Alright, I am finally writing this review. I say finally because I finished this book a few weeks ago. Why did it take me so long? Well, besides the fact that my daughter is a little leech (I mean that in the nicest way of course) and I can’t get anything done, I also needed to recover. Emerge broke me. I was so emotionally spent after reading this story. Please don’t take that in a bad why though. This book was well worth every tear shed.
Before I begin I should probably tell you that Lila Felix is like my #1 gal (in a completely non-stalkerish way). She probably doesn’t know this but I totally fan girl all over her. I talk about her work to random strangers. I think she is the cat’s meow (do people still say that?). Lila sent this book to me and just asked if I could give her a review on Amazon or something. Well, I can’t just leave it on Amazon. She (and Emerge) deserve so much more than that.
Jenna has spent too long being complacent and accepting. Her mother and step-father constantly belittle and berate her for simply being alive. She passes through life keeping everyone and everything at arm’s length because it’s just not worth the questions or the pity party. She takes what they dish out and just tries to survive.
She has thought up a million different ways to get away from them, but lacked the motivation and the sheer will. Like a fast moving tornado, her motivation comes in the form of a boy who cares for her as none other has and who shows her a glimpse of hope, a glimpse into a life she never thought she could have.
But is her new motivation enough to get her out…
Where do I begin with this book???? I already told you that it is an emotional read. Well, it truly is. Jenna’s story is one that will break your heart. But, at the same time you just want to give her this huge high-five and a “hell yeah” because she is the strongest character I have ever come across. Her mother is a freaking bitch (pardon my language) and treats Jenna like crap. She has days of being a decent mom and putting dinner on the table and actually showing concern (her June Cleaver days) and days when she will hit Jenna, call her names, or flat out ignore her (her Medusa days). Jenna learns how to cope with all that her mother dishes because she wants to get through school. Her dreams of graduating high school and moving out seem to be what is most important in her life. I get it, I really do. But, I just wanted to pick her up and move her away from her psycho mom myself.
Carlos; sweet, loving, amazing Carlos. Carlos is a dream boyfriend. He amazed me from the first time we met him. His ability to be there for Jenna and to give her what she needs is beautiful. He is a flawless man who takes care of himself, helps out his brother, manages to work full-time and go to school, and then takes up for Jenna. He deals with her crazy mom because he loves her. He rescues her, whether for a few hours or a few days, and treats her the way she deserves to be treated. Carlos is amazing and truly a hit on the best book boyfriend list!
I mentioned this book broke me. It did. Seeing what Jenna went through and how she managed to live her life to the fullest was beyond me. She is so strong, so determined, and so downright amazing. She worked, did well in school, dealt with her mom, helped her little sister, took care of herself, and still had it in her to open her heart to a boy. But, there were some times that I wasn’t sure it would all work out. I had to believe in the HEA for this book because it just wouldn’t be fair for Jenna and Carlos not to get it. I didn’t give up my HEA thoughts. But, there were times I doubted. I knew that there had to be something big happening in the end because graduation came and went. Big there was. The final chapter truly had me in tears though and I won’t tell you why.
For the record, this has been the hardest no-spoiler review I have written. There is SO much I want to tell you about Emerge and Jenna and Carlos. I want to tell you all about their story but I won’t. The book is too good for me to ruin it for you. I feel like I am not doing this book justice though…
Please grab Emerge if you haven’t yet. Just because I fangirl all over Lila Felix doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be honest with you. You have to read this book. It gets a huge 5 stars from me.
Disclosure: The author gave me a copy of this book for my reading pleasure. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.