What’s Left of Us-Michele Tucker
Genre: Christian Romance / Coming of Age
Calla Jensen, a college freshman at University of Alabama, can’t move on. Her loss of faith in God, and in herself, has her frozen and stagnant. But time doesn’t stop for any one, and no matter how much she fights it, making new friends and leaving her past behind is inevitable.
When her college roommate drags her to an event on campus, she doesn’t expect to come face to face with the person whose life she almost ruined. Old wounds open up and together they must come to terms with the events that led to three best friends being torn apart.
But Calla has been keeping something back, and it could destroy the fragile ties she is slowly building back with the people she loves. Can faith be renewed and can God help her heal?
What happened the day everything fell apart?
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and participation in this tour.
- Mystery and questions drive the plot. What was so horrible that it severed the bonds of a friendship a decade strong? Subtle hints provoke more questions and deliver few answers until the truth hits with a force as powerful and brutal as a landslide.
- Calla’s grief is a raw and open wound. Mixed with memory and longing, she clings to the past in order to function. It’s unhealthy and turns her into a recluse. Calla has serious regrets and places the blame on her shoulders but what’s the most heartbreaking is her loss of faith. Calla is angry with God and furious with herself. Michele Tucker does a beautiful job capturing the warring feelings within Calla as she struggles to forgive herself and to regain faith in God again. Calla’s messages to Asher are child-like and almost like diary entries. Everything she’s feeling is displayed honestly in those pure, open confessions.
- Beck is hotheaded and makes reckless assumptions. He’s hot and cold, his forgiveness is hard to come by but once he decides to move on it’s fast and with an open heart. Beck is a genuinely nice guy; he helps those in need, has a steady faith in God and loves sweetly.
- Parker is adorable. He’s compassionate, silly, flirty, and goes out of his way to be there for Calla. He never pretends their relationship is something it’s not. He helps Calla, no questions asked, is the warm arms to hold her and the muscular shoulders to cry on. Their relationship is an easy, perfect friendship.
- Together Beck and Calla are made of nostalgia and new beginnings. Their lives will always revolve around Asher and the happiness of their childhood but together, they can build a brighter future laced with lessons from their mutual past.
- The big reveal was kind of a letdown. It seemed really pointless that Calla spent all this time in a spiral of horrible depression and grief that could have easily been lifted had she just confessed. Sometimes keeping a secret is detrimental and in this case, it didn’t help anyone.
- Repercussions from the night in question were minimal. There should have been more to it, at least some sort of investigation. Details were sparse in terms of the aftermath. Beck gets over it too fast.
- It was bizarre that the story was told from 2 imbalanced perspectives. There were more told from Calla’s POV than Asher’s. Because of how the story is structured, focused on a trio friendship, it felt like Beck was missing. Views were from an outsider so the reader never got into Beck’s head or to experience what he was feeling other than what he said to Calla or Asher. The absence of Beck’s internal dialogue took away from the romance. The additional element of Beck’s emotions would have made for a sturdier foundation for their relationship and been made of stronger stuff than inference.
- Delilah and Asher’s relationship was undeveloped and had large gaps. Their story shifted the overall arch. Delilah’s parts were sporadic and there wasn’t enough to build an opinion of her or connection to her.
With every mile I was more relieved to finally get away from Acworth and all the memories here. But with every mile, it also felt as if my heart was being ripped from my soul all over again. Like I was leaving a piece of me behind, a piece I needed to survive. I pushed down the panic that started to arise in my chest at the thought of being alone. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
We should have stuck together. We had a pact.
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