Tough LoveJanessa knows she should run in the other direction when Brendan enters her life. Her squeaky-clean upbringing is in direct opposition to his piercings, a myriad of tattoos and the rumors that surround him. But she doesn’t run. Love, betrayal and lies become the foundation of their lives, but one heartbreaking confession makes Janessa question everything. After a devastating diagnosis, Janessa’s world crumbles around her. When she can no longer ignore the reality of who Brendan really is, she must choose between those who love her and the only one she has ever loved.
My main interest in this book was the fact that it takes place in Toledo, Ohio. The character lives on the East side. I grew up in the western suburbs of Toledo. The high schools and other settings in the book are very familiar to me, down to various crossroads mentioned in the book. In some ways, I feel like other readers are missing out on little nuances of the book, because they won't recognize the significance of things, such as a couple of kids actually going to Mancy's for homecoming dinner. (Mancy's is one of the fanciest restaurants in the city! It was a big deal if you got to go there!)
I am also about the same age as the author and the main character in the story. It looks like they actually graduated maybe two years ahead of me. So, I was able to relate to the time period and ages, as well. I was once in a relationship that was fundamentally the same as this one, without the same big secrets, so I could appreciate the problem of being in love with someone who isn't good for you.
This does not read like a novel. It definitely reads more like a memoir, a retelling of the author's memories of a special person in her life. The author has a purpose in sharing her story, hoping that other young women will not engage in the same reckless behavior that she did. It could serve as a launchpad for discussion with young adults and teens about relationships and sexual behavior. Readers may recognize aspects of themselves in the book, while at the same time yelling at the characters for the decisions they were making.
(And side note, I will forgive the author for being an Ohio State fan. While she bleeds scarlet and gray, I grew up closer to Michigan, and will always bleed maize and blue. ;-))
I admire Marcie's courage in sharing her story, because it is not an easy one to share. Perhaps she will start sharing even more!
Marcie Bridges has always wanted to be a writer, from the time she started keeping a diary in seventh grade. Since then, she has earned a master’s degree in education from Cumberland University while teaching some wonderful children with special needs in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.While she will always bleed scarlet and gray (GO BUCKS!), she now lives south of Cincinnati with her husband and daughter. When Marcie isn’t writing, she can be found reading, watching her favorite TV shows, listening to music, or browsing her favorite websites.
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