The Flight of Hope by H.J. Bellus
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I actually enjoyed this book. I was nervous going in, wasn't sure what to expect (no, I didn't read the blurb, just trusted a friend when she said I had to read it).
Marlee has been through so much. We know that from just the prologue. But what she continues to endure and what she goes through to find her happiness is impressive.
Marlee and Bentley have a storybook romance. Falling in love as children, they know they will always be together. That's just how it will always be.
Until one night when the world basically implodes and Marlee is left to scrape together some semblance of a life.
The first half of this book is fantastic. Honestly, I felt the love and the life that Bentley and Marlee were building. I believed they would be together forever (except, I knew better because everyone said I would cry).
It's the second half of Marlee's life that baffles me. It's not that it isn't believable, but it feel rushed. It feels like she just wakes up and decides to be better and BOOM, she's better. I mean, maybe grief works that way. Maybe drowning your sorrows in a bottle is easily fixed. I don't know, I haven't lived it.
I feel as if HJ Bellus could have continued to build this second chance. I don't think anyone would have been sad to read more about Marlee and Jed and Caleb and Fender. NO ONE. In fact, I wish we weren't missing all of that in between time (read it and you'll know what I'm talking about). I want all of those stories. Give me more build-up. I'm gonna need more than a few signs from above that this is how it's supposed to be.
Anyway, all I'm saying is I wish the same amount of time that was spent on Marlee's relationship with Bentley was spent on Marlee's life after (again, I will not be super spoilery, so read the damn book).
I will say that HJ Bellus pulled a tear out of me. I wasn't sobbing or anything. I mean it quite literally. ONE SINGLE TEAR.
If she had built on that "after" for Marlee, I would have shed more. For sure.
*I listened to this book and enjoyed Lacy Laurel's narration. She did a great job of giving each character a voice and I was never confused as to who was speaking.
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