NA Contemporary Romance
Designed by: Meghan Quinn
Photographer: Lauren Perry
Designed by: Meghan Quinn
Photographer: Lauren Perry
Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life's greatest challenges.
The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons...and prove their existence.
With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey.
Please be kind.
Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.
Review by Jen Skewes
Review by Jen Skewes
Dear Life is such an amazing and beautiful story, and one that will stay with me. The story is so unique an unlike anything that I have read before. It tells the story of 4 individuals who have recently been dealt a terrible hand in life. They each have their own story to tell and the struggles that go with it. They are all different in their own way but at the same time what they are all experiencing is so similar in so many ways. This beautiful story is very emotional at times, but also has the right amount of humor and wit. It’s as if Ms. Quinn knew you needed a break from the heavy and gave us something to smile or laugh about. I cannot say enough about this book and how much I loved it. I won’t go into too much detail about the story itself but just want to introduce the characters themselves.
Hollyn has a wonderful life full of happiness and love. Until one day it was all taken away from her, leaving her completely heart broken and a shell of herself. She is no longer the fun, carefree happy girl she once was. It has been two years and she is still living in the past, finding it so hard to move on. She wants to but at the same time she is so scared. She doesn’t know how to move on without forgetting what she lost. At this point in her life she is just living day to day, giving up on any hopes and dreams that she once had. How can she get past the fear and learn to live now, to live for the future and let go of the past?
Jace is this young, hot, down to earth baseball player who had the best rookie season last year and is looking forward to his life, his future and the next season. Until life throws him a curveball, giving him something that he cannot handle at the moment. In his own way, Jace has suffered his own loss and he has no idea how to deal with it. The pain is all too consuming and he has no idea how to let go of it, how to be able to move on. He has to learn to accept his decision and move on, but that is easier said than done.
Daisy, oh sweet naïve Daisy. I loved this character so much. She has missed out on so much in her life, but the thing is that she really didn’t know what she was even missing. It wasn’t that she has a tough life because it is actually the complete opposite. She had a very happy life, raised by her grandmother who she loves and adores. She just had a different life than most. But when life gives her lemons it is time for her to make lemonade. This is Daisy’s time to spread her wings and fly. For her to experience everything that life has to offer. But there is one thing holding her back and that is fear. How do you just one day wake up and change everything about your life? How can you just dive right into the unknown without being afraid? That’s what Daisy needs to find out.
And last but certainly not least is Carter. This boy holds a special place in my heart, he really does. He was dealt a really shitty hand from the moment he lost his parents at a young age. He has always known what he has wanted to do with his life and he was so close to doing it, until it was taken away. Or maybe I should say stolen from him. He is bitter and angry at life, the world, the people around him. He knows what he wants, he has held onto his dream since he was younger but at this point when life knocks him down he is not sure how to get back up. He has no one that believes in him but that’s not his biggest issue. His worst enemy is himself. He needs to believe in himself in order for him to reach his goals. His story tugged at my heart strings but at the same time he could melt my heart in a second. He was so bitter on the outside by my god this guy had such a heart, so patient and kind and yet he was the only one who couldn’t see it.
These four individuals are all going through a rough time in their life right now. They have each joined a program call Dear Life where they hope to be able to look life in the face and tell it how they really feel. They hope to be able to find the strength to make changes in their life and learn to live. These four strangers, who are somehow intertwined with each other, have been put together in a group within this program. They are there to lean on each other, help each other and to just listen. Will they all become the closest of friends, be able to embrace the program and really take everything that they learn and apply it to their own life? You will have to read to find out.
Dear Life is one of those books that just stays with you. When you are done you want to go back and read it all over again and savor every moment. This is an emotional story. Jace and Hollyn both had stories that just hurt so much. There were moments when I tried so hard to hold in my tears but couldn’t. I had to just let it all out. Their struggles, their issues that they are trying to deal with felt so real. While I haven't experienced what they have it just hurt my heart because I felt their pain. But not every part of this story is emotional. There are so many fun and witty moments that I loved. When Daisy and Carter interacted I just could not stop myself from smiling. My God when the two of the were together it just made me happy. She was the light to his dark soul.
This book is written from all four point of views which I loved. Not once was I ever lost or confused. It flowed perfectly and the writing was flawless. Everything about this book was real. From their struggles, their pain, their emotions to they way it was all handled. Things didn't happen overnight for these characters. They didn't one day wake up and declared that they were cured and they found themselves. No it took a lot of time, strength, heartache and soul searching for them to really learn to live.
Dear Life is a beautiful story about four people who are trying to get through a hard time in their life. It is about finding yourself, pushing aside the fears and insecurities, taking that next step to moving on. But it is also learning how to do it all, even if there are bumps in the road it is about finding the strength to get over those bumps. I was so sad to see this story end and the only reason why I did not give it 5 stars was because I wanted a little more in the end. There was one particular part of the story that I felt wasn't completely resolved. But otherwise I would not change a thing. Amazing, amazing job by Ms. Quinn!!!
About the Author:
Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!
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