After more than a month’s disappearance where I spent quite a few weeks in hospital (having not one but two chronic illnesses is such fun) I’ve finally been able to get back to doing some actual reading and reviewing (I was on quite a variety of drugs while in hopsital so found it difficult to concentrate on reading much) but after much ado I present you with one of my first books read in months and what I hope is a fairly positive review: Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener
Overall Rating: 3.5 – 4 stars. This review contains spoilers!
I was really looking forward to this book, and overall I did enjoy it but I just felt something missing really.
I loved the book cover – I know this doesn’t really have any connection to the story or plot itself but I just wanted to say how gorgeous and inviting it is. So if you’re judging a book by its cover I can see why you would choose this one.
Speaking of the cover – the blurb on the cover was also something that drew me to the story. I’m quite keen just now to read depictions of dealing with grief especially within YA; particularly because I’m trying to depict a character dealing with grief and guilt in my own writing.
I did really like Aggi and Max and found myself drawn to Max in particular in terms of his journey. I really liked the split narrative so we saw many situations from both perspectives. The author did a brilliant job in showing how such strong emotions and how such huge tragedies can tear people apart – even (and often especially) loved ones.
But like I said, it just felt like something was missing – there were a few moments that did make me tear up, but very often with book dealing with these themes I would be sobbing through a lot of the book. I think part of the problem is that I never fully connected with any of the characters. The story just never made me fully care enough. Grace was always so much of a side character – never fully developed that it was hard to properly feel the panic and worry that Aggi and Max was meant to be feeling – both the first time she went in the lake and when she went missing later.
I think grief was handled in such a careful way – and I think Kate’s suicide was especially well done but I was really kind of expecting something more like All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven but it just missed the mark slightly.
I was disappointed that during the conclusion the Franks’ chose to fully sell their property; I could understand Aggi, Grace and their mom moving out a bit – but surely as the two families worked through everything and began to grieve together it would have been better for them to stay close – for Aggi to still have such close proximity to Max and the lake. It also felt slightly like the conclusion was rushed in a way – the book was a very quick read and it felt like it could have been longer, with more depth to the story.
Overall I did enjoy this book, just perhaps not as much as I expected but it was still very well written and the subject matter sensitively and carefully handled. So I still can’t decide on the final rating but definitely somewhere between 3.5 and 4.
Obviously with my recent hospital stay and now prolonged recovery and rehabilitation at home things have been put on hold in terms of my etsy shop, writing and future plans for both but I’m hoping as other things in life are slowly getting back to normal I can get back to focusing on these things and hopefully, getting back into the studio soon. But until then, I hope you enjoy my latest review and I can be back to do more blog posts soon!
Until then, see you in the future! ❤