Friday, March 18, 2016

Blog Tour: The Way Back to Me by Anne Mercier

Title: The Way Back to Me
Author: Anne Mercier
Release Date: Feb 22, 2016
Find on Goodreads
She used to be perky, fun, and full of life—everything I hated about girls and their bullshit exterior. People called her bubbly; I called her “fake-as-hell.”
The edgy, dark, lonely girl in front of me was not the Olivia Brennan I knew from high school—far from it, actually. I knew the story—the whole town knew the story, we witnessed it all. It happened in the blink of an eye and the girl we knew was gone.
But I refuse to watch it anymore—I can’t stand it. I’m going to fix it—fix her. It’s time I showed Olivia her way back…
Back to the girl she used to be.

4.5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Wow!  What a beautiful and emotional journey this book took me on.  From the moment I read the prologue I was hooked.  It just sucked me in from the start and my heart broke right along with Olivia and all that she was going through.  From that moment I knew that it was going to be a rough journey but I could not wait to go through it all.  

Olivia has just gone through something that no person, young or old ,should have to experience.  Every thing in Olivia's life was great and normal up until that one night.  She had the best friends and boyfriend that anyone could ask for and a family who loved her.   But after that one night, everything changed and Olivia wondered how in the world she would be able to move on.  How can she life her life and still be herself with everything that she is feeling? 

As time goes by she slowly starts to heal or at least tries to.  When September comes she goes away to college hoping that it will help her to move on and start all over.  She is still carrying around so much guilt and pain with her but maybe being away from her small town, she will be able to push it aside.  The one thing that she never expected though was to find comfort in the arms of Cameron Stone, the boy who was nothing but mean to her all throughout high school.  For some reason that Olivia could never figure out, Cameron hated her and made sure to let her know any chance that he got.  But now that they are at the same college things seem to be different, he seems to be different.  As hard as she fights it, Cam is there for her in ways that she needs right now and no matter how he treated her in the past for some reason she trusts him.  But will she be able to move on from the past and be able to open herself up to someone again?

In all honesty when I first met Cam I wasn’t quite sure what to think of him, given his past issues with Liv and how mean he was to her.  And even upon their first meeting in college he still wasn’t the nicest person.  But as his walls start to come down you find out his reasons for treating her the way that he did.  And now you see a man who wants to be there for her.  Everything that he thought he knew about Olivia back in high school is so far from who she really is.  And he quickly realizes that and wants to do whatever he can to help her find her way back to herself.  Because the girl she is now is not the Olivia he knows. The way he takes care of her, comforts her, is patient with her and just cares for her will melt your heart.  And once you see the real Cameron you cannot help but embrace and fall in love with him.  He truly is everything that Liv needs in her life, especially right now.

Olivia, oh my heart went out to this girl so much.  I cannot even imagine going through everything that she went through.  From the very moment you meet her in the prologue and you see just how it has all affected her you just want to hug her and hold her and comfort her in any way that you can.  She is such a strong person, but she is also a girl who doesn’t always believe in herself or her strength.  But with Cam and Alexa by her side she begins to see past the pain and the hurt and starts to see that maybe it is possible to move on and find her way back.  She learns how to break the walls down and open up and not just her heart but about the past as well. 

There is one moment where she finally talks about that moment that changed everything.   And when she does get those tissues ready, because OH.MY. GOD it broke me.  I cannot even begin to explain my thoughts in that moment but Anne Mercier did such an amazing job with making you feel, not only in that moment but the entire book.  I felt like I was there with her on that day experiencing it all with her.  But it was more than that one moment where I had all of the feels.  I laughed, cried and got mad with these characters.  I felt like I was a part of their world.  My heart even broke for Danny and what had happened because in some weird way I felt what he had with Olivia just by the way she talked about him.  I was not only sad for her but I was sad with her. 

This book brought out so many emotions and it is one that I cannot stop thinking of since I finished reading. Maybe because Ms. Mercier left us hanging in a big way but I really think it is because I just absolutely fell in love with the characters and their story.  When I had to actually put the book down to be a mom and a wife I could not wait to be able to pick it up again.  The truth is I really couldn’t concentrate on anything but Cam and Liv anyway.  And I loved the supporting characters and what they brought to this story, especially Sebastian and hope that they too all get thrier own story. 

This is a beautiful and emotional story about loss, love, friendship and finding yourself again.  This is the first book that I have read by Anne Mercier but it will certainly not be the last.  Absolutely amazing!!!  I cannot wait to see how their story ends!

"She really needs to get up. She's been in that bed for two weeks, Trish," my dad says to my mom. They're right outside my door again. I sigh softly.
"Leave her be, Greg. She's not ready yet."
"She's never going to be ready. No one's ever ready for what she has to face."
Mom sniffles and I know she's crying again. I'm so tired of hearing her cry. There's no reason for her to cry—not because of me. I lived.
I wish I could cry but I can't. I haven’t cried since I woke up in the hospital. I didn't cry from the pain of my fractured and broken bones. I didn't cry at the funeral when I stared down at the lifeless body of my soulmate—the body lying there was unfamiliar—not at all my Danny. I didn't cry while I struggled on crutches with a fractured rib over the uneven lawn, past all the weathered gravestones signifying just how final death really is.
I didn't cry when I lost it at the people—strangers—who didn't know my friends and my love by more than a passing hello stood there crying and carrying on. They didn't know their favorite color, their favorite food. They didn't know Danny chewed spearmint gum. They didn’t know Simon kept us laughing. They didn't know Cassidy was our support system. They didn't know Phil wasn't really as shallow as he led everyone to believe.
They. Just. Didn't. Know.
They didn't have a right to cry for people they didn't know—people who weren't good enough for them while they were alive.
And me? I just couldn't cry. I didn't even cry when my parents took me home and I stared at the corkboard filled with photos of me with my friends, me and the love of my life holding one another and laughing—a life that no longer exists. I stared at it for the hour I waited for the cemetery workers to cover the graves of those I love most. Then I went to them with my tequila.
My eyes are locked on that corkboard now and I can only stare mutely.
I'm numb.
I don't want to feel. I don't want to face a future alone, so I stay in bed and sleep. Sleep is the only friend I have left.
Sleep embraces me and holds me tight, blocking out the pain and grief that would otherwise fill my shattered heart. Sleep enfolds me in a cocoon of nothingness, and nothingness is what I crave.
I was born and raised in Wisconsin and still live here today with my two sons and puppy. (Though one day soon I hope to move to southern California!)
I’m an avid reader who gets inspired by reading the stories from my favorite authors as well as listening to various types of music. I am a huge fan of music, chocolate, fruit, desserts, autumn, M. Shadows, Avenged Sevenfold, and Milo Ventimiglia. Through my books, I am proudly creating new Avenged Sevenfold and Milo Ventimiglia fans one reader at a time.
“The best part of being an author, to me, is being able to take the reader to that one place they long to go when they need to escape reality. Knowing I can do that, for even one reader, makes what I do worthwhile.” ~ Anne Mercier
Hugs and love,
Anne xoxo

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