Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Tattered Gloves by J.L. Berg - Review and Giveaway


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Author: J.L. Berg
Publication Date:  23 January 2017
Publisher: JL Berg
Series:  StandAlone
Genre:  YA Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 16 and Up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

Head down. Don’t look up.  Never make eye contact. 

Those were the words I lived by growing up, the words that protected me in an unsafe home. But words are only letters and eventually even they couldn’t keep his hands off me.
Hoping to leave behind the shattered life of my past, I find myself in a boring, small town, with an aunt I’ve never met and at a school I loathe.
But soon I learn, not everything in this world is as black and white as I’ve determined. Sometimes those we are so quick to judge often need a second, third or even fourth time to make a first impression.
And often, there are friendships and even love waiting just around the corner, if we are brave enough to take the first step.
Am I brave? Or will I hide behind these tattered gloves of mine forever?

My Review:

I feel like trying to tell you how much I loved The Tattered Gloves is simply going to fall flat in comparison to how I truly feel about it.  I am certain even at this early date that this will be one of my favorite reads of the year, something that will be a challenge for me the rest of the year considering what other books will have to live up to.  Also, can we just talk a little bit about how beautiful this cover is, simple and yet powerful so like the words that you will read inside the cover.

I don't read quite as much YA Lit as I likely should, but I love J.L. Berg's Contemporary Romances and after I got a glimpse of the cover and read the synopsis I knew that this would be one I had to have in my hands.  

Willow Fairchild's life has been nothing if not tragic.  Raised poor in Washington DC by a mother who, for lack of better words had no time or true love for her daughter she learned early (a lesson that her mother taught her for her own survival, perhaps the only act of love her mother did for her despite what the act was) to hide herself away from her mothers sordid world.  One horrible night, one horrific event changes everything and all because poor Willow was starving.  

Shipped off to live with her mother's twin sister, an aunt she never knew existed until she's given a a bus ticket, a phone number, and a name Willow shows in a rural Virginia town broken and virtually destroyed inside.  Her aunt knows virtually nothing about her except the obvious fact that this young woman has been hurt so deeply that she may never escape the walls she has built around herself.  The community sees a strange girl that both intrigues them and confuses them.  Willow, a girl who has spent her life hiding and knows now more than ever that her {mental} survival depends on her ability to stay separated from everyone.  Except, her aunt, a handsome young man named Sam, and a vibrant girl named Allison refuse to let her hide.

I adored all the relationships in this book, the quiet yet powerful relationship between Willow and her Aunt Addy.  The friendship between Allison and Willow is one of my favorite female teen friendships ever.  I was so worried through most of the book that something would come between them as often seems to be the case with teen girls.  I was waiting for that moment that Allison was cruel to Willow, where she shoves her aside because she feels Willow took something of hers or because Allison's 'old' friends made her feel bad for liking Willow, that moment when Allison becomes a bully.  I was beyond happy to find that was never the case.  The friendship between Willow and Allison is based in true friendship and just the desire to be good to one another.  Then there is the relationship between Willow and Sam.  A relationship that I can admit had it's emo moments, but that never made me want to roll my eyes at their antics and feelings.  I am so in love with this couple that I want to stay with them for years, I want to watch them go off to college (if that's where their path leads them), I want to see them get married and have a family, I want to watch them into old age loving one another on a level that escapes so many.  This isn't a relationship filled with drama, though it has it's ups and downs; it is a relationship built on their need to understand one another and to simply give each other support and happiness.  It feels so advanced for two 16 year old teenagers but at the same time it is perfect.  I never doubt Willow and Sam's feelings for one another or that they can stand the test of time with each other.  

The story of The Tattered Gloves is a story of survival, redemption, acceptance, love, friendship, and understanding.  The story of The Tattered Gloves is not an easy read.  There are a lot of difficult moments, it is emotional and moving.  If you have triggers to abuse and rape I recommend you taking a moment before you start this book.  I would never say don't read it because of the triggers, this book is too beautiful to pass up, but before you begin know that it could be too much for you.  You will find yourself completely immersed in the story and before you know it you will be closing the back cover, sighing to yourself and wishing that it hadn't ended.   This book makes you want to look at it and say "You complete me", while goofily signing a little heart at it.  You will finish this book wanting more but feeling completely fulfilled and so happy that you picked it up. This is a book you will want on your shelf so you can pull it off every now and again and just sigh at it, petting it's cover, opening the pages and loosing yourself again and again in a story of beauty, heartache, friendship, and love.  


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About J.L. Berg

J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series, The Walls Duet, and the Lost & Found Duet. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

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