Monday, October 31, 2016

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Standalone
272 p.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: Nov. 1, 16
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. 
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night. 
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
First... Happy Halloween! Not a part of the review, but wanted everyone to have a fun and safe time. :)

My thoughts:

I wasn't sure if this was going to have an element of magical realism in it or not and in the beginning of the book I was certain it would be more magical. It, in fact, is not and is more about Shelby and how one moment in time can devastate a person and how we harm ourselves more than what anyone else can do to you. As dark as this is, it is also the story to the road back to oneself and figuring out how to value oneself. It isn't a sappy story at all, but one where a woman finds pieces of her self and slowly puts them together.

All characters in the story have a purpose. Even the mysterious ones who you aren't at first sure aren't magical. However, the magic fades but that is a good thing as real life takes over and Shelby find that it isn't others who save her but she who saves herself even though others had a big part to play in it. I think the secondary characters were mostly there so she wouldn't slip further into the dark but to hold her head up until she could do it herself.

If you are an animal lover and love stories where animals get saved, than this book is for you. One of the things that helps Shelby is taking care of a motley crew of mutts she has saved throughout the tale. In saving them she is saving herself and eventually finds a calling though it all.

My biggest problem with the book would be the romance at the end. I think there is so much more to tell there and we get the barest mentions about this relationship. I would have loved that part to be much longer and it really needed to be longer. There were aspects of the boyfriend which mirrored her own and I think it would have enhanced the story further.

Now I will give this book 4 stars but toyed with the idea of knocking off a star for every time this book made me cry. I hate to cry and I had 3 times toward the end where I was crying and needing a tissue. This both makes me love it and hate the book for it. Okay, so I loved the compassion and love through those scenes so I'll be good and leave the rest of the stars up there for the book. *sigh* I do recommend it to those that love a journey story where a character hits close to bottom but finds away to her own redemption. It is also a story filled with rescue animals and humans as well as a bit of art around the edges. I did enjoy my time in the book despite the tissues I needed to get through it.

35 comments:

  1. I yes I saw another review about this one and it sounds quite well done

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah yes, sometimes those books that pull emotions out of us makes us both love and hate it! Great review, this does sound like something that I would love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I knew it would bring tears and snot... LOL Oh well, I did like it.

      Delete
  3. Happy Halloween! This book made me cry too! I love Hoffman's writing!! Great review...I'm posting mine tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't read any of her books at all. i know I have Practical Magic but I already saw the movie, so I've put off reading it. I feel like every time there's animals involve, it would sure tug on the heartstrings. But sorry the romance wasn't explored extensively, though. Romances make or break a book for me. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the romance was done that way since the point of the book was her growth more than the romance. It made sense.

      Delete
  5. What a gorgeous cover! My mom likes this author but I've never read her. The romance would annoy me, I think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read one book by her but I don't remember the title. Bad of me. You may not mind the romance since it wasn't the point, but you will probably want more of it.

      Delete
  6. Oh, so I will need a box of truffles to read this! Bummer about the romance but you do have me curious.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Alice H (I have read one by her) doesn't really have a writing style I enjoy but her stories are always emotional. Too bad about the romance but yeah on the saving animals :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would love the saving animals part. It was a huge part of her recovery.

      Delete
  8. I just read another great review for this one this morning. I am of course interested because of the animal saving lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yea... totally loved that part and how she did it. :)

      Delete
  9. Disappointing on the romance side of things but aw on all the mutts she rescues along the way. I love that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, it wasn't the point but I did want more romance. You will love the animal part!

      Delete
  10. I desperately need to read this. I love when a book makes me cry! I'll bump the rating up for that. lol!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yay for animals in the book :D The romance aspect I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same if I read it though *nods*

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aw sorry to hear that the romance wasn't the best at the ending, but it does sound like an emotional journey overall

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's hysterical that you were going to knock off stars for each time you bawled, kind of like for spite :P I actually add stars for clearing the sinuses!!! Great review, girl!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Totally for spite. :D Perhaps it is because my sinuses stuff up and not clear. Hm... LOL

      Delete
  14. See, I don't mind crying, if there is an emotional reward in the end. This book just feels like I'd be crying all the time. I like your take on what happens, and how it happens for a reason. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HATE the crying! You really don't until toward the end of the book. Then it is tissue city.

      Delete
  15. aww I hate when books make me cry too, but that tells you something about the authors writing and the way she captures emotion right? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea... I guess so... *pouts* ;) I actually usually end up liking the book as a whole as I'm cursing that fact that it makes me cry. :)

      Delete
  16. I'm not a fan of crying either. I've read several that have made me do it, but I don't like it. Sounds like a great book. Really glad you enjoyed it.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *stomps foot* I hate it and then yet I end up liking the book. *sigh* :)

      Delete
  17. Haha! Crying is good though! It gives credit to the author at doing an amazing job of drawing you into the world they created, and you were emotionally invested!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!