January 7, 2014

REVIEW: Come To Me Quietly (Closer To You #1)

Come To Me Quietly (Closer To You #1), by A. L. Jackson
Published January 7, 2014
paperback, received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
Aleena Moore is content with her life. She has goals and dreams and an easy smile. She also has a secret she holds locked inside.

Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain.

Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own.

Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate.

Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.

Come to Me Quietly was gorgeous and heartbreaking. It was the first book I've read by A.L. Jackson, and after this experience, I want to add the rest of her books to my TBR.  I'm telling you, the feels had feels. It was spectacular. 

Aly has been living an empty shell of a life for the past six years after her best friend and love of her lifetime, Jared, was sent to juvie and then disappeared off the grid upon release. All of a sudden, he shows up at the apartment she shares with her brother and starts sleeping on their couch. Jared now no longer sees Aly as his best friend's kid sister, and if he thought he deserved someone like her for even a second, he might go after her. But, his desolation and self-loathing have caused him to believe he's not worthy of anyone's love - especially not someone as good and sweet as Aly.

The writing in this book is beautiful and so provoking. It was very easy to feel everything A. L. Jackson wanted me to feel - Jared's desolation, Aly's emptiness, Christopher's avoidance. And, feel it I did. Lumps in my throat and eyes burning with tears were commonplace while I was reading Come to Me Quietly.

This was a sad, feelie book. The happy parts stood out in stark contrast, which is exactly what A.L. Jackson was going for (at least, I think so). It's told in dual POV - Aly's and Jared's. Also, in addition to telling their story now, every so often, a chapter is inserted from their past. It was done at just the right moment to give us a glimpse into how they got from point A to point B without being intrusive or disruptive to the present day story line.

And, what a story it is. Jared is one of the most tortured souls I've seen in NA so far. The whole backstory on why doesn't fully come out until the end, and there's even a little surprise that I loved. The relationship he had with Aly when they were kids was so incredibly sweet. It made me believe that people really can fall in love as kids, because it was obvious to me that Jared loved her even back then. And, his words. Holy crap on a cracker - when that boy wants to make you swoon, he doesn't pull any punches.

"I bet whatever you keep hidden in the pages of those books is absolutely beautiful, Aly." He swallowed, diverting his gaze to the far wall before he dropped it to meet mine. A tender palm came to rest on the side of my face. He caressed his thumb over the apple of my cheek. "How could it not be? Look at you... you have to be the most beautiful creature I've ever seen."

Aly rocks. Although Jared still affects her in crazy ways, she doesn't take his crap, and she tries her best to let him know how much he is worth. She was compassionate and brave.  

"What do you see in me?"

For a moment she just looked at me, intensity pouring from her, before she drew me down to bring us chest to chest. Her breath came as a whisper across my ear. "I see beauty and pain. Joy and sorrow. I see the good and I see the bad... and I love it all."

Although there is a second book coming out this summer that continues Aly's and Jared's story, the ending of Come to Me Quietly is satisfying and happy. If you are craving a book that will choke you up and leave you wanting more, this is the perfect choice. Incredible doesn't quite cover it. 


Hannah said...

Beautiful review, Krista!!! I cannot wait to give this one a go. You totally sold me on it!

Unknown said...

That Dean gif is adorable!