Sunday, 9 August 2015

REVIEW: Still Life by AM Johnson



Loss... a word Elizabeth Haddington knows only too well. Despite the tragedies she’s endured, she’s been able to rise from the adversity she’s faced and begin her life again. Being a self­-assured and strong woman, she knows she doesn’t need anyone to make her whole.
Hate, pain, and twisted memories are all Sawyer Bryant’s ever known. He’d slowly lost who he was and what he should’ve become. His only escape was the military... Eight years later, as an ex­Navy SEAL, he’s forced to confront his father and their disturbed and violent past.
Then one day, his life is turned upside down, when he glimpses a woman singing in her car at a set of traffic lights. Thinking he’d never see her again, amazingly he finds her performing with her band at the local bar. This chance encounter brings these two lost souls together. Once Sawyer gets a taste of her melodic voice, there’s no turning back.
For Elizabeth, when she meets Sawyer... she realizes she’s fallen hard. But is this really love she’s feeling or does love build slowly over time?
What happens when fate turns things around on you, creates flashes you can’t turn from... moments that will shape your life?
They are faced with the choice of darkness surrounding them or to rid themselves of the guilt and pain and move toward the light.

This story is about life’s moments. How they can make you or break you, and one man’s hope that... Love, won’t judge him.


(Originally posted on Goodreads)

I’m actually quite struggling with what to say about this one. On the one hand, there were things I quite enjoyed but other things about it just kept nagging at me.

For all the feels that this book has, I am a bit underwhelmed. I feel like I was only engaged superficially. Perhaps this came across as more telling than showing for me. Frankly, it would’ve induced a lot of eye rolls from me had I not have to constantly remind myself to to treat the MCs on their own merits and not compare them to other loved NA H&h’s. And call me crazy, for a change, I probably would’ve been more ok if I didn’t get the H’s POV. He came across as effeminate sometimes, and because of that, I didn’t always buy his alpha ways. I actually don’t know if I fully buy the H&h together. It wasn’t insta-love yet it still felt like that to a degree. Also, as helpful the flashbacks were to help me better understand the MC’s, it threw the pace off for me. I knew I was in trouble when I noticed that I was only at 50-ish% The 50-80% mark felt like it took effort. Fortunately, the last 20% picked up.

For what it’s worth, there are things that I did like. For all my gripe about this, I actually did appreciate the horror and sadness of the MC’s back story, if that makes sense. I liked Elizabeth enough (Lizzie to her “family” but yes, Elizabeth to her friends O.o). She is grounded enough despite her past. I liked her friends, Cam and Colby (what about Todd? Hmmm, I’m kinda’ on the fence about him). And I did appreciate how Sawyer felt about Elizabeth.

In the end, I hate to say it but this was just a so-so read for me. With all the high ratings on this one, I’m clearly in the minority… Win some, lose some…

Thanks for dropping by!



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