Sunday, July 1, 2018

Review: Family Ties by Stephie Walls

With a history like ours, the meaning of the word family tended to tangle into something unrecognizable. DNA and bloodlines didn’t tie us together, and neither did our last names. Various shades of grey blurred the branches of our twisted family tree.

I wasn’t her brother.
They weren’t my parents.
Not that it mattered… 

She was off limits.

Portia was my friend.
Then my foster sister.
And she’d always be the love of my life.

3.5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Family Ties isn't just a forbidden love story between foster siblings, it is so much more.  Jude and Portia both have their own issues that they are dealing with.   This story is about love, loss, grief and finding your way back to the person you once were.  

Jude and Portia met when they were young.  Due to his mother’s sickness, Jude was sent to live with a foster family for a little while.   That is where he met Portia.  Having lost her mother at a young age she has been living with the Shaw’s, her foster parents.  They didn’t necessarily grow up together because this wasn’t a permanent residence for Jude.  He lived with his mother and would go back to the Shaw’s house when his mother had to go for treatments.  But Jude and Portia still spent a lot of time together. They had a special bond and were best friends.   

They are older now and Portia is about to leave for college.  Jude just lost his mother and is in a world of hurt.   His best friend and the only girl he has ever loved is leaving. He has never told her how she feels and wonders if she feels the same love for him.  At some point they cross that line.  But there are so many obstacles in their way. One is what will happen when the Shaw’s find out. Hiding their relationship on top of everything else that Jude is going through May he too much for him to handle. Will they be able to get past the obstacles and find happiness?

As I mentioned earlier this book is so much more than a forbidden romance. For me personally I’m not sure it ever really felt that forbidden. But it was the other issues that made this story what it was. I really enjoyed this book and the emotions it did bring out in me at times.  But for me personally, while I liked Jude and Portia I just didn’t connect with them in a way that I wanted to.  At times this book moved a little slow but once they cross that line it definitely picked up.  

I loved watching the emotions that they both went through and the growth that we get to see.  Jude was young and dealing not only with the loss of his mother but his best friend leaving as well.  He had an unhealthy dependency that is what led to him spiraling downward and in the process completely losing himself. 

I loved watching him with his struggles and seeing his determination to be the boy he once was. Portia was a little harder for me to connect to than Jude but at the same time I think she needed to find herself as well.  Moving away and meeting new people, at the same time dealing with your feelings for someone that you feel you shouldn’t have feelings for definitely affected her in a big way. But she too needed to take a step back and work it all out

Overall I enjoyed this book but just did not connect with the characters as I had hoped. The writing was good and the storyline itself was very good.  Just wanted a little more.  I do hope we get to see some of the other characters get their own book.

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