Hey there, my bibliophiles! Happy Thursday.. or as I like to call it, Friday-Eve! I’m so sorry for the delay in posts (I feel like all I do lately is apologize for being M.I.A.). It’s been a hectic week to say the least. I had a few appointments, work, and a work function to boot. Everything has fallen by the wayside the past few days so I need to play catch up. That’s for another post, though. For now, I have a book review for you that is an absolute must read. Bear with me here, because as much as I’ve thought about what I’ve wanted to say for tonight’s review, I feel like I still might be all over the place with my fangirl thoughts.
I’m beyond grateful that I’ve been able to read some really amazing books lately. The last few stories I’ve picked up have been complete grand slams and have all taken up residency in my top spots for 2017. Now, there’s another one to add to the list. Tonight, I’m talking about the book you’ve seen plastered all over this site (and all my social media). Let’s talk about On the Way to You by Kandi Steiner. I’ve been chomping at the bit for this story ever since I first saw Steiner posting about the story progress on social media. Ever since I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of her book, Weightless, she’s been a one-click author for me.. no second guessing. That being said, On the Way to You is something completely new and left me in awe and an emotional mess once I was done.
This was more than a book, these were words I felt, as a reader, and as someone who is at a crossroads of her own right now, that really spoke to me on another level.
What makes you happy?
It should be such a simple question, right? You’d think so, but when I read that question, I paused and had to ask myself the same thing, and I felt I came up with short and simple answers, but not the answers I wanted. In that regard, I think I related to Cooper Owens in a big way.
Cooper is a girl who is biding her time. She’s taking things slow and living life. She has dreams and goals, like any of us, and just like the rest of us, she seems to talk about them, but not do them. “I don’t have enough money saved yet”, “I can’t go yet”, “I’ve always wanted to live there”. Instead, she’s hoarding her pennies and dollars and living a simple life working in the same diner in Mobile, Alabama that she’s been in since she was 16. It’s not until Emery Reed shows up in one of her booths that her life changes completely.
She asks him what he’d like to eat, he asks her what makes her happy. Emery is attractive, he’s mysterious, he has a car, and he’s on his way to Washington.. exactly where she wants to live and attend her dream school. Then, he asks her if she’d like to join him cross-country.
Cooper gives herself every reason not to tag along, but none of them are adequate enough to pass up such an opportunity and stay put. After packing a bag and leashing up her beloved dog, Kalo, the strangers are bound for the west.
Emery is beautiful but somewhat quiet and closed off. Adie from small talk, it takes a bit of work for Cooper to get Emery to open up to her in such close quarters. Until she finds his journal. She knows it’s wrong to invade his privacy, but she is determined to figure him out.
This isn’t a typical tale of ideal and irresistible love with past lovers lurking around dark corners. This is about imperfect people learning to overcome tragedies, and mental challenges in order to live life, find true love, and be happy.
Parts of this story were absolutely heart-wrenching, while others were fun and eye-opening. The one word I would have to walk away from this book with was intense. It wasn’t the kind of story you read, enjoyed your time with the characters, and then left them safely on your shelf. Emery and Cooper had a strong message, and they had a compelling story to tell, both on their own accounts, and then together as they created something new on their journey.
This is the point where I find myself at a loss for words as to what this story meant to me, but all I’ll tell you is that these two stayed imprinted on my heart. I adored everything about them, in their fantastic and happy moments, and the moments when the darkness took everything out of them.
Easier said than done, but I feel the need to carry this story in my heart like a talisman for a long time to come. I need to be reminded that being practical isn’t always the way to thrive. Live? Sure, but really excel and find your passion and the thing that makes your heart sing is another story. Maybe one day, I’ll throw caution to the wind and take a page (or ten) out of Cooper and Emery’s story and do the things that make me happy just as they did.
On the Way to You is not only beautiful but also quite profound, and if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut in your own life, this is the book you need in order to escape.
Thank you times a million to Kandi for another superb book! I drank in every page of this story and will use it as an example of the life I want to live.