Oh dear, it took me a very long time to write a review for this one.
Okay, where to start? I loved Jody. He was gentle, he was adorable and I felt for this very vulnerable book lover who was waiting for his knight in shining armor to appear and sweep him off his feet. I liked Bobby, too, even if he could be an idiot at times. And I felt for him, more than I consider "normal" for me, but my own circumstances let to him and his situation punching me in the gut so hard, I felt it for days.
I loved their story. The time they needed to really see what they wanted and to finally find their way to each other in all possible ways.
Now the part that explains why this one killed me, why I needed so much time to process it. Before I started reading this, I didn't know it would be about cancer, or at least I didn't realize it until I started reading and then I didn't want to put it down. It wasn't a major theme in the beginning, so I wasn't too concerned. Until Bobby needed to get checked out again, because there might have been some reason to worry. Which was basically at right after MY man had to go and get checked out again in real life, after six years cancer-free.
The difference was that his results weren't nearly as good as Bobby's. So there I was, taking care of my man after every chemo, all the while reading about the angst, the worry, the helplessness, the overwhelming sense of isolation you feel and have to get through when you're waiting for the verdict if the cancer was back or not. To say I really, really felt for Bobby would be the understatement of the century. Because in RL, we went through that only some weeks prior. My level of hurting while reading this part of the story was off the charts, I had to put down the book more than once.
On the plus side, Kade Boehme did a very good job describing all of these feelings. Parts of it he nailed so hard, it punched me in the gut over and over again. And while I was sitting in our hospitals' park, waiting for my man to finish his next treatment, I read about the happy end of Bobby and Jody. It wasn't like I didn't like it, or begrudged them their happily ever after. Far from it. On the one hand, I even loved it, because it felt so real, the writing was great, and the happy end was so wonderful.
But. It hit me so damn hard at times, too hard to even CONSIDER reviewing this. Because on the other hand, it hurt too much to even finish the story in one go, never mind rehashing it for a review. And I was so damn jealous of this fictional couple, it was absolutely ridiculous. Seriously, who does that? But that was the way it was.
So, in a way, my review still won't be very objective or might help other readers to decide if they want to pick up the book or not. Because, even though it wasn't written for me, this book felt absolutely personal in a very gut-wrenching way.
I loved it to pieces - sometimes - and hated it with an equally fiery passion. I really can't give it anything else than 5 stars. Because while it hurt me on different levels everytime I picked it up, over time it also helped me in ways I didn't anticipate.