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Within These Walls (The Walls Duet Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 307 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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To recap, Lailah has lived most of her life in a hospital, or near it. She had a congenital heart defect, and her time is running out. One of the orderlies in the hospital, Jude, found her fascinating and befriended her, but he's hiding a deep dark secret. He lost his fiancee three years ago due to an auto accident. He was barely injured, but she was brain dead. In his grief and denial, he managed to convince her parents to NOT donate her organs despite her donor card. After her funeral, he basically abandoned his life and began work as an orderly in the hospital, refusing to let go, to the point of being cut out of family money. It was later, to his horror that he realized he had denied Lailah the heart that should have saved her and allowed her a normal life. He dedicated his life to help Lailah every way he could, including fulfilling her "bucket list". When Lailah's insurance denied her coverage of transplant, Jude made the decision that will change both of their lives forever...
A little on the angst-y side, about a man who loved so deep he had to haunt the place she was last alive in, and the girl who can't seem to get away from the same place for long. Sweet, but I find the idea that the hospital can hire someone without training to be a bit on the "oh really" side. (There's an explanation for that near the end) I think the ending was also a bit too long, but that may be just me.
Leilah has lived a very sheltered life; she has an enlarged heart and has had many surgeries. She's 22 and has never led a typical childhood. So she created a list of things she'd like to do someday, presuming of course that she'll live a healthy life. