April 14, 2015

Review: Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Category: Adult - Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Summary: Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething. On a rainy New Year's Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn't expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant & electric. Ben cannot even wait 24 hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they've eloped. Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck & killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn't even know Elsie exists. Interweaving Elsie & Ben's romance with Elsie & Susan's healing process, this will remind you that there's more than one way to find a happy ending. (goodreads.com)
The good
As I'm sitting here trying to find the words to start off this review, I suddenly thought of the movie "Moulin Rouge". It begins with a depressed Christian telling us that the love of his life, Satine, has died. He starts writing the story of who he was a year ago, how they met and how they fell in love. And throughout the entire movie, even though I knew how it ended, I still found myself hoping and even forgetting what Satine's fate would be. That's how I felt when I read Forever, Interrupted. Even though the book begins with the tragedy of Ben's death, it in no way affected how immersed I was in the retelling of their love story. That despite the sadness of the aftermath, I still had hope for the end.

When we meet Ben and Elsie, they are basking in the glow of their new, less than two weeks old, marriage. In that brief glimpse, the author is able to establish the apparent love and laughter these two share and moments later, the indescribable heartbreak Elise feels when Ben is in a fatal accident. As Elise races to the hospital, it's there she meets Susan, Ben's mother, who never knew of their relationship, much less their marriage. It's a HUGE shock to both women, for different reasons, as they meet each other first the time and deal with the grief of losing Ben.

The book alternates between Elsie's life after Ben's death and her life before. It was her life before that I connected to the most. She's got a wonderful best friend (who plays a huge role in both perspectives), single and comfortable being home on a Friday night (in case you didn't know, this is pretty much me). On New Year's Day, she decides to pick up pizza for herself and meets Ben there. It's the ultimate meet-cute with lots of chemistry that results in exchanging numbers and going out on a first date less than a day later. Neither character or the relationship are perfect but that's what made it so appealing to me. Yes there are lots of sweet, cute and loving moments that made me wish I had a Ben of my own. But there are also fights, defining their relationship (which moves very quickly!) and Ben's decision to keep Elsie a secret from his mom. So while your heart may fall in love alongside Elsie's in the before chapters, your heart will also break in the after.

The dynamic between Elsie and Susan is such a unique one to explore. Technically they're in-laws but given the circumstances what does that mean here? Should they be a part of each other's lives? Who gets to make decisions about the funeral? Even though there were times when I felt Susan was being harsh towards Elsie, I would just as quickly feel for her too. She's lost her son who she had a strong relationship with, only to find out he was hiding a huge part of her life from him. She doesn't know Elsie and has every right to feel wary and angry. There's so much sadness and yet out of this tragedy, there is some hope. Neither Elsie nor Susan can keep holding onto the past and both have to move on no matter how hard it is. It's a tale of love, grief, moving on, letting go and most of all, appreciating who is in your life to the fullest whether they're a part of it for two months or twenty years.

(No) Reservations
None at all. This book made me smile, cry and feel every bit invested in the emotions of these characters.

Do I recommend?
SO MUCH YES. I bought Taylor Jenkins Reid's first two books based solely on the recommendations of trusted blogger friends. And after reading this, I don't doubt that I will probably read everything this author releases.

1 comment:

  1. It makes my heart SO happy that you've fallen in love with Taylor Jenkins Reid! I read Forever Interrupted after I'd read After I Do, but it impressed me just as much. Such a beautiful story of grief, growth and letting go - and I'm so glad you loved it as much as I did!

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