by Chantele Sedgwick
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: May 5th 2015
When Oakley Nelson loses her brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend the summer in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure that a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.
In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.
If only it were that easy.
But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?
With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley must learn to listen to and trust herself again. She soon realizes that second chances are ways to learn from the past, and you don’t always have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future.
I have three older brothers but I don’t have the kind of relationship that Oakley has with hers. I would be devastated if one of them passed away so I can’t even imagine how Oakley feels. How she even gets up in the morning even though sometimes she doesn’t. I love the theme of the book where Lucas has written a journal for Oakley for her to read after he dies. He gives her hope and reasons to keep living her life. I could feel myself getting a little choked up by the time we get to his final letter in the journal.
The book is not just about Oakley and her losing her brother Lucas. Or even Oakley’s romance with Carson. It’s also about how her family deals with the loss of Lucas. Pushing eachother away and falling apart. Oakley has to really make sense of and figure out how to grieve not just for Lucas but for the family she used to have when he was alive and well.
I love when Oakley and Carson meet. It’s very cute. I just really liked how things to developed and the pacing. He kept pursuing her even when she was being weird. It was sweet and he was really able to be there for her when she needed someone.
I liked Oakley and really felt for her. Even though you could see her doing something dumb or pushing people away you could also see where she was coming from. Why she might want to. I’m understand the not wanting to talk about something that is hard. I function on that autopilot mode sometimes.
Oakley’s Aunt Jo is also pretty cool. I couldn’t really get a feel for Dillon. I was thinking that if the book was a thriller he would for sure be the serial killer. I think I’m just suspicious of everyone though. He doesn’t really do anything bad.
I really liked the writing style and the plot of the book. It feels weird to say that since it’s about loss.There are were things that really surprised me but I thought were good to show different sides of Oakley. It was easy to read through the book quickly. I was always waiting to see what happened and what Lucas would next write about it.
I have to say too that this is one of my favorite covers for a book. It’s simple yet it captures so much. While reading I kept thinking back to it.
"Human" for Oakley
My dad was obsessed with Beach Boys when I was kid so I can't think of surfing without thinking of "Surfer Girl", cheers Oakley.