Synopsis: For Natalie Miller, it’s just another family vacation. For someone else, it’s the opportunity he’s been waiting for.
With only a single peck from a guy named Frank, Natalie’s anything but experienced with boys. But when Todd pops out of the water, says hi, and tells Natalie he has leukemia, all of that changes.
She’s never had attention like this from a boy, let alone one who’s a real charmer with sex on the brain and the experience to match. Drawn to Todd like a magnet, Natalie gives him her friendship, her love, and her body. Even when she’s tempted by gorgeous, healthy schoolmate Alex, Natalie’s desire to love and care for Todd pushes her to see how far love can go in spite of the potential for death of the relationship — and death of the one she loves.
Thoughts: This is one of those books that when you finish you kind of just sit there and wallow in how loaded the story actually was. I was completely satisfied when I finished but I was still doing the whole "jaw-dropping-wow-that-book-was-moving" emotion as well. A Place In This Life is not light by any means. It will pull at every single one of your heart strings. It's completely moving, emotional, and extremely raw.
We start with Natalie Miller, and her normal family vacation. She expects it to be boring, but then she meets Todd. And he's not like anyone she's ever met. He's outspoken, good looking in a non-conventional way, a complete bad boy, and well he has leukemia. As her emotional relationship grows with Todd, so does their physical relationship, but cancer doesn't stop for anyone. Then she meets her locker-mate Alex. Alex is gorgeous, and sweet, and obviously into her. With two completely opposite boys, cancer, and emotions running haywire Natalie will have to make a choice and be strong enough to stick with it.
I knew right from the synopsis that this book was going to be an emotion drainer. I knew that my heart might potentially break. But, oddly enough, those feelings are what make me love a book. Each of these characters gets put into such a dark place at times. To watch them all struggle and learn and grow is magic in itself. Especially Natalie. She's one of those protagonists who start somewhere in the beginning of the book and end somewhere completely different at the end, but in a strong I-was-so-proud-of-her way.
There's so many touchy topics that Julie has put into this book in such an exquisite way. She weaved things like first loves, sex, cancer, family problems, and so many more in such a way that has you pulling yourself chapter after chapter to know what will happen next. Also, I have to admit the book didn't end exactly that way I expected it to and that always pleasantly surprises me in the best ways. Granted, my heart was slightly broken and my emotions where shattered all over the place but I truly enjoyed this story.
A Place In This Life is a truly eye-opening and emotional roller coaster of a story. One that will definitely stick with me.
Side Note - There's two quotes that I absolutely fell in love with and I'm not quite sure why. But after I read them, I knew what was coming and the words just seemed to have so much wisdom in them. It just stuck with me.
"When I was in high school I saw two boys at once and it got pretty complicated."
Now my eyebrow was up. "Really? How'd it work out?""One broke my heart... and the other is your father," she said with a smile.
"You are, right now, the most interesting person in my world, and just about the only one who gives a damn about how I feel. I want to be close to you, as close as I can get, because life is worth living when you have someone to life for."
- 4 out of 5 splatters -