- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
I used to have a great life. My little world was bright. I had no complaints. My perfectly simple life made the fall from grace that much more devastating. I plummeted from the heavenly little bubble that I shared with Jake. I fell fast and hard straight into the fiery pits of hell. The knowledge of how things used to be is a bittersweet torture that refuses me even one moment of respite. I live in a painful reverie that I can’t escape. I had it good once. That’s gone now. All of it disappeared like vapor into ...
I used to have a great life. My little world was bright. I had no complaints. My perfectly simple life made the fall from grace that much more devastating. I plummeted from the heavenly little bubble that I shared with Jake. I fell fast and hard straight into the fiery pits of hell. The knowledge of how things used to be is a bittersweet torture that refuses me even one moment of respite. I live in a painful reverie that I can’t escape. I had it good once. That’s gone now. All of it disappeared like vapor into the ether. I’m a lost woman, wandering through grief and struggling to come to terms with my new title: widow. My family says I need understanding and closure. I say a cigarette and a bottle of wine is a much better option for instant gratification. I’m the awkward, depressed one standing in the corner making everyone around me miserably uncomfortable. I’m the one with vacant eyes that society strives to help but can’t. I’m the one who hands out tight smiles and derisive snorts. I’m the widow adrift in this world with no direction. No meaning. No hope. No vital sign.
Sadie sets out on a journey to healing without knowing that things will get far worse before they get better. Despite her general indifference to organ donation, she finds herself on a journey to seek out the only people who benefited from her husband’s tragic death. Resentment runs rampant as she meets the thriving organ recipients. Anger and jealousy spiral, sending the delicate structure of Sadie’s emotions into a tailspin. Alexander McBride got a second chance—one that he didn’t necessarily want. Alexander is a game changer for Sadie. She hates him for his health but can’t help feeling at home in his presence. He soothes her grief in a way that is intoxicating, addictive even. The heart that once fell in love with her now resides in Alexander McBride’s chest. It’s a circumstance that forces her to wage an internal war fuelled by grief, anger, guilt, love, lust, and loyalty. Sadie must discover the things that are vital to going on with her life if she has any hope of finding her way through the all-consuming grief that dominates every waking moment.
Posted April 12, 2014
Vital Signs by J.L. Mac
5 out of 5 stars!
Vital Signs is a heart pounding, soul stretching, gut gripping read that leaves no doubt that you are alive and able to feel deeply! From the opening scene to the last period this felt more like a voyeuristic journey into Sadie Parker and Alexander McBride's souls then a book, a complete encapsulation into their skin of love, grief, passion, anger, freedom. I've been reading for a quarter of a century and this is the first book that spoke words for me that I couldn't speak myself, that made me cry, not once but multiple times in grief and joy, and left me feeling like I needed to thank the characters for letting me experience their growth and life with them.
Left as a widow, after 20 years of friendship and love starting as childhood neighbors and friends and a short 2 year marriage, Sadie Parker is distraught. She has no true desire or idea how to build a life without the man who has been by her side for every event since she can remember. Unable to explain her hollow brokenness, she hates the entire world for moving on when the only good thing she's known is gone, the only therapy is wine, emergency cigarettes, anxiety pills, Jake's voicemail message, and the times she allows herself to lash out to relieve the pressure. Especially when both sets of parents pressure her to move on and meet some of Jake's organ recipients. Hoping that the life that came from Jake's death will encourage her to see a future for herself, they push her to contact them and see who would be willing to meet in person. Three is her destiny, one is the heart, Alexander McBride is possibly her lifeline.
After a childhood dictated towards perfection where he always felt lacking and college years used to spite the parents that alienated him, Alexander McBride feels less than worthy of the man's heart he received. Struggling to live the straight and narrow life of a heart recipient after having lived the active life of a partying Professional Golfer is a struggle in and of itself, but when Alexander finds out there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the organ donation it causes the pressure to build to a level he can't contain. Running from Atlanta to the seclusion of Tybee Island he is swallowed alive by loneliness and guilt, until he gets a short, direct email asking him to meet his donor’s wife.
Finding a strange solace in the abruptness of the others comments, Sadie and Alexander set a date to meet that will start a relationship built around silent acceptance, longing, guilt, peace, and a heartbeat that answers so many unasked questions.
I found this to be such a profoundly well sculpted book; the characters are so well developed I felt as though I could drive to Tybee Island and they would be there, the emotions are beyond spot on, and the flow is just smooth and unrushed. Absolutely a must read and a new favorite Author of mine!
**A complimentary copy was given in exchange for an honest review**
Pepper, My Secret Book Spot
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 21, 2014
Enjoyed the book very much. Worth reading. Good story line, well written ( a few grammer/ typo mistakes but minor and forgivable ). Characters were relatable and likable. You want Sadie and Zander to have their HEA.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2014
Posted August 17, 2014
Posted June 14, 2014
Such a well written... heartfelt... excellent story. I loved the journey it took me on. I can only begin to imagine what Sadie was going through. This was written in such a way that I felt like I was there. I definitely had steady tears rolling for quite a few parts of this book.
