Friday, October 18, 2013

Book review: HIM by Carey Heywood

As a host for the release event of HER (the second book in the series) on October 26th, I was provided a copy of HIM as well and, although this wasn't required, I'm happy to write a review for this book so other people have a chance to discover it. I am so glad I signed up for the tour because I probably wouldn't have discovered it otherwise. Thank you, Carey Heywood!

HIM is a beautiful and sweet story of best friends falling in love with each other (I guess you know how dear this particular theme is to me) as well as a story of second chances.

It is the story of Sarah Miller (aka Miller Lite - I loved the nickname Will used for Sarah!) and William "Will" Price, and it's told in Sarah's POV. The book opens with Sarah getting ready to go to her brother's wedding back home in Atlanta. She's now living in Colorado with her friend Sawyer (who's a girl, just so you know) and hasn't been home in a while, trying to avoid the one person she ran away from seven years before, soon after graduation. As fate would have it, the guy she's running away from, the HIM in the title, is on her same plane, just a row away from her. As they reconnect after seven years of not talking to each other, it's plain that Sarah never got over him in the first place. Her heart still aches though and she knows she cannot let him get back into her life or into her heart - she simply has to get through this week and go back to Colorado, where her new home and her successful business are.

It'll be a tough week for Sarah; being back home where she spent many a happy day with Will, where everywhere she looks she is hit by a happy memory of the two of them is heartbreaking. We get to share those memories through a very clever technique used by the author: We meet Sarah and Will in the present day, but every other chapter we are taken into their past and see how their friendship evolved. Although you may think this technique could be confusing (going back and forth from present to past) I loved it and didn't find it distracting in the least. As a matter of fact, it helped get to know the characters better and understand how deep their feelings were at the time. I got really attached to both characters: I laughed with them, cried with them, hurt with them. I don't think it would've been possible to grow so fond of both of them without knowing their past and I guess if the author had started telling the story from their adolescence it wouldn't just have had the same impact.

The characters are very relatable and feel real; with their flaws and good traits you can't help but feel a connection with them.
Sarah grows a lot; from the shy and insecure teenager, she turns into a successful business woman, determined not to let the man who broke her heart weave his spell on her. She can't deny the attraction she still feels for him though, so it'll take all of her strength to keep her distance.
At times I really wanted to shake her and scream at her to give him a chance to explain, since she never did; she ran away and never turned back (Why? Well, I can't really tell you or I'll spoil the fun). Then again, I tried to put myself in her shoes, tried to feel the way an eighteen-year-old girl would and I sort of understood why she never confronted him. So I hurt with her and shared her heartbreak while wishing she'd get her happy ending eventually.

Now, Will. What can I say about him other than: I LOVE HIM? He enters the story in chapter two and he's held my heart in his hands ever since. He's THE Book Boyfriend with capital Bs. He's handsome, sweet, funny and loving. What more can a girl wish for? I loved the way he cared about Sarah, how he always wanted the best for her, how he couldn't be away from her when they were teenagers. When he enters the story in the present day, you can't help loving him. He's funny, a little cocky at times, and still so in love with Sarah that it really broke my heart every time she pushed him away. He made me laugh, swoon, brought me close to tears and made me smile again. He's just the perfect Prince Charming. At last, a hero without anger issues, drug addictions, dominant behavior; just a romantic, down-to-earth and handsome-as-hell guy who's still madly in love with his high school sweetheart and would do anything to bring her back into his life. Isn't that super sweet?
He's the reason you should give this book a chance. No matter if you don't like friends to lovers' stories or second chance romance - you'll end up loving this book just because of HIM.

Although this is Sarah and Will's story, the side characters also have important parts in the story and I really enjoyed reading about them (Sawyer and Brian in particular).

There are sex scenes but unlike other romance books I've read lately that get very descriptive and graphic to try and catch the reader's attention, the author managed to create the chemistry without necessarily needing to be graphic. The sex scenes in this book were sweet and romantic but you could still feel the heat between them and I really liked that.

If I have to find one flaw to explain why I didn't rate it 5 shamrocks is that some parts were a bit too descriptive and slowed the story down a little. Maybe it was because I wanted to see what was going to happen between them and I couldn't wait, but I felt some parts weren't really necessary for the story (one of these parts was the chapter about Jared; since he didn't really play an important role in the story afterwards, I think the whole chapter could've been cut down a little, maybe stressing the fact that they moved to Colorado because Sawyer wanted to be near the guy she liked, rather than telling all the detailed story of what they did when they stayed there).

Even so, I really really enjoyed this book and I would surely recommend it to readers who love a nice, romantic story with just a little bit of drama and a happy ending.

PS: at the time of writing I've already finished reading HER (the story told in Will's POV) but I won't be posting the review until the release day event, so stay tuned!


Have you read “HIM” already? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it.