Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Days Like This by Danielle Ellison - Review

Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.

Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother's disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.

Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn't involve Cassie Harlen.

When Cassie's mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn't know how he's going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.

Neither does Cassie.

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

A romantic, heart-wrenching read. I loved that this story was as much about Cassie having to come to terms with resenting a person that she also loves as it was about a boy-next-door love that seems to be a thing of the past. While I found Cassie and Graham's love authentic, well developed, and heartbreakingly romantic, I need to give a shout-out to Danielle Ellison for really highlighting the struggles of living with someone with a mental disorder and the highs and lows that come with that situation.

I liked the dual point of view, especially since Cassie's character is so wrought with emotional turmoil. While I never felt that her feelings weren't authentic or believable, sometimes Cassie's stubbornness and masochistic habits got a little too much for me, personally. I found Graham's voice refreshing in comparison to Cassie's, though both clearly bear the consequences of hasty decisions and fear. Both Cassie and Graham's voices are believable and I loved reading about their past relationship from each of their memories. They were a nice, homely balance to all the drama happening in the present. I also liked seeing Cassie's mother from both Cassie and Graham's perspective - I thought it showed nicely the way in which mental disorders can be experienced from in the home and observed from outside it.

A fairly quick read with a lot of depth. A story about learning to love people - even yourself -  even when it seems impossible.

Check out Days Like This and Danielle's other books here: http://www.danielleellison.com

Danielle Ellison spent most of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.

When she’s not writing, Danielle is probably eating cookies, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

Happy Reading!


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