Zanders story was heart breaking too. So much pressure and constantly being over shadowed and put down. I felt so bad for him. I loved that he pushed Sadie to find her happiness and didn't give up on her.
This was my first book by this author and I'm definitely hooked! This is a must read!
Posted May 7, 2014
This is definitely one of my favorite reads. It's everything that you could hope for in a book. It's about love, lose, and second chances. Definitely a must read. I hope that there will be a continuation of Zander's and Sadie's story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2014
Amazing book! I laughed, I cried and totally fell in love with Alexander McBride. You could not have written a better
Story of love loss and finding love again!
Posted May 6, 2014
Posted May 1, 2014
Hesperia Loves Books Review: Vital Sign is a powerful and emotional book!Vital Sign by J. L. Mac is one of those books that will give the reader food for thought, insight in the many stages of grief, an understanding of organ donation, how organ donation affects the recipient, as well as the donor’s loved ones and the journey of finding life after heartbreaking devastation. This is not a light and fluffy read. At times your heart will feel weighted. The reader will experience the anger and grief that comes with losing a loved one. The reader will experience the guilt and remorse that comes with the gift of a second chance in life. This book will portray the importance and understanding of how the miraculous gift of life comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. But most of all, the reader will experience a journey of learning to live life to it’s fullest potential. This is highly charged emotional book that leaves the reader touched to their very soul. This is Sadie and Zander’s journey.
Sadie has suffered the most devastating loss. She lost her life long best friend, soul mate and husband to a violent crime that not only injured her, but forced her to make choices she never would of ever considered. Her husband Jake was mortally wounded from a gun shot and she has to make the choice of taking him off of life support. Jake was an organ donor and pieces of him were gifted to those who had a very slim chance of surviving life. She is angry and resentful that she had to lose Jake and others got to live.
After two years of mourning, Sadie is still buried in her grief. She is a shell of the person she once was. Her life has become stalled. She is stuck in the grieving process. Her anger has taken over her entire existence. She is resentful that everyone else’s lives are moving forward, and hers has been destroyed. She is not in a healthy state. She has to find a way to move on.
Her family suggests that she meet the recipients of her husband’s organs. They feel that this might be the right kind of therapy that will allow her to move on in her grief. Sadie is skeptical but agrees to take this journey. This journey will take her from the depths of despair to the road of hope and joy. She will find that love and hope come in many different forms and many different faces. She will learn that love starts with her.
Alexander McBride was the recipient of Jake’s heart. Zander felt like he did not deserve the second chance at life. He had been careless and reckless in his prior life. He chose a superficial life style of endless partying to hurt those he loved. He did not deserve the second chance but somehow miraculously got it. He is burdened with this guilt and at the same time thankful he has this guilt to carry. He agrees to meet Sadie so that she can have the closure she deserves.
When these two people meet, they find they have more in common than her husband’s heart. They both have wounds that need to be healed. They both have to find their place in their new lives. Their new lives are complimentary to each other. But before they can move forward, they have to find peace with their past lives. They have to let go of that life and hold on to the new life with all their strength.
Vital Signs is a powerful book. It is an emotional experience the reader will not forget.
***NOTE*** Be sure to have a full box of tissues at hand. This book will deliver an ugly cry. Not to worry….in the end it will deliver a radiant smile.
Posted April 24, 2014
A beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, loss, grief, and second chances.
Sadie met the love of her life at five years old. But after only a few years of wedded bliss, she lost Jake suddenly and tragically. Two years later, she’s still not ready to say goodbye or even fully allow herself to grieve because that would mean accepting the finality of the situation. Her family insists she reach out to some of the organ recipients in the hopes that it will help her find some peace. Sadie feels nothing but anger and hate for anyone who benefitted from Jake’s death, but she agrees to appease her concerned family.
Sadie is prepared to hate the organ recipients, but she never prepared herself for Zander McBride. She certainly never expected to feel attraction. She is horrified and guilt-ridden but she can’t seem to deny the fact that she and Zander connect in a way she hasn’t felt in a long time. But she can’t let Zander into her heart unless she’s willing to let Jake go, and Sadie hasn’t even dealt with her grief, much less gotten to a place where she can move on.
VITAL SIGN is an emotional read. I generally avoid books that deal with the death of a spouse or child; it’s too horrifying and I don’t like to think about it, much less read about it. But I also can be a bit of a cover whore, and Vital Signs really drew me in with its beautiful cover. I decided to give it a try, and despite the overwhelming sadness I experienced reading about Sadie’s journey, it also had a lot of hope and love in the story. If anyone could be worth working through the grief, it would be Zander. He was open and caring and above all, understanding. He had his own dark past that made him feel less than worthy of Sadie but it didn’t stop him from giving it everything he had.
VITAL SIGN did a great job of not glossing over the pain of losing a significant other—Sadie was unapologetically broken. If you’re a fan of emotional stories with a silver lining, you’ll enjoy VITAL SIGN.
<i>**Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.</i>
Posted May 3, 2014
No text was provided for this review.
Posted May 16, 2014
No text was provided for this review.
Posted June 12, 2014
No text was provided for this review.