Friday, January 20, 2012

Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert

First off, I received this book (my first one at that) from Net Galley. I don't know why, but I felt really important to be given the chance to read a book that's not yet to be released until April 10th. Like I was going to know this all important secret before the rest of the world. So if you will, indulge me for a moment while I live on this high.

To be honest, what first drew me to the book was the cover and the title.

4 of 5 stars
I mean, the cover looked all dark and mysterious and the title instantly made me think of Wizard of Oz. Then I read the blurb that was on Net Galley-

One city of 600,000 people.
One broken girl.
One mysterious boy.
One fateful night,
Two worlds collide.  
I thought, how in the world is this related to the Wizard of Oz. It didn't matter, I wanted to read it. And fast. Quite frankly, it doesn't have anything to do with the Wizard of Oz. That was just my own ignorance shining through. Thank goodness I had a coworker who told me that Seattle, or Washington more like it, is called the Emerald State.

Okay, I get it. That made more sense when I read this blurb on the authors website.

Olivia Tate is a broken shell of a girl haunted by the tragic events that fill her past. She has closed herself off from the world, each day grasping at something—anything—to live for. Convinced there will never be a way out, she seeks solace in the depths of her medicine cabinet. When she wakes up days later in the hospital she is introduced to Jude, the quiet stranger responsible for saving her life. She never could have guessed then that her mysterious rescuer would end up saving her life a second time, while simultaneously turning her world upside down. A modern-day romance with a twist, Emerald City has a little bit of something for everyone!

I went into this book not really knowing what it was about. Obviously (see my Wizard of Oz moment from above) but I came out absolutely LOVING this book. Mrs. Leppert is right when she says that this mysterious rescuer turns Olivia's world upside down. Oh and the twist on the romance? Yeah, wouldn't have expected what it was from the tiny summary above.

Now, on to my take on this book.

Olivia is depressed. There is no way to sugar coat her life. It sucks and it's monotonous. She has the same routine every day. Find the will to get up, shower, eat, go to work, come home, avoid sleep- when that doesn't work, do her damnest to get through her nightmares. Why the nightmares? Why the depression? Sister has had it rough! Her dad was living a double life and choose the "other" family over her and her mom. Her mom struggled to make ends meet and support Olivia as a single mother. When it all became too much, her mom killed herself in the bathroom, for Olivia to find. Six months later, still reeling from the hand that life has dealt her, she decides to take the pain away herself by od'ing on pills. She's unsuccessful. See, there's this mysterious neighbor by the name of Jude who comes to her rescue.

And this is where the fluttery romance begins. Jude, after explaining to the doctors, that is was an accident that Olivia tried to kill herself, makes it his mission to keep his eye on Olivia. Convenient to keep a watch out for her when he lives right across the street. Just so happens, he shows up everywhere. On her doorstep when she can't sleep. At her job when her shift is over. And before you know it, Jude not only has taken up residence in Olivia's life but he's now in her heart. And if his could beat...(dun dun dun) she'd be in his too.

Hey Jude (go ahead and sing it. You know you want to) is "mysterious" and  totally had my cheeks aching. He's sweet and adorable and I won't say swoony because I really don't like that word, but he's just...yeah. He's pretty awesome. Along the way, you pick up clues as to what Jude really is. I won't spoil the secret, but halfway through the book, you have a pretty good idea that he's something else. Something other worldly.

This book was truly wonderful because it shows hope and promise when you've reached your limit that you can go on. You can find happiness if you allow yourself. Yeah, life sucks sometimes, but if you can pick yourself up and do right by yourself, then maybe you can be given a second chance. And love. Oh love. Who wouldn't want a second chance at life when you have someone to love to share it with?

Thank you NetGalley and Cedar Fort Publishers for allowing me to read this gem before it's released. I feel honored and humbled at the opportunity. And if you can get your hands on this April 10th, I suggest you do. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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