Friday, September 11, 2015

BN Toler - Where One Goes

What happens when the very thing ruining your life ends up saving it?
I was never one to believe in spirits—until six years ago, when a bone-chilling accident changed my life…forever.
My name is Charlotte, but most people call me Char…and I have a special gift.
I talk to the dead.
Make no mistake, I can’t summon them. I’m only able to see and speak to the spirits that linger when they’re unable to crossover. They’re somehow weighted to the world with unfinished affairs. And for the last six years, I’ve relentlessly used my gift to help their lost souls.
But it’s come at a price. My life is dark. Feeling despondent, I’ve begun to give up. And in helping the dead, I’ve realized I haven’t allowed myself to live. With no money, no place to go, and most importantly… no hope, I’ve decided there is only one option—to end it all.
But fate is a funny thing. One minute, I’m about to leap to my death, and the next, I’m saved by Ike McDermott. The strong, striking soldier stopped me from putting an end to my despair. He’s the kind of man that smiles and brightens an entire room.
Sweet and gentle. He is my savior.
And he’s dead.
We’ve made an agreement. He’ll help me find a place to stay and a new job if I’ll help him with his unfinished business so that he may crossover.
Ike’s unfinished matter involves his twin brother, George. George has been falling apart since Ike’s death and Ike has not been able to compel himself to crossover in peace until he knows George will be okay.
When I agreed to help, little did I know that I’d fall in love with the charming folks of Bath County, and…Ike and George McDermott.
Now, as both brothers own equal parts of my heart, I am faced with a cruel and unfair predicament. In saving George, I must let go of Ike.
But how does one let go of half of their heart?

Comment: This is the second book by author BN Toler I'm reading this year and I have to say that this is so much better than the one I've read before. This book was chosen for one of my book clubs for September and I was still hopeful despite the experience with the author not having been perfect. Thankfully, this story convinced me and was much better for me.
In this story we meet Charlotte, a young woman that sees dead people and helps them cross over after solving the unfinished business they have. This tires Charlotte and after losing her family over this and all the normalcy she wanted, she is ready to give up.
Ike died in Afghanistan but his twin brother George has spiraled downwards because of that. Ike can't cross before knowing George is alright so when he sees Charlotte ready to jump of a bridge, he approaches her without thinking he can help but actually she can hear him! Ike talks to Charlotte and makes a deal with her; he will find a way for her to have a job and a home if she helps his brother.
What follows is a heartfelt story where two people find so much common but...can't be together because one of them is dead....
I liked this story for two reasons, mainly: The emotional side I thought was believable and the fact the main characters didn't have sex until the very end of the book. How refreshing people in their 20s not to jump to sex as soon as they meet as it happens with so many so called "new adult" stories.
I thought the idea of this plot, despite not being new, brought an interesting take on the whole medium/dead people concept and was a good way for the story to start but thankfully never fell into useless clichés. I liked how the characters we meet, from the protagonists to the secondary ones, are simply done and are described as people we could meet anywhere.
I suppose the biggest issue one can find in this book is the whole idea of a relationship between someone alive and a dead person. Let me re assure you nothing weird or impossible to the laws of life happen, they develop a friendship, a very strong connection but George is the character we can identify as "hero" in this romance. Nevertheless, some of the highlights of what I understand as the emotional power of this book is precisely Ike and Charlotte's relationship and how beautiful it is, despite the simplicity of some things.
I liked Charlotte, she's a likable character, down to earth, with troubles going on for her, doubts in who she is, but she's practical, I liked she never went into TSTL category nor too the "crazy for sex" that runs around in so many new adult books. I liked reading about her and I rooted for her to be happy. The end of the book sounded slightly unsuited for her characterization (I mean something she accepts doing) but I guess anyone can change their POV.
One of the strongest points in the story is Ike, the ghost that wants to see his brother well before crossing over. The author did a good job portraying his helplessness but also his drive to help his Charlotte and his brother and even showing how he loved his parents. I think the emotional aspect of this novel was well achieved and I admit I've cried a lot when I saw the time coming for Ike to cross over. The characters weren't single-minded which is great, this means they were considerate of several things and not only what they wanted to happen.
The HEA was also positive in a way although there's always a sort of bittersweet feeling to it because we - readers - get attached to Ike.
I also liked how Charlotte dealt with the dead, her attempts to help and to solve situations not related to her. I like to think if this was something real, that those who could - or who claim they can - help dead people cross over could be as friendly and approachable as she looks like, even when she says she can't anymore. I liked she was humble.
One of the things I'd change is the age of the characters. Charlotte and George - thus Ike - are on their mid twenties more or less, but I think if they were already in their 30s it would be great. On one hand I think the emotional level of what happens would suit that age more and also I identify myself more with the 30s age gap. But I feel glad Charlotte thought things over and didn't do reckless things or acted like a sex crazed girl. She was practical but had good sense too.
All in all, this story was read well, emotionally draining at some point yes, but overall I liked reading this, I liked the better part of all aspects and details of the book and it restored my faith in the author. I might try something else by her again someday.
Grade: 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment