Laney can't wait to spend the summer at her father's lake resort. It's a place where time stands still and nothing ever changes-the perfect thing for Laney after the year she just had. But when she gets there, she discovers the lodge isn't quite as unchanging as she once thought.Some of the differences are good, like Rory's new look; some are bad, like whatever secret Karissa is keeping. And then some things are just confusing, like Weston.
Weston, her mysterious new co-worker, who is the cause of so many of the changes Laney hates. She wants to despise him, but she can't deny the attraction she feels, nor the desire she has to be around the one person who didn't know her before the summer-the one person she doesn't have to pretend for.
From the beautiful cover to the first page, I knew this book was going to be something special and worth reading. I haven't read a book in a while that genuinely grabs you so instantaneously. As you turn the first page, not only does Laney begin her journey but the reader does as well together until the last page.
So, the story begins with Laney heading out to her father's resort for the summer. Grateful to get away from her mother and her "whatever you call him" sort of situation, she finds comfort knowing that at least for the 3 months she could put things behind her to the comfort of spending time with her dad. Even though she only met him a few years ago, there is something about his resort that puts her at ease not to mention spending the summer with her two best friends, Rory and Karissa. Even though on the surface things seemed familiar, this summer would not be the same.
After reuniting with her friends, she notices a new face, Weston. As they get to know each other, wooed by his good looks and accent, she is completely smitten by him whether she wants to admit it or not. She finds herself thinking of him more than she wants. The more their attraction grows, the harder it becomes to fight what just seems right. Everytime she is around him, it just feels right but so wrong. The more her heart pushes towards him, the more her head struggled pulling her away with the gripping reminder of the day she wish never happened. Haunted unable to hide the scars that she tries to keep hidden, will she be able to finally to break free to let him in?
No matter how great Laney feels about seeing her friends, there was an undeniable difference underlying their familiar facade. Their lives have changed. As the days pass reuniting and enjoying each other's company like any other summer, the closeness that they once shared and the unique characteristics that made them magnetic, seemed different. Trying to figure their way through, noticeable changes begin to surface. Uncovered secrets begin to reveal. Changes in behavior and a break in patterns causes tension that bring up built resentment that have been hidden since they last saw each other. This past year brought some dramatic changes to their lives. When Karissa tried to reach out to her best friend, she wasn't there when she needed her the most. Not that Laney didn't want to be there but something that happened in own her life caused her to shut down and do something that has haunted her ever since. Can these two friends find their way through their painful experiences...
Well, that is just a little bit to get your started but I guarantee you there is more that is worth diving into. This book was one of those books that really absorb you every part of you. From the first page, there is an inviting voice that carries through the book as if you are spending the summer with Laney. As the title suggests, 99 Days of Laney Maguire, each day was captured separately, which made you as a reader follow along as if you were right alongside her. There was this curious anticipation to keep flipping the page because it was one of those stories that you just fall in love with.
I always say the best authors are the ones who read a lot because they are the ones who are able to capture and define genuine characters and human relationships. Rachel is such a wonderful storyteller who really brings to life these characters in a way that humanizes them and makes them more tangible to the reader. These characters are so defined and you really get them. Even though these characters were young, there was a depth to them through their experiences that made you want to connect with them. You share their journey together through friendship, love and family. It also dealt with a couple of sensitive issues that I felt were handled in a way that translated well to the reader. Overall, I think you will really enjoy this story for its entirety. If you are looking for a book that you really can you sink into, add this to your reading list.
Review by Michelle Bowles
Publisher: Metamorphosis Books
Publication date: 10/22/2013