- File Size: 1015 KB
- Print Length: 285 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Brooks The Agency (January 12, 2015)
- Publication Date: January 12, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00S75XZ20
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,145,140 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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Top Customer Reviews
Normally when I finish a book I sit on it for a couple of days so that I can digest it, think about it. But in an attempt at keeping a New Year’s resolution to write reviews immediately after reading and the need to deal with all of the feels this book left me with, here I am, immediately writing about it.
"The most beautiful things are born out of the most agonizing of places. A crucial reminder of how short and precious life really is. It was time to set myself free."
Stella is a rock superstar, living the rock star life…complete with sex and drugs. She’s in Utah for a film festival and after kicking her flavor of the night out the door the next morning and hooking up with Kai, the drummer of another band, the two take to the slopes for a day of snowboarding. A couple of lines of coke and a paparazzi pursuit later, Stella wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of the past sixteen years.
“Stella, I know this is hard, but trust me that it will be okay You are home now, where I can take care of you. It will not be long before you are out in the world again, where you don’t need anyone, including me.”
She sounded so wistful, making me question her comment. “You are my mother, I will always need you. Why would you say that?”
She stopped rubbing the soapy sponge across my back and dipped it into the water while collecting her thoughts.
“You are just a strong-willed woman. I know you will thrive soon enough.”
Stella is taken by her mother, a physician, to her hometown in North Carolina. It is there that she has to learn to put her life back together, and wonder if she will ever regain her memory and once again become the person she used to be. The body she is living in is not the body she remembers, she is covered in tattoos and has shaved her head, finishing off what the doctors didn’t when she underwent surgery to save her life. She has no idea of her rock star status; instead she is the pre-med student and daughter of a church elder. Sensing her parent’s hesitation to tell her the truth of her past, Stella must tread lightly, especially with her father. She had left the small town suddenly years before without giving a reason, leaving her parents weary that she might do the same thing again once she regains her memory.
“…I would have done everything for you. Losing you nearly killed me, and I know what it’s like to almost die,” he said softly.
Suffering from insomnia and feeling the need to explore her past, Stella takes a pre-dawn walk that leads her to the door of a French bakery. It is there that she meets Julian, tall, dark, and everything Stella thinks would keep him from being interested in her. When she meets him again a day later with her mother in tow, it is revealed that she and Julian knew each other in her previous life and they had been quite close. Julian had returned to town two years previously to care for his ailing mother Raina, as she battles terminal cancer. Through her discussions with Julian and Raina, it becomes clear that they were inseparable in high school, best friends becoming soul mates, and it tore Julian apart when he returned from a deployment to Afghanistan to find that she had disappeared.
“Did you just salute my dick?” he asked in a half-humored tone. “Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you want to show respect?” I giggled.
Once Julian and Stella reconnect, it is obvious the deep love they had for each other, and to see that love return is heartwarming. Their shared history makes it easy for them to laugh and cry together, to share the things that both frighten and excite them. Theirs certainly isn’t an easy road, it is fraught with many speed bumps along the way, but they seem to keep finding their way back to one another. I am a sucker for second chance love stories, and this one is no exception. But this second chance love story is a little different from others; there is the added element of the amnesia that really allows them to rediscover each other, for Stella, it is like her first time, all over again.
"Does a disability, whether physical or mental, mean that a person is less human? That they shouldn’t have every opportunity to experience the most basic of all primal needs, to love and be loved in return?"
I’m not sure if it’s an American phenomenon or a human phenomenon, but we have a tendency to marginalize those we see as weaker. Those that are suffering from sickness or disability, and especially those that don’t have visible scars, such as those with PTSD, brain injuries, or those suffering from mental health issues. By marginalizing these groups, it is easy to assume that that basic need, the one to be loved, isn’t necessarily a need to be met when there are other, more pressing issues. Stella’s wounds, until healed, are obvious. Julian on the other hand, was injured in Afghanistan where he served in the Navy. He suffered from traumatic brain injury and was inspired to become a psychiatrist. Even though Julian is Stella’s love interest, he has a unique perspective on his recovery, and understands what there is to lose once her memory does return.
"I hugged her and started to walk down the hallway to my bedroom, then I turned around and gave her a mischievous smile. “Depending on the circumstance, it’s always worth getting a little banged up.”
With wide eyes she threw the towel at me and shrieked. “Stella Elizabeth Brady! If your father heard what you just said, we would both be in the dog house!”
I shrugged and went back toward my bedroom before I heard her call again. “Stella.” “Yes, mama.” With a wink and a smile she quietly agreed. “Good for you.”"
It’s not just Stella’s relationship with Julian that needs to be mended. When she left, she also left behind her parents, choosing not to speak to them in years. This was especially hard on her mother and her mother embraces Stella’s return with everything she has. Too often as we age, we grow away from our parents. Experiencing the sorrow Julian feels as he loses his mother a little more every day gives Stella perspective on her relationship with her own parents.
“I have been known on occasion to do very stupid things. Education is not an indication of intelligence. In matters of the heart, men are all imbeciles.”
Julian is swoon-worthy. In addition to being a Naval Officer (a profession I happen to have an affinity for myself…), his adoration of Stella is obvious. Once working through his own insecurities of losing her again, he puts everything into his relationship with her, until it is time to let her be free to live her life as she sees fit.
"Clinging to Julian for life, I begged him not to stop. In a flash, I could see my body for what it really was—a vessel of skin and bones with an expiration date."
I love this line so much. It is such a poignant reminder that we really are only here for a limited time and to make the most of the time we’re given; to do all things passionately because you’ll never know if you will have another chance.
"I often questioned over the past few months how someone could move forward when their entire life was on hold. Now I know, somehow you manage. You make a new life. You adapt to the changes and make the most of it, or you allow it to consume you by refusing to change. Of all the things we are certain of in life, only death and change are inevitable."
Forgetting is a testament to the healing power of faith and love, to finding a second chance and putting all of the mistakes and regrets of the past behind. Ms. Brooks has crafted a beautiful love story, not just the love between Stella and Julian, but the love between Stella and her parents, and Stella and those who have loved her throughout it all. In the end, Stella finds her happiness by sacrificing her happily ever after so that the person she loves most in the world can find his own. Forgetting is an emotional journey from beginning to end, the characters are well developed and the storyline had me from the very first chapter. I often say, “it’s a quick read”, but in this books case, it was all too quick, I really didn’t want it to end.
Sometimes life throw things in our life for us to overcome and define it not alter the good person we are and turn us into someone we don't recognize. This is the lesson learned in this story of true love. This is a MUST read that will leave you spent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
JL Brooks will never cease to amaze me with the way she can take the...Read more
Be sure to have a box of tissues next to you while reading this. Forgetting was such a emotional read. JL Brooks has done it again.Read more
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