Putting Out Old Flames de Allyson Charles (VO)

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : TROP CHAUD A MANIPULER

Jane Willoughby a un tempérament. Bien sûr, dans son travail de jour pour répondre aux appels 911, elle peut garder la tête froide peu importe l’urgence de la situation. Mais quand son ex apparaît à sa porte lors de son premier jour de congé maladie depuis des années, s’attendant à ce qu’elle soit heureuse qu’il soit son bras droit pour l’organisation du pour le bal annuel des pompiers, elle sent que sa colère est justifiée.

Chance McGovern a rompu avec elle avec une carte de vœux, bon dieu ! Il n’a pas le droit d’avoir des abdos, de mettre un uniforme et de se comporter comme tout autre pompier à croquer.

Jane n’a aucune idée de ce qui est arrivé à Chance au cours des neuf dernières années et n’a aucun intérêt à le découvrir. Pas même une toute petite étincelle. Peu importe qu’il soit sexy. Ou comment il se souvient des petites choses qui la font rire et pleurer et brûler spontanément.

Et elle va travailler avec lui. . .

Avis : J’essaie de rester assez sage sur le nombre de livres que je demande mais c’est vrai que quand j’ai vu le résumé de celui-ci j’ai su que je devais impérativement le lire. Des pompiers ? Une seconde chance en amour ? Une histoire qui semblait pleine d’humour ? Non, je ne pouvais définitivement pas résister !

On découvre ainsi Jane, une jeune femme travaillant pour le standard du 911 et qui continue sa vie tranquillement. Pourtant, tout va être chamboulé quand son premier copain, Chance, revient en ville… et qu’il vient travailler en tant que pompier à la caserne. Ce n’est pas déjà assez qu’elle doit aussi travailler avec lui pour organiser le gala de charité qui doit se dérouler très prochainement. Ce n’est pourtant pas simple pour la jeune femme qui voit son passé la rattraper et qui doit gérer tous les sentiments et la rancœur accumulée.

C’était agréable de suivre cette histoire et de découvrir Chance ainsi que Jane. On comprend parfaitement la méfiance et la colère que notre héroïne a face à son ex. Ce n’est pas simple de reprendre contact, de voir qu’il y a des sentiments quand ce dernier l’a laissée tomber comme une vieille chaussette. Mais il faut aussi dire que Chance n’est pas n’importe quel homme et c’est vrai que c’est difficile de ne pas tomber sous son charme. En effet, il est bien décidé à  reconquérir Jane et est prêt à beaucoup pour cela ! Cependant, ce n’est pas un défi facile et même loin de là !

J’ai beaucoup apprécié suivre cette histoire, voir les deux personnages s’ouvrir l’un à l’autre petit à petit et vous ai-je mentionné Josh ? Le fils de Chance est un gros atout au roman et apporte un énorme plus à l’histoire avec sa fraicheur, sa spontanéité et ses répliques. C’est charmant de voir à quel point notre héros aime son fils. Bon il n’y a pas qu’eux car nous rencontrons aussi Katie, la sœur de Chance ou encore sa future ex-femme… plein de personnages hauts en couleurs qui nous font passer un bon moment. Je suis curieuse de voir s’il y en aura plus par la suite.



Stay with Me by Paul Griffin

Synopsis: An urban romance that will capture your soul, break your heart, and restore your faith in the human spirit

Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn’t expect to fall in love. She’s a sensitive A student; he’s a high school dropout. But soon they’re spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they’d planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can’t stay.

From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

Review: I’ve never read any Paul Griffin’s books so I was really excited to discover one of his novels. Stay with Me is the story of Mack and Cece, two fifteen year olds teenagers.

Mack lives alone with his father, an inveterate alcoholic since his mother left when he was younger. Mack does not go to school and has a criminal record. Everyone sees him as a retarded person and he has the regrettable tendency not to look people in the eye. Cece meanwhile is a pretty good student but she also has her own problems: her older brother, Tony is planning to leave the family to join the army. Then she often has to deal with her alcoholic mother who is a little bit crazy and there is her best friend Marcy who is unbearable. All these people work in the same place: At Vic’s restaurant.

Mack is a touching character: honest and generous, he tries to help those who need it the most. He has a real gift: he can train aggressive dogs or those which may be beyond help. I loved the closeness he has with these animals, it was beautiful to see. It’s clear that he is an exceptional boy. But Mack is also excluded from the school system. He is a young man who is unable to control his rage and when someone irritates or provokes him, he loses his temper and becomes aggressive to the point that he presents a significant danger to others. Concerning Cece, she is mature for her age. Although these two young people have nothing in common, they get closer to each other and then they fall in love. Mack helps Cece to overcome her fear of dogs. Cece, in turn, helps Mack to control all the rage inside him until one day everything changes.

Until now, we could say that there is nothing really original in this young adult contemporary romance. And yet … Here we are far from the usual love stories where everything is perfect in a perfect world. Mack and Cece’s story is dark, sad, cruel but realistic. And although their love story did not particularly touch me (everything happens too quickly for my liking) I must say that I was very moved by what happened to them. In the second half of the book, some scenes are really poignant. We can feel all the emotions and the pain of these two young people. The alternation of points of view reinforces that.

I liked all the characters. The portraits that Paul Griffin draws are quite realistic. Mack, Cece, Vic, Tony, Carmella and even Marcy, they all suffered at one time or another in their lives and this is what makes them particularly interesting and endearing. Gradually we discover what happened to each of them. However I found regrettable that some of them were not further exploited by the author. I wanted to discover more about Vic who is the benefactor and Tony, the attentive older brother. I really liked Tony and what happens to him is really heartbreaking. I even felt sorry for Marcy (who I found really annoying).

