book review

Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry

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I read Loving Mr. Daniels back in January 2016, but it’s just as good, if not better, the second time around.

Goodreads description:

To Whom it May Concern,

It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.

When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss.

When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.

Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.

It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.

It was ours.

And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for Loving Mr. Daniels.

-Ashlyn Jennings

Things I loved about the book:

1. Witty dialogue. At first, I thought it was a little too clever. Then I remembered my college days when my fellow Literature majors would quote Tolstoy, Hemingway, and yes, Shakespeare, and it felt natural. It’s smart without being pretentious. Even the quirky double problem (i.e. ‘promise, promise’, ‘really, really’, etc.) found a way to be more endearing than cheesy.

2. The chemistry between Ashlyn and Mr. Daniels. It takes a lot for me to buy into the whole insta-love scenarios for most romances. However, Ashlyn and Mr. Daniels meeting for the first time has got to be one of the more memorable scenes I’ve read in my life. The sparks are just off the charts, and you can’t help but root for them throughout the story.

3. Secondary characters. It’s easy to fall in love with Ashlyn and Mr. Daniels. But there are so many other characters in this story who managed to carve a little nook for themselves in my heart — Ashlyn’s deceased twin sister Gabby who lived in this story through letters, her step-siblings Hailey and Ryan who embraced Ashlyn despite her tendency to keep to herself, her relentless suitor Jake who turned out to be a really good guy in the end, even her estranged father Henry who put her first at the first sign of conflict. You just want to pull them all together for a big group hug and never let go.

4. Solid conflict. This is mostly brought on by how well both Ashlyn and Mr. Daniels’ back stories were crafted. It makes their story real.

5. Sob-inducing heartache. Even knowing how the story unfolds as I’m reading it for the second time, I still cried myself to sleep. You find pain that burrows its way into your gut, and all you want to do is curl into yourself to feel some semblance of comfort. Brittainy Cherry just writes pain and sorrow so well that her books really should come with a warning label: Kleenex required.

6. Words that make my heart soar. Before, in between and after Brittainy Cherry has you snot-nosed and puffy-eyed, she puts your head in the clouds with unforgettable lines. I will most likely be quoting this book a lot in future Thirsty Thursdays.

Despite being told in both Ashlyn and Mr. Daniels’ PoVs and feeling like an emotional rollercoaster ride, the story is fluid and cleverly spun. This would’ve topped my fave books list had Brittainy Cherry included full lyrics for Romeo’s Quest songs as sort of a bonus feature. Either way, it was a great story. A great great story.

Rating: 5 stars, 5 stars!

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