To Have Loved and Lost (The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud – A Book Review)

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud
Author: Ben Sherwood
Published: 2004

Charlie St. Cloud

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Charlie St. Cloud was nothing exceptional and all around ordinary. He did well in school, was a good big brother and had big plans for his future. He was a promising kid.

“He grew up fast, worked hard at his books, watched out for his mom and, loved his kid brother more than anyone in the world.” (Charlie, p. 8)

All of that changes when he and his little brother, Sam, get into a car accident and they die, except…Charlie comes back. He’s given a special gift. Every day at sundown, he gets to see his brother. He sees other people too. You can’t help that when you work in a cemetery. He doesn’t mind at all.

Tess Carroll, a phenomenal sailor, comes home before setting out on a trip around the world. When she meets Charlie she isn’t sure she wants to go. She connects with him instantly and isn’t sure why. She’s just drawn to him and him to her.

CSC

This was a one day read done in a matter of seven hours. Now, I fly through books like that easily, but more often than not, I like to take my time to enjoy the story and make it last as long as possible.

I loved this book through and through. My heart melted more and more with each chapter. The scenery was soft and beautiful and my heart swelled whenever I came to a part with Charlie and his brother. I just flat out melted into a ridiculous puddle when he was with Tess. There was some serious romance that could rival Nicholas Sparks.

puddle

The style and tone of the writing allowed me to see from various characters’ POVs and it was very well done. So much feeling, like I could sit on the end of a dock and listen to the wind on the water, which is one of the most intimate and pleasant moments for me to take and contemplate life with. This wasn’t a drama. It was a book with love. Love for family. Love that lights romance on fire.

The way that Charlie and Tess came together was like peanut butter and chocolate. Lovely when separated, but together they’re the perfect combination. This romance isn’t shoved together with some awkward meeting or damsel in need of rescuing. It’s just a girl trying to visit a loved one and a guy trying to chase off geese. So simple and maybe even a way of the fates bringing them together. I got way TOO many emotions and love, and let me tell you, I wanted to be Tess. To find a man like Charlie? One could only be so lucky.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a beautiful piece of art that includes spirit, love, humanity and loss. I highly recommend this book. I was very surprised when I read it. I didn’t expect to get so attached. And yes, Zac Efron is a very nice image of Charlie St. Cloud.

 

Quotables:

“The serenity around him was palpable. Now he had this paradise to himself; fourteen hours until the world returned. For him these were the most precious moments. Time for himself. Times to be. Time to think. But most of all, time for his most important activity, hidden deep in the woods.” (Charlie, p. 52)

“Charlie blinked, Sam vanished, and all that was left in the Forest of Shadows was the fading light and the whoosh of the wind.” (Charlie, p. 113)

“Nothing had changed. Everything had changed.” (Charlie, p. 209)

“There are lots of things you don’t understand, but don’t worry. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.” (Sam, p. 250)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Holding Out For a Hero by Ella Mae Bowen.

 

Find me on Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

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Let’s Get Ruined (The Royals Trilogy – A Book Review)

The Royals Trilogy

Author: Erin Watt

Published: 2016

The royals - pintrest

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Ella Harper is swept out of her public school and crappy apartment placed in a private school and lavish mansion after discovering that her birth father, who turned out to be a millionaire, died in a tragic accident. The life of the rich and famous isn’t very welcoming of her and secrets are abound throughout this trilogy.

When given a deal Ella can’t refuse—$10,000 for every month—she stays with her new guardian, Callum Royal—she decides to give lifestyle a chance because money doesn’t grow on trees, and she certainly didn’t make that much at her job. However, Callum’s five sons will do anything to run her out of the house.

These Royals will ruin you…

Not a complete lie. These boys are pretty hot and used to getting everything they want. So when Ella stands up to them to prove herself, it turns out to be the perfect challenge. However, one Royal in particular, Reed Royal, never thought he’d actually fall for this strong-willed girl and this screwed up fairy tale grants your wishes when it comes to bad boys.

 

Possible spoilers ahead.

This trilogy has a lot of spunk and is definitely not afraid of getting down and dirty. The attitude in tone of the books fuels the fire that is the Royal household. From getting deserted in the middle of the night to a pregnancy scandal, the drama never dies and we as readers thrive on that from time to time. It’s like an adrenaline rush that makes our insides crawl with anticipation.

Now, I want to say that I loved this series through and through, but—yes, sadly there’s a but—I had troubles. The storyline was great and certainly kept my attention with shocking twists and turns. However, I did struggle a little here and there due to the repetition in the second book about the discord in Ella and Reed’s relationship. I held on because I love an f**ed love story. There’s a fight for love in a story that’s so complicated and every love story should have some fight in it. This one even had some literal fights going on.

Another issue I had was reading the genre on the back: Young Adult and then reading the books and realizing that they aren’t Young Adult. Not in my opinion anyway. YA ranges from 13-well, I’m 24 and still read YA so the age ranges. But, with the swearing ever so often and detailed sex scenes that is strewn through the series, I don’t believe it’s appropriate. Just because the characters are young adults, I don’t think that it makes this series YA.

So, while this series was a fun read, I can’t give it all of my love. That doesn’t mean I won’t go back and read them. They sit up on my special shelf for rereads.

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Today’s song? Trip Switch by Nothing But Thieves.