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Posted October 28, 2013
“She had college to start, a first class to find, a dead boy’s life to fulfill.”
When Paige went off to college, it was with the intention of fulfilling her dead brother’s life dreams. She was attending Granton University, the school he planned to attend before his untimely death. She was taking classes towards the business administration degree he wanted. The one thing she didn’t expect was to learn she was now attending the same college as her brother’s killer, Logan Xander. She didn’t expect to keep running into him, work with him, and begin feeling sympathetic towards him. She certainly didn’t think those feelings would grow into something deeper, or that he would feel the same way.
“The worst part was, though, even if he was welcomed with open arms, he didn’t think he could enter, because he knew he didn’t deserve normalcy or happiness. Or forgiveness.”
Logan and Paige’s brother, Trace, were rivals. One night, they got into a fight and when Logan hit him, he was knocked unconscious and hit his head on a glass bottle when he fell. He died instantly. Logan has never recovered from this. He’s spent the years since trying to cope with his guilt and be a better person. He volunteers, goes to meetings with a group dealing with grief. What happened with him and Trace could have happened to anyone, but he’s trying to atone for it. He’s attracted to Paige, but is quite torn because of his history.
“I don’t know how to undo this,” he confessed on a harsh whisper. “I try. I try so hard to be good, to work hard at my job, to study all my assignments. But none of it matters, not how many cancer clinics I volunteer at or bloody fingers I patch up. He’ll still be gone. And he should be here, right now, instead of me. He could go to you and put his arms around you and just… hug you. I know that’s what you need. You need someone to hold you.”
The longer Paige is at Granton, the more she realizes she’s not content living Trace’s life. She wants to live her own, on her own terms. She feels an extreme amount of guilt at the feelings she has for Logan. He still feels an extreme amount of guilt for the fight that caused Trace’s death. They’re stronger together than they are apart. They’re tired of fighting their feelings for each other. Paige helps Logan find the absolution he so desperately needs. Logan helps Paige find herself and learn to move on. It’s not an easy or painless journey, but one they took together.
“It doesn’t seem to matter how wrong it is or how much I fight it, I’m drawn to you. I can’t get you out from under my skin.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the biggest part of this book. I found both Paige and Logan to be likable characters. The book was told through both of their perspectives and I enjoyed the glimpse inside each of their heads. This isn’t the first New Adult book I’ve read with this type of plot, but this one was different enough to be fresh. It seemed realistic. The conflicting emotions of the characters was easily felt and understood. This book also contained a twist and a bit more melodrama than the other books I’ve read with similar storylines. The twist threw me and had me on the edge of my seat. Honestly, I’m not sure it was needed. But, it was interesting and unexpected. I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the Granton University series.
***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.***
Posted October 27, 2013
Angsty, Amazing, Awesome and Astonishing! I Could NOT Put It Down!
5 Mind-Blowing, Beautiful, Heartbreaking Stars!
Every once in a while, I'll finish a book that is just to affecting for words. A story so poignantly beautiful and captivating that I couldn’t begin to tell you its wonders in a single review. But thats what I'm going to try and convey here. I want to tell you just how amazing this book is, how soul wrenching the story is and how positively elegant the writing is.
Did I love this read? Yes. Definitely.
Would I recommend it to others? Without hesitation.
I Never Wanted This Read To End!!!
Paige Zukowski has lost everything. The devil slammed into her life one horrible night and took everything she loved and snuffed it out. First, her brother was killed, then her mom took her own life, then slowly her father drank himself into oblivion, until she had no one left to count on. She convinced herself that her brothers killer was wholly to blame for it all and obsessed over that one fact for three years. When her brother was killed, her family fell apart and she lost her way. Determined to live the life that was so tragically taken from him, Paige has vowed to follow in her brothers footsteps even if it means giving up her own wants and desires to do it. She enrolls at Granton University, a college her brother dreamed of going to and she signs on to study business as her brother would have done. Its not her dream but its a dream she feels she needs to fulfill. But on her first day of class, she unexpectedly comes face to face with her brothers killer and all her careful planning goes straight out the window.
Sometimes tragedy strikes so blindingly fast, there’s no time to think and there’s nothing anyone can do. Sometimes things happen in the heat of the moment and you can’t take them back. Thats what happened to Logan Xander one fateful night and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make up for that one misstep in judgement. He lost everything that night. He lost his friends, his family, his home and he lost himself in the guilt and tragedy. Three years later, he’s still struggling from day to day just to outrun the brand of murderer he knows he deserves. When he comes face to face with the little sister of the man’s life he stole, the darkness that he’s tried to keep at bay, swoops in and completely engulf him.
He knows he can never make up for what happened but there’s something so hauntingly beautiful about Paige that keeps Logan in the shadows, watching over her and sacrificing pieces of his own life to try and make hers a little better. Its a connection born of tragedy and one that quickly turns to a forbidden love that he can neither have or should want.
These two characters are in so much pain its almost overwhelming to read. They were both suffocating under grief and guilt.
