14 June 2014

Carey Heywood Spotlight!


Sarah Miller hasn’t been home in seven years. She thought she could stay away forever. If it wasn’t for her big brother's wedding, that is. Part of her even feels silly for staying away this long. It's not like anyone even knew what happened. Well, except for him.

That guy. The one she compared all others to. The one who set the bar so high no other guy after him could even compete. The one who made her feel like anything was possible. The one she thought she would never be good enough for. The one she spent the last seven years trying to forget.
All she needs to do is make it through the next week without running into him.

This is actually the second time I've read this book. I read it not long after it first came out and while I remembered enjoying it, I couldn't remember the details well enough to write a review or read Her, so I knew I needed to read it again. Within a few chapters, nearly everything came back to me and I got to experience Sarah's love and heartbreak all over again.

Ms. Heywood does an outstanding job alternating Sarah's current visit home for her brother's wedding with the past when her relationship with Will moved from just friends to boyfriend-girlfriend to heartbreak. It was refreshing to see two genuinely nice people acknowledge their feelings for one another and watch their relationship grow and deepen. Alas, the world is full of miserable people who do what they can to insure they have company and two of those persons sabotaged Sarah and Will’s budding relationship. Because of the way in which the author alternates between the present and the past, the reader is well into the book before all the facts come to light and this makes for a very captivating read.

This was just as lovely of a read the second time around. Him is a sweet romance, plain and simple; the characters have amazing chemistry yet the sex scenes are written in more of a fade-to-black television style scene – you know they had sex, but the details are kept private.  Ms. Heywood does an excellent job of capturing young love and giving Sarah and Will the second chance they deserve. I am looking forward to reading Her as I am quite interested to read their story from Will's perspective.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DJUZCHO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00DJUZCHO&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/him-carey-heywood/1115799316?ean=2940016537986&itm=1&usri=carey+heywood
You know her side of the story, now learn his.

"It was useless. I felt branded beneath my skin by a girl who left without even saying goodbye."

When Will Price was assigned a partner for a sixth grade class project he had no idea she would become his best friend. After years of friendship, she eventually became so much more. Then, one day she left with no explanation.

Will’s life shattered right before his eyes and he was left alone to pick up the pieces. Floundering, Will must figure out a way to carry on, to find a way to exist without her.

Seven years later, a chance encounter leaves him desperate to get her back. He has one week to make her his again. Not everyone gets a second chance with the love of their life and Will is determined to never lose her again.

I reread Him before starting Her so that I could reacquaint myself with Sarah and Will’s story. Where Him is narrated from Sarah’s perspective, Her is Will’s side of their story. I will admit slight reservations that this would simply be a rehashing of Him, Ms. Heywood surprised me be telling Will’s story in a linear fashion as opposed to the alternating past and present style used in Sarah’s story.

This allowed her to begin Will’s story with the first time he really noticed Sarah and how his feelings toward her changed over time. I found the information on Will’s family situation sad and my heart hurt for Will the boy. As the reader knows the things that Will doesn’t when their relationship breaks down, it makes his reactions that much more heartbreaking – to know that he loved Sarah as much as he loved her and to lose her through no fault of his own is tragic. As the story moves to the present and you witness that Will is in as much pain as Sarah over their separation, it makes for a difficult read. But this makes the story that much sweeter once Will goes to Colorado with Sarah for the summer.

Fortunately for the reader, Ms. Heywood takes the story beyond where it ended in Him and we get to see what Sarah and Will endure as they move their relationship forward. The author keeps a level of realism in the book by not letting things go perfectly. There are bumps and turns on their path forward, but as they overcome them, it just helps to strengthen their relationship – especially when those bumps are other people flirting with them. Fortunately, they do move forward and find their way to their happy ending.

Ms. Heywood has written a lovely companion novel that serves to enrich Sarah and Will’s story without it being a regurgitation of material from Him. It allows the reader to connect with Will and feel the heartbreak that he went through as well. I will say that I absolutely LOVED the proposal scene and felt that it was perfect for this couple. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Heywood’s writing in the future.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G4T14RE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00G4T14RE&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-carey-heywood/1117236064?ean=2940148500599&itm=1&usri=carey+heywood
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