03 November 2017

But Then I Came Back // It Exceeded Expectations But I Had To Be In The Right Mood To Read

But Then I Came Back
Published: 6th April 2017

Source: Bought/Netgalley

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult

My Rating:
Estelle Laure is a bright new talent with a gorgeous voice - perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. Eden has always let her head lead the way. It's why she excels at ballet, at school, and at life in general. But when she nearly drowns and then wakes from a month-long coma, everything is different. She's troubled by dreams that seem more real than waking life, and her neat cookie-cutter existence is no longer satisfying. Unable to stifle her passionate heart anymore, she finds herself drawn to a boy with melting-chocolate eyes, and to a future different to what she ever imagined. That's when Eden discovers that when it comes to love, first you fall, then you have to leap. Estelle Laure's debut, This Raging Light, was a stunning debut with an unforgettable voice that has captured the hearts for readers.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review (and then I bought my own copy anyway).

I read This Raging Light a while back and I enjoyed it. The book took me several attempts to get into because the writing is unique and I had to be in the right frame of mind to read it. I think this was the same. I only bought it recently and picked it up a couple of times and gave it a shot only to have to put it down again. I mean, this is a book I got approved for on Netgalley and still didn’t manage to read so I ended up buying my own copy to see if that would motivate me months after the fact. It was this attempt on a Saturday when I didn't want to do a whole lot that this book clicked for me and the writing was just enchanting as in This Raging Light.

This book delves a little into magical realism and was insanely interesting. The story was so good because we are all intrigued by death so for someone to return from a coma and near death and the experiences then and after are interesting. It was not wholly unrealistic to think that a brush with death could change things. That by almost dying Eden began to see things no one else could and that her personality may be influenced, as would her attitude to certain things.

Eden wasn't my favourite character in the first book. In fact, I called her a bad best friend for not being more supportive to Lucille while she was trying to care for herself and her sister and making vaguely bad life choices with Eden’s twin, Digby. She was too focused on her own problems in that book and I honestly didn’t like her. It’s was probably why it took me so long to pick this up. I didn't care for Eden so why should I care for what happened to her? She was mean and selfish and she still was in this one. But getting to see in her head and her thoughts made her so much easier to like. Instead, I found myself getting frustrated with Lucille and Digby and their attitude to Eden (I’m seeing a parallel here). I did find myself much more forgiving of Digby and Lucille and their attitude to Eden and some of her choices because they cared and only wanted to help, even if Eden did interpret their actions as manipulation instead.

I did find myself rolling my eyes a little at the romance. Eden meets Joe at the hospital during her recovery and is strangely obsessed with him and his friend who was also in a coma. They grow closer and explore the strange things Eden can see and no one else can and at the same time fall for one another. Both acknowledge it’s very inappropriate timing and I liked that Eden found a friend who didn’t know her before the accident and so wasn’t trying to force her to fit who she used to be, but allowed her to be who she was. I just found it convenient how the romance progressed, but maybe I’m becoming a bit of a cynic.

This was definitely a book of growth, metamorphosis, and generally what happens when life continues. I adored the writing. Laure once more demonstrated great skill in sucking me completely into a story. I stayed up late to finish this one and I'm glad I did. I feared I'd be disappointed by the companion novel to This Raging Light but this one met and exceeded expectations.

Have you read this or This Raging Light? What did you think? And have you got a rec for a good YA romance because it turns out that’s what I’m fancying right now?

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