characters. I adore Jagger. He's been in love with Grey for years. He does what's best for her, always. He sets his feelings aside and supports here. Even when his best friend kissed her first, he was there when she happily told him his friend asked her out. When she got engaged to that best friend, Jagger was there for her. When that best friend died unexpectedly, Jagger was there for Grey. He helped her piece her life back together. He loved her. I was so taken with is character, his dedication, and his strength. I totally and completely love Jagger.
Grey was a different story. I came to like her. She made some choices that frustrated me. She lived in her own head too much. But she was grieving and learning things that she hadn't known about when Ben was alive. It was hard for her. I got that about her.
Charlie confused me a lot, until I figured out her deal. Then, I wasn't sure how I felt. Sad, I think.
I disliked Jagger's mom - a lot. That one is on purpose though. She's made to dislike - hate even. Grey's parents are charming and made me laugh. Graham is adorable. I hope he gets his own book. His roommates are interesting too. Comic relief was their roll.
Story. I had mixed feelings about this. There are some twists and turns that make the story uncomfortable to read. Lots of clues were dropped along the way. I guessed a lot of wrong things but finally had it figured before the final twist. I didn't like the truth. Not one bit. Some might say it was real. Some might say it was wrong. I just wasn't happy with the truth.
Writing. That was good. This is the first book I've read by this author and she definitely writes well.
Afterglow. Some people call this a book hangover. But not every book feels the same way when you finish. This one had me sad. Don't get me wrong, the happy was there but to get there the truth had to be told. The truth made me sad. And I wasn't content when the last page was turned. I was edgy and wishing I could forget.
This book will appeal to peeps who have read this author before and loved her books. It's emotional and hard but it's also about moving from the past to present. To go from moving to living. If that's your thing, then give this one a go.
I have something of a Molly McAdams addiction. And by "something" of one, I mean I totally have one. Her books just draw me in every time and I fly through those pages like nobody's business. So I went into Letting Go expecting that to happen again. I expected to enjoy the story. I expected to grow fond of the characters. What I did NOT expect, however, was for this book to turn out to be my favorite Molly McAdams book. And yet, it is.
I had a very distinct idea about where this story would go based on the description. Thought I had a majority of the book figured out when I'd barely cracked through the first couple of chapters. But this novel veered way off course from my predictions, and that was awesome. It got to the point where I was trying to guess things, and then I was wrong and I was like WAIT, WHAT? The plot turns into a big cluster of crazy that lines itself out in time and all makes so much sense. The only issue is guessing before you get there, which I personally did not.
And these characters... That's one of the things about Molly McAdams books. The characters get under my skin every time. I want to dislike some of them. I want to point out all their flaws and be annoyed by them. But I CAN'T. They're all written so well, and feel so incredibly human. It makes me want to be compassionate toward them, thus leading to me being Team Everyone. In this particular novel, we have Grey and Jagger. (Love their names, by the way.) They share a loss, and even though they were already super close friends, they get closer on a different level due to that loss. Add to that the fact that Jagger has always had feelings for Grey, and you have the set up for the emotional journey we accompany these two through in this book.
Grey has a hard time. A completely understandably hard time. She was cautious in the things she did, and I couldn't begrudge her that even the tiniest bit. Partly because she had the right to be cautious and partly because Jagger was understanding about it, and I heart Jagger. Speaking of Jagger... THIS GUY. He had my heart all aflutter from the very beginning of this book. Do you know how amazing that is? Such a fantastic start. From there, he went on to prove that he's as great a guy as I'd anticipated he would be. He and Grey each have their own issues they need to work through, but they also have each other and that made it all okay.
Considering Jagger had me swooning from the very beginning, it's kind of safe to assume that the romance throughout the entire novel is on point. Watching Jagger and Grey's relationship grow was honestly and truly beautiful. A huge hit to the feels, in light of their past--especially as we find out more while the story progresses. Final verdict on the romance, though, is that there were swoons and flails and SO MUCH LOVE.
Overall, Letting Go takes everything I adore about Molly McAdams books and amplifies it into something that made me feel insanely happy while reading every single page. I felt for the characters and their situation, I fell in love with the romance, and the writing was addicting as always. There was also the added bonus of the surprising plot, which pushed this book to the top of the FABULOUS scale. And of course, I'm already making grabby hands for the next Molly McAdams book. I'll always need more!
5 stars - Stunning romance, addictive writing, and a compelling plot make this one my favorite Molly McAdams book yet!
About the Author...
Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry daughter. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling and long walks on the beach, which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. When she's not at work, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom surrounded by her laptop, cell, Kindle and fighting over the TV remote. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm...or under one in a bathtub if there are tornado's. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.
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