This novel also evokes the war, more precisely the anguish faced by many families who see their children leaving their family house in order to fight in another country away from their homes. The author’s style is fluid. It is a novel that we can read in a few hours. A deeply touching story to discover.

3mon pseudo

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Review: After reading the synopsis and many good reviews about this book I knew immediately what to expect. I knew the story would be sad, I knew that this novel would touch me deep inside myself, but I never imagined it would be at this point. Nothing had prepared me for this. It is a beautiful and moving story, one of these stories that can not be ignored. A story that could happen to anyone, because it’s really like reading a book based on real facts and it was heavy-hearted and with tears that I closed this book.

Admittedly, Me Before You deals with euthanasia and the right to die but however we should not not restrict this book only to this. Because before everything, it’s the story of two exceptional persons. Lou Clark is an ordinary young woman who has just lost her job. She wears pretty strange clothes and everyone – even her family – consider her as nice girl who has no ambition. Will Traynor had everything for him: he was handsome, brilliant and a wealthy businessman. But he lost everything in this accident that rendered him tetraplegic. Nothing destined them to meet and yet they will find and then comfort each other.

I immediately loved these two characters, I found them so real to the point that it was quite unsettling. I immediately liked Lou, this young woman of 26 years old, with her past and her wounds buried deep inside herself. She lives with her parents in the middle of nowhere in England. Being the only one to sustain her family, Lou doesn’t have much time for herself. And concerning Patrick, her boyfriend, he lives only for running and is often absent. Lou was far from imagining that her new job as a nursing auxiliary at the Traynor’s house would completely change her life.

Will has lost the taste for life after his accident. And if at first he is very unpleasant towards Lou, progessivelly there will be a sort of connection between them. The author’s writing style is fluid and Will’s life is very well described. We discover that he was a man who loved life, extreme sports and he was a thrill seeker. Now he is unable to accept his new situation. If only his problems were limited to that… It was terrible to see what he has to endure to survive: in addition to the inability to move by himself, there is the pain, the diseases, the infections. His pain and suffering are such that several times I had tears in my eyes, and yet every time he is very brave and never complains.

Regarding the secondary characters, I have to say I liked Will’s mother POV. I also appreciated Nathan, Steven or Treena’s POVs. All these characters are very well worked and having their POV on some of the events was fantastic because they all bring something more to the story and help make this story more believable.

So you’ll understand Me Before You is a poignant story. It’s a beautiful love story but not only that. It’s also a beautiful story of friendship and feelings and I would even say it’s also a family story: the story of two families who live in completely opposite circles. Two families who have their own problems to deal with. Two families by force of destiny will be brought into close proximity. A deeply touching novel to discover as a matter of priority if you haven’t read it yet.

5mon pseudo

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise, Book 1

Synopsis: Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled. After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free… if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers. Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as “criminal” and “freak.” Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

Review: Another awesome novel by Simone Elkeles! As a great fan of the Fuentes brothers, it was a pleasure to get into Paradise. And I must say that once again I was transported by the Simone Elkeles writing!

Maggie is recovering from a car accident a year earlier. After several operations and rehabilitation sessions, she can finally go back to school. But things are not like before: her leg still hurts her, she limps, and all her friends have turned their backs. Before she was a popular high school student and very good in sports. Now she’s forced to confront the eyes of others. She has lost all her confidence and strength in the battle to save her leg. The responsible of her misfortune is Caleb. The story begins when he leaves the juvenile jail and returns to Paradise to live with his parents. All he wants is a normal life with his family. But when he returns, he finds that a lot of things have changed: he has in front of him a family completely broken. It’s difficult for him to adapt himself to this new situation and his image of an ex-convict is terribly uncomfortable. Curiously, these two people will end up comforting each other.

It was a deeply touching book. Simone Elkeles has brilliantly succeeded to capture the reader’s interest with this family story certainly quite simple but also imbued with a poignant realism. This kind of story happens in dailylife, it is a tragedy that could happen to anyone. Indeed, as my reading progressed I wondered how I would have reacted if it had been me, if I had been in Maggie’s place. This is what makes the strength of this story and once again, I loved it!

This book tells the story of two families, but also of two teenagers trying to re-establish their lives and move on after an accident. Maggie Armstrong was hit by a car. The driver was her neighbor, Caleb Becker, the twin brother of her best friend Leah, the guy she was secretly in love with. The story focuses essentially on the accident and its consequences for both families. The Becker and Armstrong were always together. But this tragic event ruined everything and ended the friendship between the two families. Now they live ignoring each other.

The reconciliation between the two young people is difficult. After the shock and the stupor, they try to rebuild themselves, each sharing the pain of the other. The task is not easy but gradually they arrive to get over it mostly thanks to the help of Mrs. Reynolds. I loved Maggie and Caleb. The two characters are very well worked and touching! Alternating the point of view, like in Perfect Chemistry, brings even more depth to their story. We understand what is going on in their minds, what are their fears, etc… Fortunately there’s Ms. Reynolds to lighten their mood: This old lady is a benefactor! She will do everything she can to help the two young people. Damon also tries to help Caleb.

It was a captivating story. I was also very surprised by the revelations at the end. As always with Simone Elkeles books, the style is fluid and easy to read. The author handles the writing with great ability. And as for this ending, Wow! I didn’t expect that at all. Now I have to buy the sequel or I’ll end up crazy!