Title: Ashes of Life
Author: Erica Lucke Dean & Laura M. Kolar
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Star
Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?
All Maddie Barrett wanted was for her parents to get back together, but an icy road took that dream away. Afterward, Maddie is riddled with guilt that she can’t share with anyone. Feeling angry and alone, she lays all the blame on Alex.
Alex and Maddie must find a way to move past their pain—shared, yet separate. Thrown together in an untenable arrangement, they fight through a frozen landscape of sorrow and redemption while redefining love, forgiveness, and family.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
This blog is partly brought to you by the good folks over at Red Adept Publishing. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in this wonderful blog tour!
When I went into this book I had literally no expectations. I was going through a slump and I really had zero interest in reading anything, but my day on the tour was not far away and I just had to get it over and done with. Wow. Just, awesome. While this book was not enough to completely shake the slump it was enough to actually make me angry that I am experiencing one. I flew through this book and didn’t want to put it down at any point.
The plot of the story itself was pretty simple, but I think that is just what I needed from a book. Something that wasn’t too complicated but something that many people can relate to. In this book we are taken on a journey of two women, one who has lost her new husband and now has to deal with raising his daughter, someone who has never given her a kind look let alone a kind word, and a teenager that has just lost both her parents and is forced to live with someone she blames for them not getting back together. The plot of loss is something that everyone can relate to and it is always in these times of loss that we seem to be faced with changes we never thought we would have to deal with. I really liked the writing style in the overall story. It was really engaging.
My favourite scenes in this book would have to be the moments, specially early on, where things seem to be going well for a change for our two main characters, one such example is when they are both going through David’s (husband and father) belongings. They finally seem to be connecting but then something simple breaks the reprieve and they are forced right back to the beginning. These little moments of moving on and actually happiness/acceptance are the parts I liked best.
Its the characters themselves are what really left this book at a four star rating for me. Yes I understand they are going through grief and I guess its completely realistic that they may do/act/say the way they do at points. But I still didn’t like those parts. I didn’t get this ‘guilt’ Maddie was feeling. She was just being an immature brat. I know most kids would probably want their parents back together, but divorce is a super common thing now-a-days and I think she could of handled it way better. I also thought that Alex made some SUPER bad choices. I wont go into one of them, but the other is that she moved on way too quickly. I know she thought her husband was going to leave her and go back to his ex but she got over that super quickly.
Other than that I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I get to be apart of its tour. I would suggest this book to anyone who is in the mood for a contemporary read. I would not suggest it to someone who has just gone through a loss recently or is not in a place where they are ok with it, because the subject matter might be a bit too close to home.
Till Next Time…