Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'll Follow You - Amber's Review of TRUE LOVE WAY by Mary Elizabeth + Excerpt

Title: True Love Way
Author: Mary Elizabeth
Publication Date: 4/14/2015
Source: ARC from Author

Some days are brighter than others, but Penelope Finnel has been taught she can be invisible behind the colored lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses. 

Her mind is her worst enemy, and simply waking up in the morning is risky. For a kid like her, staying in bed is easier, especially when the day has come to start school in a new town with new kids who don’t understand that the clouds are not the only reason everything is so gloomy. 

Dillon Decker is a typical boy from a typical small town who radiates light and happiness. Under the hovering glare from her father, Dillon leads Penelope around on his bicycle’s handlebars, hoping he is the cure to her madness. 

But when friend turns to lover, and lover turns to caretaker, how much can either of them tolerate before they’re swallowed whole? 

A story about moving trucks and rollerblades, candy for smiles, and notes across lawns. 

First loves and the struggle to keep it sane. 

The true love way. 

My dad stares at me like I just told him there’s a dental theories’ seminar for nerd dentists like himself he wasn’t invited to. 

No, better than that. 

His face reminds me of that time he realized a grown man had stolen his lucky molar spreader from his office after an extraction and was forced to buy a new, unlucky one. 

"Are you sure you’re ready?" Dad clears his throat, shutting the door so that Mom doesn’t hear our conversation. 

Sex is natural, it happens, and it’s a part of becoming a man. Dad told me all of this when he was naming parts on a plastic uterus, and now he wants to know if I’m ready. I wasn’t ready for hair to grow on my balls, but that happened. 

I wonder how many M&M’s Coach Finnel will give me if I make Pen smile during sex. 

Those should count as double

"Considering Penelope’s condition, Dillon, committing to a physical relationship with her isn’t very wise." 

"She’s sad sometimes," I say, swallowing my anger. "Not dying." 

Pulling the rolling chair out from behind his desk, he sits and takes his glasses off. Dad pinches the bridge of his nose before continuing. "There’s more to it than that, Dillon. Especially in children, and that’s exactly what the two of you are." 

11081018_833643076683207_787542825814050289_nMary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets.

Known as The Realist, Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She's a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it's perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she's not letting go until every story is told. 

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."--Jeremiah 17:9 

I love stories about real life situations. Things that could happen to me or you or a friend of a friend. The neighbor down the street. Mary Elizabeth has so beautifully captured the innocence of first love, and the heart wrenching reality of what it takes for some to sustain true love to it's fullest. I won't rehash the plot of the book - you can read a ton of reviews that do that. What I'm going to do is tell you how much I loved Dillon and Penelope. And even that hairy ogre of a dad, Mr. Finnell. 

Pen is a girl that you could have known in high school. Or maybe she reminds you of herself. A young girl who has never quite fit into her own skin and doesn't know exactly how to cope with the way her mind and her body betray her. The thing I liked most about her was that even when she wasn't trying she was TRYING. She wants to be this person that her parents want her to be. The good daughter. The best girlfriend. Someone NORMAL. But normal does not exist, even if the boy across the lawn looks like he might be the closest thing to it.

Dillon is such  wonderful character, It's so refreshing to see a male character that was simply wonderful and caring - like his parents had raised him right. He holds the kind of patience and compassion in his heart that a mother could only hope to see in her own son, or find in the boy that her daughter is in love with. His selflessness makes him one of my top five literary male characters ever. He is sweetness and strength define his every action, though he may not see it himself. I do. 

Mary's ability to help you relive that wonder of childhood and those aches of puberty and the pain of growing up just proves what a masterful storyteller she is. I am so very proud to have been able to see her bring this book to life because it's story that needs to be told and she did it so well. 

True Love Way is a  beautiful story about the magic of first love, the reality of true love, and how finding that perfect someone can lead to lasting and enduring love. Penelope and Dillon are two characters that you will never, ever forget.

All my stars to give.

 Shinedown - I'll Follow You

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