Thursday, 25 April 2013

Review of In Another Life by Jo Cattell

Author: Jo Cattell
Publication Date: April 25th 2013
Source: Review copy provided by the author

"Sixteen year old, Annie Kane was dumped by her last boyfriend. It took a long time for her to agree with her friends and find somebody new.
When Jim Osborn, the class clown shows up with his best friend, Annie realizes that there’s is something different about his friend, but she can’t figure out what.
Nate Cruz wasn’t like anyone she’d ever known. He’s funny and down to earth, but he also suffers with low self esteem from being in and out of the hospital.
After Jim tries to force himself on her at a party, Anne finally sees him as he really is and decides to end it.
She and Nate become best friends. Then, a kiss changes it all.
With Nate, she sees what love really means. She learns how wonderful life can be. And how at anytime, things can change without warning.
If she’d stayed in her safe, little world, Annie would have missed her chance at love. But because of an irresistible attraction for a boy, she just couldn’t forget? She finds out what she’s really made of and what’s it’s like— living in another life."

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

I have to say in all honesty that I don't know how to begin this review. This book was one of the most emotional books I have ever read.
It may come as a surprise to some of you but not to others that I adore everything that Jo Cattell writes, and everything she writes makes me cry - well, In Another Life was no exception. I cried from nearly the first page and read much of the book with tears in my eyes.

This story is based on a true story and knowing that is probably one of the major factors behind my tears. Everything that happened, well most things, actually happened in real life and that made it all the harder for me to keep my emotions in check.

A lot of you who have read my reviews before know that if I am moved by a book, I will have a good cry. But this book brought out the sobbing baby in me. It wasn't until the end that I cried as hard as I have ever cried in my life. So that's your warning to have a whole box of tissues ready before you open this book.

Anne is a good girl. she deserves to be treated like a Queen or at the very least a Princess, by any man in her life. But that's not the case when she meets Jim. Her friends think she needs a boyfriend and so encourage her to go out on a date with him - I read the first date scene and it was at that moment in time that I knew that Jim was NOT the right person for our wonderful Anne.
Through Jim, she meets his best friend, Nate. He's everything that Jim isn't. He's good looking in a kind of nerdy way [and I love nerdy]. He's good and kind. He makes her laugh. Trouble is, he's Jim's best friend, so Anne shouldn't see him in the way she does. She shouldn't look forward to time spent with Jim just because she gets to see Nate.
Upon dumping Jim [which is totally the right thing to do] she gives Nate a hug goodbye, feeling that she won't see him again because of how things have ended up. But she couldn't be more wrong.
She didn't know it at the time but Nate liked her all along. He wanted to hit Jim for some of the things he said and did to Anne. He knows she deserves so much better.

So Anne and Nate start seeing each other. He has to admit to her that he is poorly and needs dialysis. He really needs a kidney transplant but the waiting list is long and he doesn't know if or when he's likely to get one.
Anne doesn't let this bother her. She does things for him and treats him well. She treats him with the same respect he treats her, which is how a real relationship should be. They are such an adorable couple.
Anne's best friend Monica and her boyfriend Joe really think that Nate is good for her. They all plan days on the beach and Joe's family have a place they can all head off to for a short getaway.
The relationship blossoms and you can see the two really love each other. It's like they are two halves of the same whole - soul mates.

One day, good news comes, they've found a kidney for Nate. They couldn't be more excited. He's been so poorly for so long that it's a big deal that they've managed to find him a match.

[Spoiler Carefully Extracted]

Anne and Nate get by day to day knowing that he is so poorly, but she looks after him the way anyone who loves someone would. They are a young couple in love and you couldn't want anything other than a Happily Ever After for them.
Nate's Mom and Dad like Anne, the only person who seems to have something against her is his sister. She seems to think that the moment his health takes a decline, Anne will leave him. Little does she know, she couldn't be more wrong.

In life, you are lucky if you find 'the one' and if you do, it's a once in a lifetime thing. If you've ever felt true love, it's an all consuming thing that means come Hell or high water, you would do anything for the one you love. You would walk from one end of the Earth to the other, walk over hot coals, move mountains, all things that sound like cliches - but if you think they're cliches, then maybe that's because you've never been in love. You may think you have, but in my opinion, you haven't.
I know that this couple in real life, would have done all those things for each other. They were young, yes, but also so in love - a love like which, some people in life may never be lucky enough to experience.

This book was an all-consuming thing for me. From the moment I picked it up until the moment I put it down, I was right there alongside them, feeling everything they went through.
I know that Jo pours her heart and soul into each book she writes and this book felt like something extra too. It was like she was telling us a secret, something she'd kept inside for the last 25 years.

There is a song that sprung to mind when I was reading this book, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks [though the video is for the Ronan Keating version because I can't find Garth on YouTube.

Jo Cattell is an amazing author and I defy anyone to think differently. She writes from the heart and gives each book her all. You feel like you're on a roller coaster, with the ups and downs and loop-the-loops. But it becomes your favourite roller coaster and you don't want to get off.

I am proud to be able to call Jo my friend, though just because we are friends, doesn't mean I'll leave her books great reviews. I am an impartial reviewer and will rate her books just as honestly as I would an author that wasn't my friend.
Make no mistake, Jo and I didn't know each other until I got into reviewing and when she sent me her manuscript for a WIP entitled 'Summer Rain' - which went on to become a book known as 'When Angels Fall' - I was only too happy to read and review it. It was after that when we became friends. It's hard in the reviewing world and I guess the world of an author, not to become friends with someone you share a passion with.  But I am proud to be her friend and wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you Jo for letting me read this amazing book. I can't wait to see what you write next.

Thank you to all of you who came by to read my review today. I hope to see you all again soon.

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