Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick

Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Sky Pony Press 
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Description: When Oakley Nelson loses her brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend the summer in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure that a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.

In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.

If only it were that easy.

But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?

With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley must learn to listen to and trust herself again. She soon realizes that second chances are ways to learn from the past, and you don’t always have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future.

My Review: The story starts out with a funeral and I could feel the pain and emotion right from the first chapter. I was immediately drawn in and emotionally invested. Oakley's brother (and best friend), Lucas, passes away from cancer and it's hard for her to deal with life--her parent's arguing, her grief, and her will to go on. She and her mom go to California to live with her aunt for a little while, to have a change of pace and try to heal.

I love that Oakley's mom gives her a journal when they get to California, full of letters that Lucas wrote to her. Each letter gives her a piece of advice or encouragement to move on and she would read at least one a day. Those are words for her to cherish and apply to her life and she does. I looked forward to what he would say next almost as much as she did.

Carson is Aunt Jo's neighbor. He's a surfer and not much older than Oakley, but he's very kind, charming, and attractive--just what she needs. How could you not fall in love with a guy who is patient and down-to-earth? He's a great character and always pushes Oakley, just a little bit, to get out of her comfort zone. I loved the surfing aspect!

There was a shocking twist near the end--I gasped out loud! I loved watching the growth and growing up that the characters go through to deal with it. This is a great coming-of-age story, full of emotion that had me smiling and crying. I just can't stop thinking about it.

Content: no language; mild romance (kissing); mild violence (some blood, not graphic); no religious elements. Clean!
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About the Author:
Chantele SedgwickChantele Sedgwick is a YA author, harpist, wife to one and stay-at-home mom to four. She loves happy endings, Kit Kats and judging by her book shelves, buys way too many books.

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