Friday, March 7, 2014

Everybody's Got a Story (Toronto #12) by Heather Wardell

Release Date: July 4, 2013
Publisher: Heather Wardell
Series: Toronto Series

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

For two years, Alexa battled the stigma of being a victim after she was confined and brutally assualted over a thirty-six hour period by her boyfriend, Christophe. She held strong during the trial, but the weight of the memories grew too strong. With the help of her boss, Alexa took a chance for a new life in Toronto and began the process of reclaiming her life one step at a time.

But she soon found herself facing down the very thoughts from which she ran. Everywhere she turned, something brought a newer dimension to the hurt and terror she felt. With few places to turn, she was able to find one source of strength, but can she really trust again? Can she ever love again?

I requested this title from NetGalley for two reasons. One, the premise of the story really hooked me from the description provided. Two, it involved someone who loved books almost as much as I do. What I thought was going to be a run-of-the-mill type of inspirational, overcoming type of story turned out to be so much more. This was my first time reading a book in this series or by the author, something I am going to rectify quickly.

The moment I read the first word, I knew that I was in the thick of it and would only know as much as Alexa, the main character would allow me to know. In complete contrast to how she felt throughout the story, she delivered the facts, feelings, reactions and more in her own time. Once you combine this with the trauma she suffered at the hands of someone who professed to love her to death (and it nearly was), the growth the character underwent was that much more spectacular, in my opinion. I can't really say that there was the usual slow build in pacing with this story because it started right out of the gate and kept the pace it set until the end. Yes, there were quite a few twists and points at which I actually felt for the characters. These kept the story moving instead of weighing it down.

Alexa wasn't the only character that I was rooting for by the end of the book. Some of her coworkers, new friends and even family were written well. Many of their reactions and personalities seemed so real that I could pick out people from my own life that reminded me of them. There were a few that grated on my nerves and I know they were meant to be that way. I still wanted to reach through the page, smack some sense into them, and maybe get a different outcome by the last word. It was the sincerity and honesty from the characters that put this novel on another level for me.

I was surprised to see that this book was a part of a series. I've said before that jumping into the middle of a series wasn't always pleasant because the reader can feel out of place without knowing what went on before. This novel stood on its own pages from the very beginning. I must admit that I'm now curious to know how the other books play into a series around the city of Toronto.

Overall, this novel really moved me from one emotion to the other. I was wondering a lot of the same things Alexa was over the course of the book. There wasn't a realistic way to get all of the answers but I was happy to see her get many by the end. Although the book had a growth/feel-good type of energy to it, there were also a number of educational moments that I applaud the author for writing. It was written many times that people only have as much power over us as we let them have. To witness someone, even a fictional character, regaining that power and making decisions was really awe-inspiring. If you're looking for a book that takes you from one side to the other of the emotional scale with everything in between, then this is the book for you.

Everybody's Got a Story (Toronto #12) by Heather Wardell is available at a number of retailers as well as online. It can be purchased in either paperback or Kindle forms. You can pick up a copy from Amazon by clicking the link below.
Everybody's Got a Story (Toronto #12) by Heather Wardell

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