Saturday, May 17, 2014

Christie's Review: Out Of Reach by Missy Johnson


Title: Out of Reach
Author: Missy Johnson
Release Date: May 7, 2014
Rating:4 stars
Cliffhanger: No

My best friend was dying and I was in love with his girl.
Andy and I had been best friends since we were eight-years old.
Watching him slowly fade away, ever closer to his final breath, made
me so incredibly angry. I knew there was nothing I could do to change it--I had given in to despair, but Andy had not. He had one last hand to play.
He wasn't going to simply sit back and wait for Death to claim him--not Andy. He was going to live life until he couldn't hold his eyes open any longer.
Andy didn't want to die in some sterile hospital and asked me to take him and Emily to the beach. It would be our last road trip together.
Emily. Emily was a problem for me.
I harbored a secret that would have torn our friendship apart. I was in love with Andy's girl, and had been since she'd walked into our sixth grade class, so many years ago.
So what kind of person am I? My best friend is dying, and it's
awful--but my heart still aches for his girl. I hate myself for
thinking beyond Andy's death and whether there could ever be a future for Emily and I, but I can't help it.
I'm in love with her.

This book right here…it will slay you. God. I can’t even explain how emotional I got. Through half the book I was blinking my eyes, gritting my teeth, and attempting to swallow the lump that was lodged in my throat in an attempt to hold back the avalanche of feels this book causes.

I started out thinking this was going to be a forbidden romance-a type of love triangle between three best friends only there’s a curveball thrown in. One of them is dying. How do you even pursue that girl that you’ve been in love with for as long as you've known her-14 years, if doing so feels like a betrayal to both of your friends who you’d lay your life down for? That’s just it. You don’t. And he hasn’t. Seth is a good guy-period. He’s loved Emily for as long as he can remember but he keeps that little fact to himself and watches while his best friend takes care of and cherishes her.

He’s not resentful or angry, he accepts it, but he can’t move on from his feelings either. They’re uncontrollable. He knows everything about her: her likes and dislikes, her embarrassing stories, her habits…she’s everything he’s ever wanted and could never have. Especially after Andy was diagnosed with Cancer at 17. Emily and Andy became even more devoted to each other. Unbreakable. But then, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

What I thought was going to be a forbidden love story turned out to be so much more. Really, it was a look at the absolute, unselfish and unwavering love between three best friends. It's the kind of love that all of us wishes we could experience in our lives. It focused on death, grief, and learning to open your mind to all the possibilities of life-to live as if each day was your last.

As Andy gets close to the end, he convinces Emily and Seth to come with him and complete some things on his bucket list for him. He doesn't have the strength anymore but he wants to experience everything through them. And above all, he wants his friends to be ok with him leaving them. He wants to know that they're going to be alright and that they will take care of each other. He's always gotten his way-he's just the kind of person that doesn't take no for an answer and he has quite a surprise for these two later on.

Emily isn't coping too well with the last days of her best friend, her first and only love, and the man who's slipping away faster than she anticipated. She fought with him for years, but now all she feels is unprepared. How can she ever move on when a piece of her is gone?

Emily goes through all the stages of grief and she just feels so lost. She's stuck-in anger, depression, and indifference. She still feels like he could walk through the door any minute like nothing's changed. Nothing seems to matters anymore.

Seth is in pain as well but he knows that Emily needs him and he's there for her for whatever she needs. They decide to go and try to finish Andy's bucket list that he never got to complete. Seth also in the back of his mind is hoping that somehow they can find a way to get past the guilt and attempt something more than friendship together. Could they even do that? He has mixed feelings, but all he can do is support her and see where things go. There were some beautiful, touching scenes in remembering Andy, and honoring him. I loved the hot balloon ride and all the other crazy things they did-for him.

One thing I wish there was less of was the amount of flashbacks to Andy and Emily's relationship during happy times. All their firsts and special moments. I enjoyed that but I felt like I needed more focus on Seth and Emily and more build up of her romantic feelings towards Seth. Overall, this was quite the emotional ride and was about more than a simple love story. It was more about the love of three friends and everything they sacrifice and give to each other. I very easily gave it 4 stars since this book had me choking up with tears literally running down my face. There are very few books that can do that to me, but you just can't escape it here. You WILL feel so many emotions reading this book. Check this one out-but keep some tissues handy.


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