Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Review : The Story of Us by Barbara Elsborg

The Story of Us
Blurb :

Two boys. One love. Ten summers.
Are you okay?
The first words Zed says to Caspian, and the first time someone has cared about the answer. On a hot summer’s day, the lives of two boys are changed forever. A rebel and a risk taker, Caspian doesn’t give a damn for the consequences. Studious and obedient, Zed is the good boy who is never good enough.
The two couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they share, a need to belong to someone who understands them, someone who cares. Their friendship goes deeper than either can possibly imagine. They’re young, in love, and planning their future when an act of betrayal tears them apart.
Fate deals its hand. Seasons pass. Zed’s words follow Caspian through pain, fear and into the darkest of places. Friendships can last a lifetime, even when the world conspires to crush them. But this is more than friendship. This is love and they’re not going to let it slip through their fingers.
Warning :The Story of Us is a tale of love and survival, and the triumph of good over evil against the odds. It's a new adult contemporary romance that deals with family and social issues. There is violence and cruelty to children but not sexual assault. The story has sexual situations, dark elements and suspense. The events and locations are a mixture of real and fictional. The characters are fictional.

Christelle's rating :

”Two boys. One love. Ten summers.” This summarizes the story of Caspian and Zed, a story that hooked me right from the start and made me feel so many emotions. It moved me to no end.

Caspian and Zed are two teenagers (14 and 15 yo), living in the same small English town, both with different backgrounds, with different struggles to grow up into adulthood, with different personalities. One summer afternoon, their path crosses and from there, I witnessed a beautiful journey over the spade of 10 years.

I’m fan of Barbara Elsborg’s writing, whether it’s MF or MM romances, whether it’s contemporary or fantasy. Not so much of New Adults MM romances nor of stories that are on such a long period. Therefore, I was not sure this would work for me and to my delight and surprise, this is my favorite book from this author and among the best read I had. Much more angsty with less banter and less steam (but still enough and placed at the right time of this journey) than the previous books I read from her, but with an intensity that struck me a lot.

Right from the start, I was enthralled by the story of Caspian and Zed and by these two endearing characters. I felt with them : their hope, their dreams, their fears, their despair, their pain, their distrust, their longing, their frustrations, their uncertainties, their joys, their love. I laughed with them, I got anxious with them, I battled along with them.

I loved following them through their life, with all the up and down that came their way by fate or by their actions, their growing love for each other and the bond they created with Jason and Henry, two fantastic secondary characters. And I couldn’t be happier for their HEA, an HEA that perfectly fitted them and that they both deserved.

Barbara Elsborg gave me a wonderful and emotional fiction, nicely woven with real events and issues (with the right balance for me, avoiding the “black and white” stands that could sometimes annoy me and never reaching the point where the piling of fictional angst turns into dramalala for me).

I wish I could write how I felt about Caspian and Zed, their story, their journey but I have no word great enough for that. Suffice to say that it’s now on my “to reread” shelf, that I give more than well deserved 5 stars, that I couldn’t put down this book even though I was sometimes overwhelmed.

Dear Barbara Elsborg, thank you so much for this story.

Highly recommended!

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