You know, when I have a hard day or a hard week (or I feel like I’m having a hard life even though I so obviously don’t) I go back to some of my favorite authors, pick a book from them and so I am reminded that life is still good. That without the mess we wouldn’t be able to see the beauty within.
Sometimes we have it easy, some times we have it hard, some times we trust ourselves and our strength, but other times we are weak and we need reminders of our own worth.. And yes, this is what this story is about as well.
Life would simply not be as beautiful without books, without stories to keep us company, to bring smiles to us or tears to our eyes. Normalcy, as simple as it is might be boring at times and we need to spice it up, and this is why I love reading so much. Because when I am feeling down there are always some words to put me on track, to make me see the “gray shades” or in this case to bring out the “easy” in my life.
Yes, I know that I might be giving you this melodramatic vibe right about now. I am not sure how much of it is because of my mood today and how much of it is because this story did have a bit of a sad side (that maybe I just got to embrace it without even realising it).
What’s important here is the fact that Ruta Sepetys managed once again to made me love to tears a book of hers. It is not a depressing book (I tend to make people think that with my words and I need to clarify it), not at all, it just shows that in the darkness there can be light, that ugliness and beauty can cohabit and smiles and tears can collide.
I loved the complexity of the characters, not only Josie but all people around her, the ones that cared for her or hated her for her inheritance, the ones that saw her or only saw the place where she came from. They all had a different side attached to them: the way the world saw them and they way they were around Jo.
Some characters will hold a special spot in my heart, they all felt real and they were all tridimensional characters.
I was glad that Jo had people around her to help her when she needed it the most, as the woman that gave her birth was such a poor excuse of a mother.
I was glad to see her want to become a better person, loving to read, wanting to study, trying so hard to make her dream come true.
Of course, she did a few mistakes, but given the fact that she was quite on her own it is understandable.
I think this story might inspire people, might make them see that no matter where you come from you can be better, you can work harder and create a new path for you in this world.
What saddened me, was the part when other people didn’t think much of her, when they thought that she couldn’t possibly have a better life considering that her mother was a prostitute. But step by step, even some of them saw that there was more to Josie.
Maybe Jo’s warm heart made them really see her, maybe her intelligence made them want to help her be a better version of herself, maybe her caring made them love her and care for her as well.
There was a bit of romance (at some point even a bit of a love triangle), but the focus remained on Jo and the troubles she got through, mainly because of the mother. It was nice though to see the friendship grow into something else and Josie’s insecurities made for a few smiles here and there.
Anyways, by the ending I was happy to see her character grow (and grow on me).
There was not much action in the book, just a bit of suspense that didn’t get to be really solved, but this is that kind of book where the journey is the one that matters, and not really the destinations. The characters were important, their destiny, their actions and I did enjoy spending time with them all. Still, I wished so badly for (view spoiler) . But again, this story is not really about that, it’s about hope, it’s about making your dreams come true, it’s about finding your own way and shining in the darkness no matter what.
Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.. and I loved it!
Happy midnight reading!