Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Kathryn R. Biel - Live For This

Samirah Lundgren is living the party girl life. While she's trying to forget about her past and put off having a meaningful future, her lifestyle catches up with her, leaving her in a wake of personal destruction. Alone and homeless, she encounters Michael Salinger, a man carrying his own baggage in the form of a spinal cord injury, not to mention his former fiancé is marrying his former best friend.
Can a man with a broken body and a woman with a broken soul help each other find the redemption they need to become whole again?

Comment: I got interested in this book because it would feature a character with a disability. I'm rather curious to see how authors can create a romance when a character faces some sort of struggle/issue and how romantic can a love story be in this situation. Other authors have done it well while being realistic and I wished this one would be too. For that, I even convinced my friend H. to read this with me.

Samirah is a young woman living a fake and high life. Her goal is to be the meanest of the girls while trying to have money and the look to play the part. She is miserable but hiding underneath all the things others see in her and believe her life is great. On the other side we have Michael, who suffered an accident and became paralytic. Something like this could have brought him down but he has learned to accept what fate stored for him. The two meet when Samirah is dealing with the lowest of the low in her life but will these two damaged people be able to find common ground and be better together?

How annoying it was for me to have this story told in first person! I know, I know, I'm a broken record always saying the same, but it was really irritating in this case. I think the author could ave gotten a better result if this was written in third person. I'm saying this because the effect, for me, was one of extremes: or the main characters would look whiny when relating certain things, or they would look vain/pretentious by saying others. 

Writing in first person isn't the big issue, though to be honest. The problem is how the author picks the kind of content they want to include and make the characters think that way. Some things, no matter how possible, are just not interesting/believable/sympathizing to see a character think. Bot Samirah and Michael went through a lot but they kept having thoughts teenagers might think. They didn't look mature enough nor adult enough if one reads whet they think. Their thoughts felt cluttered and silly at times and I thought it would have been better to see they do these things as a third party and not through their eyes.

When the story begins, Samirah is portrayed in a very negative light. She is not a good person and then something very bad happens to her. I wish her journey to become a better person and to find happiness would have gone a different way. I just don't think the tone used on her side of things was as the best, for she kept sounding whiny and superficial even when she shared personal details. I don't think I really connected with her despite the hardship she faced. Being this in first person, I think the author didn't go as deeply into the character's personality and most things were kept in the surface, perhaps because of a age limit...but the kind of story she was presenting should have been more complex and more detailed overall.

Michael was a better character but he was also very easily portrayed. It was positive his issues after becoming a paralytic were shown and that it wasn't easy to adapt to them nor were his physical problems magically cured but the way he told things... I simply felt he was an OK character, not one I was eager to know or to see how his life would turn out to be if he wanted to have a HEA with Samirah.

Speaking of which, they do have a HEA. But the immediate situations preceding that were rushed, Samirah's big problems were dealt with quickly and we were told about them as a finished issue. We don't really see her go though things...I suppose it's better than to have the whole problem again, but if she suffered so much, how quick on the page it was to solve it. I can imagine she might have suffered emotionally while waiting to see it end, but we don't see it, we only hear of it.

I think this story needed layers. I think the author had a good idea, good bases but the development didn't go as well as it could. I would say her writing style wasn't the best one to tell this story in a way I'd feel empathy so instead of this being a sweet romance with two people who faced problems but found each other, it felt like a diary of pointless complains and despite the fact it was easy to turn the pages, the story did not feel fluid enough. I think I also expected more....magic, tenderness in their journeys towards happiness.

Grade: 5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment