Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L B Simmons


For some, it’s simply one of life’s certainties, nothing more. For others, it’s merely a fleeting thought, one often overshadowed by the reckless delusion that they have been blessed with the gift of immortality.

For Aubrey Miller, death is the definition of her very existence. Overcome with the guilt resulting from the loss of her beloved family, she alters her appearance from the once beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl to that of one shrouded in complete darkness, enveloping herself in her own unbreakable fortress of solitude as a form of protection for others.

As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: Earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the boisterous former pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend from her past who never really let her go.

Over the years, as their connections intertwine and grow, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three…

But when death painfully reemerges, Aubrey is lost once again, burying herself deeper than ever before inside the familiar fortification of her fears.

Will the refuge of friendship, the solidarity of life-long bonds, and the power of unconditional love be enough to do the impossible?

Will they be enough to finally bring about…

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller?

5 Could Not Be Any Better Stars!
Review by Allison East
Creepy, foreboding title right? It made me more and more curious. I wanted this book so bad. I saw the cover, heard the title, and L.B. Simmons was the author- that’s all I needed to know. It could have been about puppies and chickens for all I knew, and I didn’t much care. I knew I needed it- and boy, did I need it! This book. A review will never convey all of the feelings I have in my bones about how wickedly amazing this book was. Something has changed within me about my expectations for a good book. No longer will I be content with just any old boy meets girl love story, or steamy sex scene, or humor-laden writing. It has to mean something to me; it has to affect me long after I’ve read it. And it’s because of this book, and LB. I was typing a message to her after I finished last night, and couldn’t see through the veil of tears that were falling down my face. I thought I had read five star books before this, I was mistaken. This book. I’ve been waiting for it and I didn’t even know. I found myself highlighting sentences, paragraphs, and sometimes whole pages. This book reached its hand inside of my chest, and touched my very soul.
Aubrey Miller is dead. She no longer exists, but this story tells of how she came to be death- and how she survived it.
“The simplicity of living astounds me. But it’s the terror of death that devours me.”
Jeez, who writes this stuff? I’ll tell you who- the author of this book. There are so many poignant moments in this story that have to be read, by anyone and everyone. Even if you don’t like to read- things written in this book; are life lessons that everyone should jot down in a notebook somewhere, only to be opened in times of necessity.
Aubrey is starting college under the guise of “Raven,” her persona. Her guardian, Linda is dropping her off in the veritable plethora of pink that is her new roommate- Quinn. And Linda leaves her with words, so touching and emotive- you can’t help but fall in love with her. And this quote is only a snippet of Linda’s wisdom:
“Life is full of so much that you refuse to let yourself experience. The blanketing comfort of love, the fulfillment of contagious laughter, the peace of finding true joy, the butterflies of uncontainable excitement, these are all the things that make up life. They should never be taken for granted.”
“Raven” is awfully hard to handle and take in- thanks to the piercings, hair color, contacts and self-loathing, but it’s all a clever cloaking device that Aubrey has made to protect herself. From what, it’s hard to say. Good thing for her is that her roommate, Quinn, also has layers and problems tucked away inside under lock and key. And she doesn’t judge a book by its cover.
“Beautiful people tend to be ugly, ugly people tend to be beautiful, storms tend to brew below a person’s cool, calm exterior, and tremendously happy people tend to be overcompensating for their own grief. Nothing is ever really what it seems.”
I love Quinn, she is quintessential in this story, and I can’t wait to hear more from her- if we are lucky enough that this book does well, we get Quinn’s story- yay! She puts up a strong front for years, especially after taking flak from her parents and everyone else in the pageant world about her weight.
Kaeleb Kristopher McMadden, or as I reference him- my future husband. Only a joke, as my husband would kill me if he really knew how I felt. Another fantastical beautifully written character. Kaeleb was Aubrey’s best friend and she has not seen or heard from him since she was eight. She kept his memory locked safely away in memory bin number three, and thought she would never see him again. Little did she know he would play a pivotal part in resurrecting a part of herself thought to be dead and gone.
There will only be me in this moment, as I shut myself in the bathroom alone and relive my very first kiss. A kiss that will forever alter my life and revive my soul.
They have many snarky moments, along with some sobering ones. The two of them together is perfection personified, as if their souls were intertwined at eight years old and it was destined they meet again; that he was meant to find her.
There are so many favorite moments for me from this story that spans Aubrey Miller’s life. The fact that each section goes from her freshman year to her graduation- and beyond. The whole list of firsts she crosses off- most of them good but some of them bad. The trust that she learns to put into people after having everything ripped out of her life- and still surviving all of it. I’m not going to tell you this is a sappy love story with lots of steamy sex, or your typical YA or NA romance novel. I will tell you what this story is; this story is everything. The lessons learned, the advice given- is probably something I will carry with me the rest of my life. This is definitely my top read of 2014, and one I will read over and over, just for the sheer fact that I can’t get enough of the writing. Like this nugget:
“As long as you continue to travel through life in this darkness, you will never know how beautiful your light truly shines when you let yourself love and be loved. Trust me when I say, it’s a breathtaking sight to see. You burn bright as the sun.”
And finally, one of my favorites to leave you with:
“Sometimes it’s impossible for mere words to encompass how you really feel about someone. There’s nothing you could ever possibly say to adequately emulate the effect of that person’s presence in your life. It’s an overwhelming, indescribable feeling that consumes your heart and captivates your soul. It simply just is.”
Buy this book. Read this book. Love this book. And when you’re done, read it again. That’s how much I will carry it with me. Forever.


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