Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: A Life Worth Living

Living up to his potential has always been a challenge for Matt. The perfect plan for his future is supposed to take car of that, but a car accident which leaves him paralyzed changes everything. Now Matt must relearn even the simple things like turning his head without falling over. When Abby steps in to help him adjust to his new life, the chance at a relationship between them nearly sends her running. 

One thing this book does not lack is realism. I was really interested in the actual recovery Matt goes through in this story. I had no idea how much a person who has been paralyzed has to relearn, or how hard it becomes to do even the simplest physical movements. I learned a lot, and it actually served to enhance the overall story. The reader is learning right along with Matt. When he faces something difficult, you feel his frustration. When he triumphs, you cheer along with him. 

That leads me into the next topic. Emotion. Matt and Abby's story has plenty of emotion. They both go through the gamut in this story. Matt is facing his new physical limitations and learning to deal with them, and Abby is trying to overcome a traumatic past and start living her life in earnest. Both go through immense frustration at times. You can't help but crumble right along with them. All through these difficult times you're hoping that things will work out, but Lorrie does a great job of giving you just enough doubt about how things will end to keep you reading. And when there are moments of joy, you'll get sucked in and laugh and cheer right along with them. 

It's hard to get wrapped up in a story's emotion without having good characters. Matt gave me a little trouble at first. His general attitude was a little bit annoying in the first few chapters and I was worried I wouldn't like him, but after the first few chapters Matt seemed to develop a little more depth and really became more likable for me. I was really rooting for him at the end of the book and cared about him being happy. With Abby, I liked her from the start. She is slightly damaged, but trying to overcome her past. From the first moment she felt very real and I wanted her to be happy. 

Now let's talk romance. Abby and Matt both have screwed up lives in one way or another, but they both want and deserve to be happy. This is a romance, but in reality the main focus of the story is on Matt picking up his life. I was expecting a little more of a focus on the romance side, but I did enjoy following Matt's life as well. There was a few short sex scenes. They weren't particularly descriptive, but there were also sexual topics discussed in the book. Along with some bad language, these would keep me from recommending it for younger readers. 

The only other issue I had was that the twist were somewhat predictable. Matt can't remember what happened the night of his accident, but when the events of that night were revealed, it was pretty much what I had already suspected it would be. Having said that, it really was the best way to go with the story. Even though I had already guessed the twist, I thought it was a good move. With Abby, I felt differently. Abby shares a story from a past relationship, and when she did, I suspected this would come up again. It did come up again in the exact way I had anticipated. In this case I had hoped Lorrie would come up with something more unique that would have led to the same outcome. 

Overall, this was a good read. I enjoyed Matt and Abby's story. I thought the romance could have been a little stronger, but watching both Matt and Abby develop throughout the book was very enjoyable. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. It is a heartwarming tale of overcoming personal tragedy. 

Who would I recommend this book to? It is for adults, not one I'd recommend to teens because of the sexual aspects and language. Even with a male as one of the main characters, it leans more toward female readers than male. It will appeal to drama and romance readers, although hard core romance readers may be disappointed that the relationship wasn't as much of a focus as it could have been. 

A Life Worth Living is available now from Amazon and Barnes and Noble