Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: Days Like This by Danielle Ellison

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Days Like This (A Landslide Novel)
Author: Danielle Ellison
Publisher: Bookish World Press
Pages: ebook; 241
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher / Netgalley
Genre: New Adult/Romance

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who are interested in the struggles of dealing with family members with mental illness.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes

Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is yourself.

Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother’s disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.

Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn’t involve Cassie Harlen.

When Cassie’s mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn’t know how he’s going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.

Neither does Cassie.

When I read the synopsis, I was very excited to dive into the story. A bipolar mom, a boy next door fiance' and a girl running from her problems, all sounded like a great story line. Unfortunately this book fell flat for me in a lot of ways. Let me explain.

Cassie and Graham never developed as characters for me. If I'm being totally honest, they annoyed me for most of the book. Aside from superficial top layer emotions we never really got to know them as individuals or as a couple. The author tried to create the tension of a second chance love, but never explained their connection beside the artificial "love the way he looks at me" or "I just can't resist her" which to me seems like a naive view of love (more like lust).

I did enjoy the way that the treatment of Cassie's mom's disorder was addressed in the book. Mental illness tends to get glossed over in a lot of stories but Ellison did a great job incorporating the trauma it caused, and the healing process between Cassie and her mom. Therapy, medication and support are so important to treatment and it was refreshing to have a story that actually addressed these very real issues.

This was not a lighthearted, happy romance book so if you're looking for a light read, I would not recommend this. There is a lot of angst and regret between Graham and Cassie and it lasts all the way up to the end. If you enjoy delving into some more serious topics in your romance, I would recommend this.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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