Unexpected Love #3
by Isabel Love
A “blast from the past” review.
The mistakes that will define us if we let them.
“A heartrending tale of how youthful mistakes can have lasting consequences.”
In my early days of reading, reviewing, and blogging arc books I took a chance on a new author. Her name was Isabel Love. She wrote a book called Untouchable, that book blew me away. She then released another book called Unconventional, and out of over 400 books I read last year that was in my top ten favourites. So when I saw she was releasing Anna’s book (she feature’s only briefly in Unconventional but had a huge impact on Charlie’s life) I was hoping for another good read. Actually, I was hoping for a book that would touch my heart in the same way that Unconventional had. I got everything I wanted and then some more. I got another top ten read, and maybe not just for the year but probably the decade.
Hope is a stupid, cruel emotion.
Wesley was the new boy at school, fostered by an indifferent couple and the victim of bullies. Anna, and her brother John, rescued him from those bullies and thus begins a lifelong friendship. Puberty turns childish feelings into something more, but Wes believes he isn’t good enough for a girl like Anna and eventually, she finds love in the arms of another. If you’ve read Unconventional you will know what happened between Charlie and Anna, how a rash decision of a naïve teenager changed both their lives. (Don’t worry, you find it all out in this book too, so it can be read as a standalone.) You will know how their love not only came to a crashing end but made Charlie hate Anna almost as much as Anna hated herself. At the same time, Wes makes his own foolish choices, which also have severe consequences.
Eventually, Wes and Anna find their way back to each other, but both are so broken by their pasts will they ever be able to find their future?
Quinn’s self-loathing and deep hurt in Unconventional made me cry. However, in Unforgivable we have TWO damaged and hurting characters. BOTH Anna and Wes made me cry, great huge ugly tears of the very best kind. They tore my heart from my chest, squeezed it, pummelled it, slapped it around and then stuffed it back in, leaving it feeling bruised and vulnerable. Yet they also filled it with great joy and hope.
The scenes from their teenage years were so packed with emotion. There was Anna’s desperation and longing for Wes to notice her and love her. There was Wes with all his pent up feelings for Anna and his deep sense of lacking any worth. I also totally believed in their connection, their feelings and their love. There was the clear love that Anna’s parents had for Wes, not that he could ever see it.
“Ever since you brought him home that day from school, with his nose broken and untrusting eyes, I’ve wanted to give that boy everything the world has failed to give…..”
The unfairness of so much of what happens, left me wanting to stamp my feet and demand justice for a fictional character, but a character who so wove his way into my heart that he felt real. Then we get the ‘later’ scenes when Anna is living in a deep hole of self-loathing and recrimination. Where Wes despairs that his life will ever hold anything good or joyous. Anna and Wes are such wonderful characters that you are desperate for them to have a HEA, though life (or should I say the author!) doesn’t want to make things too easy. This book repeatedly broke me and then remade me, it was quite simply an amazing read.
“I could never forget. The real challenge is to remember my past mistakes, accept them, and move on.”
There wasn’t a single page of this that I was tempted to skim. I devoured every individual page, sentence, word and letter. I just wished I hadn’t started reading it at 10 pm, as in the early hours I had to force myself to put it down and get some sleep. Not that sleep was ready to come with Anna, Wes and their battles spinning around in my head.
For quite a long story (between 4 and 5 hours to read) there are only a few ‘bedroom scenes’. They are pretty steamy but very much an integral part of the story, both feeling a very natural part of it, as well as enhancing it.
This is such a wonderful book I don’t want to limit my recommendation to one group or type of reader. It is so good I would recommend it to everyone, this author is one of the few whose books I will automatically one-click, no questions asked.
P.S.- keep a box of tissues to hand whilst reading this book.
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35499933-unforgivable
Standalone, new-adult romance about mistakes, acceptance and forgiveness.
There are certain things that are unforgivable…
Falling for your brother’s best friend is one of them.
That isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever done, though. Not even close.
Shame and guilt follow me everywhere.
Except when I’m with him. With him, I can breathe again. Smile again. Love again. But he doesn’t know what I’ve done…