Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: A Portrait for Toni by Annette Lyon

September 2013, 279 pages.
Source: a copy from the author for review, which in no way influenced my opinion.

Amazon Description: Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her.

That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it.

One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. She goes to visit Carter at work, in his art classroom at the high school. She doesn’t see him there, and instead, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible.

Isn’t it?

My Review: ****--4 Stars.
With great characters--both ones that you love to love and others that you love to hate, A Portrait for Toni is a read that deals with a very serious issue, yet isn't heavy and depressing. This story is definitely one that will tug at a reader's heartstrings.

Toni is very comparable to an onion--as the story progresses, more layers to her character are revealed, until the reader is left with a very raw and tender portion--that of course, left me in tears. I love how real the emotion is. I think almost everyone knows of someone who struggles with an eating disorder and it's always more than just an issue with food. In Toni's case, I kept wishing so much that she could have confronted the root of her issue years earlier, instead of just holding it all inside. In a way, I felt that this story had two very defined parts--the eating disorder and the long-time friendship with her best friend, Carter. Of course, these parts were very connected to one another.

Carter--what girl wouldn't love to have him as a best friend?? He is a great example of a true friend, even when Toni sends him away for caring too much. I think Toni often takes him and his friendship for granted, which would be easy to do. He is always there for her and she just doesn't truly realize how important he is to her until he's gone.

I love how the many relationships were resolved and how Toni finally realizes her worth. I would have really loved an epilogue, but all in all, it's another great novel by Annette Lyon!!

Content: a handful of mild swearing; kissing only--clean romance. To buy it, click here.

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