The Man I Love
Ok. First of all – the writing. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how well this was written. Beautiful. Moving. Thoughtful. The pacing was gorgeous. The beginning was detailed but that was important to the book. It set the stage for everything that was to come.
And Erik was a fantastic protagonist. He had layers but he was real. He was kind and selfish and loving and vindictive. His reactions were those of a real person facing terrible things.
Daisy. Will. Lucky. Kees. Opie. Even David. The stage. The theatre. An entire world was created for the reader – with meaningful characters. A world that pulled you in – and you wanted to be there.
Yes, some parts of this book hurt. I did my fair share of crying. But it wasn’t manipulative. It wasn’t unnecessary. It was hard – but it meant something. And I was better off for coming through it.
Books like this are why I read. Stumbling across something that makes me feel and think and smile and pace around. A book that make me care about characters that feel real. Written about in careful and lovely and purposeful words. This book was the complete package.
Give Me Your Answer True
There’s no way to do this right. So I’ll go in telling you that as a reviewer I’ve failed you. I will try though.
I’ll start by saying this is my first “6 star review” meaning I find this to be truly above and beyond even my favorites. The irony is I didn’t want to read this shit. In TMIL I fell deeply in love with Erik. And I’m protective. I hold a grudge. I respected his love for her, but I never forgave her. Never thought she deserved his love again.
I went into GMYAT with this attitude. I intended to try it and prove myself right. No way was this going to be as good as TMIL – and now I’d have proof. Fuck I was wrong.
The book literally starts at the perfect moment. This place that brings you back to open vulnerability and hurt and anger. And then you’re falling in love with Daisy bc she’s falling in love with Erik. Her love for Erik soothes your hurts – your grudge fades. She’s honest and good and sweet and strong. She deserves him.
And when the bad times came it hurt. I hopped up. I sat down. I tossed my kindle around. I shifted and wiggled and tried to avoid. And I came out the other side more in love with Daisy than I imagined possible. My love for her and this book grew and grew from 50% on. It literally steadily got better. This book did the impossible.
And I cried. Nothing crazy at first. At 76/77% I cried for a while. But that shit felt so good. All of these pieces sliding into place.
I wouldn’t ever tell you that something was missing from TMIL. I think it’s the perfect book. But this addition to it is out of this world. It brings a kind of satisfaction that soothed my soul. I cannot believe I ever doubted.
Here To Stay
Perfection. In TMIL I fell in love with a boy. Sweet. Compassionate. Imperfect. Endlessly lovable. And loving him took me on a big ride. Made me cry. A lot. Made me really angry. Filled me with some righteous indignation. That book was one of my favorites of all time. Flawless.
GMYAT gave me something I didn’t know I needed. Forgiveness. Another side of the story. A view of my sweet sweet boy as an asshole. A dick. Selfish. Taking and hurting. And it let me fall a little in love with the girl who loved my boy. I saw him through her eyes – and that filled my heart. I felt her pain, and i was proud when she got better. Got stronger. And maybe my wonderful boy wasn’t the darling id once thought. Maybe he made some mistakes. GMYAT filled in blanks that I didn’t know existed. Gave more depth to my boy’s story.
And then Here To Stay….where I fell in love with a man. A man with my boy’s sweetness and light but a new strength. He stayed. And he stayed. And he stayed. All of that good that drew me to him was magnified in this creature honed in fire. Tested and proven. HTS is a book of adults. Family. Tribe. Needing and giving. Erik as a man is spectacular. Beyond any dreams I had for that boy. A creature open and hurting and growing and giving. Someone who made this enchanting world for himself and Daisy. I cried. A lot. Through most of the book. And I loved it. It was the best crying. The writing was heaven – strong and sure and so generous to its reader. An author who respects her audience – never writing down to us. This book was above and beyond anything I expected. I am so grateful for the journey these books took me on – and for the ending that everyone deserved.