Paige starts out thinking Logan is this evil, vile boy who stole her world and he’s out living the high life after having gotten away with murdering her brother. But she couldn’t have been further from the truth. Paige is just trying to survive all the pain and loss. She’s a beautiful character who has far more forgiveness and generosity in her than most people would under the same circumstances. Her wealth of compassion after all she’s lost is amazing and wonderful and goes a long way towards healing herself as well as Logan.
Logan goes out of his way to help Paige. He systematically gives up parts of his life to try and make her happy, even when it causes more pain then he can handle for himself. He’s holding on by a very thin thread but he needs to ensure Paige is out there living her life. Its just one of the many things he’s doing, in a long list of things, to try and redeem himself. He’s smart, he’s kind and he’s hard working. The entitlement he used to feel no longer has a place in his life. He’s humble and self sacrificing.
I felt crushed by all the grief and self abhorrence Logan had for himself. Through this authors incredible writing, I actually felt trapped alongside Logan at the end of his dark, never ending tunnel as he tried to live out each day. It literally hurt my heart to watch him in so much agony. He fought hard and was existing, trying not to give up. But on most days, though he tried to move forward, the ground had him glued to one spot, forever reliving that one day when everything changed. Paige was in the same exact position. Her loss was so heartbreaking and real and dismal. And though she blamed Logan in the beginning, she soon realized it was a horrible accident and no one could punish Logan more than he was punishing himself. Together, they found the spec of light at the end of the tunnel and both ran for it.
Watching these two come together after so much pain, healed my heart right alongside theirs. It was scary and wonderful and cathartic all at the same time. And that ending! That ending will have you flat out floored, shocked and awed all in one!!! I won't give anything away, but I have to say how it was both spectacularly written as well as horrifying to live through.
The Wrap Up:
This is my third book by Linda Kage and I can say without a doubt, she only gets more brilliant with each book. Her writing is beautiful, her stories are emotional and angsty yet always full of hope. I loved this book and its definitely one I’ll read time and again.
Note: Fighting Fate is book one in the Granton University series and is a New Adult Contemporary Romance written by Linda Kage. I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review through AToMR Tours.
Posted October 22, 2013
This is a beautifully written story of forgiveness, healing and creating your own life’s story.
Paige and Logan go to the same school. Both for reasons that neither really wanted of their own. But fate seems to take control with them. Paige starts school and while in class she hears the professor call Logan’s name. She freezes. She feels hatred and anger and everything that boils under her skin with that name. He killed her brother. She came to this school to live his life for him. Then the professor calls her name. Logan locks eyes with her. Paige runs out. But fate keeps putting them together.
Paige hates him but can’t stop thinking about him. She runs into him again and he tells her he dropped out of the class. Hmm.
Then her suite mates at school tell her about a grief group and she decides to give it a try. Guess who goes there too? Yep, Logan! But she sees he helps out and he is quiet. He freezes this time in the group when the leader asks why she is at the grief group and she tells them about her brother and that he was murdered. The leader asks what she would say to the person who killed her brother if he were here. She looks at him and she can’t be as mean as she would like to be but says some things. Logan gets up and leaves. At the end, the leader says she is going to look for him but Paige sees she went the wrong way and she goes to check on him. Hmm... She finds him on the floor, broken and sad. She talks to him for a moment. He has been with this group for 2 years but she gets him to stop coming. Paige never told anyone in the group that Logan was the one who killed him.
Then fate takes another turn when they end up working in the same place. His boss asks Logan to train her. She doesn’t have it so she asks the other guy to train her. The other guy has no work ethics. She notices that Logan does and is a hard worker not some arrogant killer she thought he would be since he is the son of a rich lawyer. The other guy leaves Logan to clean up and she can’t just leave him to clean up on his own, so she stays. Because the other guy didn’t teach her some safety protocols, Paige cuts her finger and Logan fixes it. He is tender and kind. Hmm. He isn’t quitting this time but he finally comes clean to his boss and asks him to schedule them on opposite shifts.
She also sees that he is the DD around the school. He is always somewhere and she realizes he has suffered too.
Then they both are constantly thinking about the other; really needing the other to help with their own healing but thinking that they can’t like each other that wouldn’t be right; would it?
Things have a way of revealing themselves and when they both realize that the other likes them too, they don’t know what to do.
Then when someone attempts to rape her, Logan is the one to rescue her.
Paige has a forgiving heart and Logan needed it to move on himself and Paige needed it too.
Side note, --My 14 year old nephew was killed with one punch to the neck. It ruptured the vertebral artery and he got 20 feet before collapsing dead in the street. The kid who hit him was not humble or cared. He served 2 years. But at the trial of one of the 6 kids who was there one of the kid’s mothers got up and spoke and apologized for her son’s involvement. My nephew’s mom then had her turn and said that she couldn’t live with hate in her heart and she forgave him. Wow. My brother was still angry at the time and let the kid know that my nephew’s mother may forgive but he wasn’t as forgiving. There is a difference when you let it go. That is part of why I loved this story so much. There is a huge difference when you let go and you become free from the burden and can become whole again.
This was an amazing story I am so glad I got to read it. You will like this book if you like geniuses without social skills, forgiveness, family healing, overcoming grief and anger and loss and near rape, kindness and most of all - hope
Posted September 10, 2013
Posted August 8, 2013
Posted July 26, 2013
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Posted September 18, 2013
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