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Author: Alicia K. Leppert
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Published: April 10th 2012
Format: Hardcover (Review copy was an e-book from netgalley)
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Summary: (From Cedar Fort Publishing)
One city of 600,000 people. One broken girl. One mysterious boy. One fateful night, Two worlds collide. Seattle, Washington. The sprawling, industrious city set in a blanket of pine. I have never known a day that wasn’t spent inside this concrete jungle. It’s my home, and for that I love it. But it’s also the setting for the tragedy called my life, and so I loathe it. I live alone in a cold, empty studio apartment. The tiny square room closely resembles a cell. That’s my life: solitary confinement. Here, in this desolate place that perfectly reflects my soul, my story begins.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS *****
Every now and again, there is a book that really grabs my heart and keeps hold. It is, therefore, with a lot of gushing and awe that I admit that Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert was one such book. I’m almost one hundred percent certain that I haven’t read a book so in tune with me in such a long time. It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it and it is one book that I would happily read over and over again. This book touched me in ways that so many other books just fail to do.
One of the first things that drew me into this story was how well Alicia has actually written this book, and how well she’s grasped depression and the way people can and do feel. It is unfortunate that the reason I know this is because I have felt very similar thoughts and feelings in my life but this is also probably why I love this book so much. It was nice to know that no one is alone with thoughts and feelings like this. I also loved witnessing the journey and transformation of Olivia, which left a trajectory of hope to the readers. It just showed that it doesn’t always have to end horribly, that it can turn around, and that people are there to help and that you can feel better, if you let it happen.
I enjoyed reading about the blooming friendships in the novel and how it portrayed that it can sometimes be the people in our life that really help us the most, without us even truly realising it. I also liked that it showed that a lot of the time, new friends could be right beside us but we just may not take the time to notice. It sort of gives the message to really look around you and try to reach out to the people you see almost daily as you never know what happen. It really makes you think about how much you can affect someone’s life, and it is such a powerful and moving message. I also liked the idea that despite big arguments happening, friends can always turn back to each other and work together to rebuild their broken relationship. Everything isn’t always ruined forever.
This leads me to discuss the love relationship in this book, and boy, what a relationship! I absolutely adored them together. I loved how caring, protective and gentle Jude was and how mysterious he was around Olivia. I loved that she felt sage and happy and secure around him and how he helped her to be stronger and to start looking at the world around her. But what I loved most about it all was how realistic and natural it all felt throughout the story. I could honestly imagine a relationship forming that way, because nothing was too rushed or forced. I also loved that the relationship building was witnessed. It didn’t just ‘happen’, but it took a while, it was slow and hard to avoid the feelings, and darn it, it was just so romantic and cute and lovely. Jude is the kind of guy that everyone wants, or well, I know I do!
The plot within this book was also extremely compelling and page-turning. Written mostly in Olivia’s POV, it is clear that the story is about her and her journey and it was so great to read about everything that happened. It was, however, the few sections of Jude’s POV that really brought mystery and suspense to this book. It always left you with questions as to what was going on or what was going to happen and really managed to pull the reader in. I wanted to know what was going on and then, once I had realised it, I sat in eager anticipation as I waited for Olivia to come to the same conclusion that I had. This was such a brilliant tactic and style that I thoroughly enjoyed as it built up the tension perfectly, it was never too much, but just right. After all has been solved, however, I loved that it wasn’t all over but that there was actually so much more to happen. It was so action-packed and mysterious and compelling and I simply adored every word that was written on the page.
All in all, this book was one that I enjoyed and treasured intensely. It tugged at my heartstrings, it represented a serious topic extremely well and gave it a new perspective while also giving readers some sign of hope and happiness. It was a lovely, romantic, twist-leading, mysterious book that pulls your emotions in so many different ways that it is almost impossible not to love this book, at least, in my opinion! I would recommend this book to people who love emotional romance books that have something more, and to anyone who is, or has ever experienced depression or knows someone who has or is. It is a powerful book that I could not praise highly enough; I loved it more than words can convey.
I received the ARC of this book in return for an honest review from NetGalley. This review is being posted as part of the Emerald City Blog Tour hosted by Cedar Fort Publishing.