As you guys already know I’m a sucker for anything written by Karina Halle. I was really bummed that I was reading another book when this one came out, so I couldn’t read it right away. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t read two books at the same time. If you can, then you need to give those tips like right now! There’s a bunch of books out there and not enough time to read them all!
Well back to Halle’s latest masterpiece, My Life in Shambles. Something about the cover told me that this story was going to be different from the ones she’s written before. Lord, was I right!
This isn’t only different from her previous novels, but it’s also a breath of fresh air, to what we contemporary romance readers are getting used to. You see, we’re always expecting our main characters to be outstandingly beautiful and attractive. Although, we do get a description of what’s going on inside them, we only deal with their romance struggles and not those individual inner battles we human beings deal with everyday.
Valerie Stephens has won my favorite heroine award for the time being. We have a humble girl that has dealt with an enormous tragedy that has shaped the way her life is supposed to be. Instead of quitting we have a fighter in her that refuses to give up on herself and the others surrounding her. Instead of drowning in self pity for not looking perfect and not being a size 0 kind of girl, she embraces this, and wears it as her personal shield.
Her survival and lack of physical excellence makes her a true woman to me. We’re usually taught to act accordingly to what we look in the mirror. We’re not properly taught how to uncover that shell and see its true value. My Life in Shambles, forces the reader to know their characters and relate to them before knowing their exteriors. This way our empathy is already compromised. If only we could do this in real life, the world would be a different place.
Padraig is also an idyllic kind of man. Although he’s heartbroken, he’s strong enough to help Valerie face some of her inner demons. Along the story, we learn about his loyalty and heartwarming values. The way he respects her and is 90% of the time in awe of her, warmed my heart in numerous ways.
On the other hand, this book is not only about survival and loss. We have plenty of comical moments too!
Here are the BEST two characters in this story: Agnes & Major.
Agnes is Padraig’s grandmother and professional wooden spoon beater! I absolutely loved her! Although most of the time it seems she has a missing screw in that head of hers, no one is as wise and loving as she is.
“Why sometimes, as a family, we’re always in a battle. I guess that’s the thing about family though, whether by blood or not. Everyone is trying to protect themselves and in the end they shut out those that they love the most and that love them the most. We’re so imperfect, ye see. All of us. We’re made of broken bits and jagged edges and we expect to fit flush with each other like puzzle pieces but we can’t. And that’s not the point of family. You don’t need to fit, you just need to be close.”
This quote reminded me of my own family. We might not be perfect. Not even close, but no matter what, we always have each other’s backs. Sometimes we don’t have to fully understand the other person fully to love them and cherish them. We’re all completely different.
Back again to the funny stuff! Major had me cracking up every single time with his selective listening! You see, he’s a live in guest in Agnes’ B&B in Shamble. Everyone knows him, from his lack of hearing and colorful suits!
I don’t want to give spoilers so I better stop typing. This is a story of pure love, survival and support. I definitely recommend this to any of you! I mean, I finished it and I was already searching for flights to Dublin!