I’m beginning to think that Melanie Hansen has my number when it comes to writing characters and stories that hit me just right. Once again, I appear to the one who connected to this book the most out of my fellow buddy readers. So why?
Chapter 1 (and no I am not going to take this chapter by chapter but this particular chapter needs special recognition)
It’s a gut buster of an opening. As my update indicates, I am not sure I have ever read an opening chapter that impacted me as much as this one did…my goodness I was a fucking mess. And that takes talent. As readers we are just being introduced to Jeremy and within just a few pages I was so distraught by what this character endures I just could not help but feel for him, to become connected to him, to want more for him. Jeremy experiences losses that no one should have to go through but these losses only made me fully understand why he built up these walls around himself...why he ran. Who wouldn’t?
Melanie writes some heartbreaking characters and characters you want to console, to love and to fully embrace. And for me, I love broken men…men who have these emotional walls that need to be torn down, men that aren’t afraid to lose themselves in emotion, to cry on the shoulder of the ones they love and to come out of the shadows of despair and reenter life for love. Gaaahhh…just push me over. I fully connected to these two men and found this connection wonderfully written.
As part of this story, we are also introduced to Kai’s best friend, Loren, and what an impact he has on this story. An unconventional relationship, and one that while very open, is never threatening. Loren and Kai share a love that can never be replaced. Loren pulled Kai out of his own shadows of despair and in that he will always be a part of Kai’s heart, much like Brent will always be a part of Jeremy’s. Love has no limit…our love doesn’t diminish because we love more than one person.
“Look, when I was sixteen, my mom was pregnant with her seventy-trillionth kid. And one of my little sisters asked her if my mom would still love her when she had the new baby. I’ll never forget what my mom said, about love being like the flame of a candle. It glows brightly, but yet it can light many more candles, a roomful of them, without losing its glow. And the other ones it lit glow just as bright without taking one single thing away from the original candle.”
Loren is a glowing candle in Kai’s heart, his security blanket and their love and friendship is just amazingly heartfelt. Loren gets his own story next and I will eagerly be awaiting this.
Now as for Jase and Carey (one of my favorite couples ever btw)…they make a cameo in this and dammit, it only makes me want to reread “Everything Changes” AGAIN!!!
Kai and Jeremy's story is just beautifully rich and powerful and one that I look forward to revisiting one day soon. Highly recommended.
BR with my girls Susan, Momo and Els