Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book review: Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy

I took part in the blog tour (in my previous blog) and I was given a copy of the book in exchange for a review. I loved this book so much that I thought it right to import the review in the new blog. Enjoy.

I like calling myself a writer, so writing is something that should come easily, right? Well, finding the words to write a review for this book is turning out to be a very hard task because I know that, no matter how hard I try, I'll never in a million years be able to find words to convey the emotions I felt while reading this story. I will not summarize the story in my review because the blurb says it all perfectly, but I will try to put down in words the plethora of emotions that are still swirling around inside of me, even weeks after reading it - and I guess this should give you a clue of how much I loved this book.

Fighting Redemption is so much more than an amazingly beautiful story of true love between soul mates; it's also a story of pain, of broken souls, of war and the spiritual and emotional devastation it brings with it. I don't recall crying so much over a book ever since I read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks, and that time it was because it reminded me a little of a personal experience so the tears were sort of understandable. I don't know anyone who's in the army and luckily I've never come face to face with war in my country, but even so, this booked touched my heart in a way no other book had in years (if ever), making me feel every raw emotion, every bit of pain, every heartache and every ounce of love as if I was living it all firsthand. I cried ugly tears; I sobbed over breakfast the morning I decided to read just one chapter before going to work and happened to read the most emotional one; I spent a whole day at work grieving over what I'd just read and couldn't wait to go home and read what happened next and, even though I kept repeating in my mind "get a grip, it's just a book!", the pain just didn't go away. At some point I thought I'd lost my mind, because never in my life had I felt so emotionally spent after reading a book. I wasn't sure what a "book hangover" was before; now I know I'm having one, a really bad one may I add. This book has earned the top spot in my Kindle and it is definitely one I will love to read again and again and again...

The writing is brilliant and very emotional. Kate's style pulls you in from the very beginning and the way she weaves sentences and plays with words creates something so powerful it keeps you glued to the pages and captures your heart and soul. I understood immediately after reading the prologue that I was going to embark on an emotional journey, a real rollercoaster ride - and it turned out I was right. I laughed and cried; I smiled and grieved; I sighed, swooned, gasped with surprise and cringed with fear. Most of all, though, I truly felt the love throughout the book, the real thread that keeps the whole story together. And this is just how good Kate's writing is. No other author, apart from my very favorite ones (Nicholas Sparks and Rosamunde Pilcher) had ever pulled me into a story so well.

Now, about the characters. Are they fictional at all? They feel so real I had to keep reminding myself they don't exist in real life. I got so attached to all of them that when I finished the book I missed them and wanted to start it all over again just to spend a little more time with them. That's just how crazy I am, folks! Fin is the kind of girl everyone would want as their best friend. I personally would. Her clumsiness made me smile and at times even laugh out loud. She's such a great character; a strong, determined heroine with a heart full of love for her brother and Ryan. Ryan. Aww, Ryan Kendall! He is the quintessential book boyfriend. If you've read any of my reviews, you'll know I don't like alpha male or bossy heroes, but I couldn't help loving Ryan from the very start. Although at times he seems a little bossy with Fin, it's just because he wants her to be happy and he selflessly denies his own happiness just so she can have the kind of life and love she deserves. He's a sweetheart, a real babe and he's SO DAMN HOT! Excuse my language. :) He's definitely earned the top spot in my "book boyfriends I wish were real" chart. I truly envied Fin, and suffered with her when Ryan left to war; I shared her pain and her happiness; I prayed for him to stay safe and come back home to her. I rooted for them to have the happy ending they deserved, and believe me, if I didn't get a heart attack while reading this book, with all the unexpected twists and heart wrenching scenes, I'm safe to say I'll probably never get one in my life. :) Another important character in the story, whom I really loved, is Jake, Fin's brother. He's the brother I would have wanted in my life; he's funny and loving, and I loved his strong friendship with Ryan and how they cared about each other like brothers. There's a major "ugly tears" scene featuring Jake, but I won't tell you more than this. :) Rachael and Kyle are great side characters, too. Kyle is so funny and I'm happy he gets to play a rather important part in the second half of the book because I really liked him. I would actually love if he got a whole book about himself (and maybe get together with Rachael? Kate, if you're reading this, maybe this could be an idea for another book? Just saying...)

Is there a happy ending? Will Ryan and Jake come home safe from Afghanistan? Will Fin and Ryan live happily ever after? Sorry, I can't tell you that; you'll have to buy the book and find out for yourselves but trust me when I say you'll be glad you did.

This book deserves to be read and most importantly to be loved because it is one of the most heart-warming, tear-jerking and best written books I've read in years, especially by an indie author. There's only one warning before you start reading: Be ready to go around the house like a zombie with red, puffy eyes and a heavy heart after you've read it; but don't let this get you down, because for every single tear you'll shed, another stronger and happier emotion will soon capture your heart and bring a smile to your face. I guess this book should come with the "May cause addiction" warning. That's just how good it is.
As for my rating, well, there aren't just enough stars in the chart to rate Fighting Redemption. If I could, I would rate it a million stars but, since I can't, I guess I'll have to stick to five brilliant, freaking awesome shamrocks.

My favorite quotes (I didn't include the ones that are in the teasers, and which I absolutely LOVED):
"I have a thick skin, baby" he told her, his wide shoulders crowding her back against the cool tiles, "but you're under it. You're buried in there so deep it's like I was born with you in my soul."
"When I'm near you I'm consumed by you-your smile, your eyes, your heart. Even though we've never been together, you've always been mine, and even if I never get to keep you, you'll still be mine."
"Every piece of me is in her." He placed his palm flat on her chest, feeling her heart beat hard and steady beneath his fingers. He closed his eyes briefly at the beauty of it. "My breath, my heart, my life. I won't ever leave you if you keep that safe inside of you."
"You're all I see. Nothing holds more beauty in my eyes than you do. No one will ever love you the way I do."

Have you read Fighting Redemption already? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought about it.

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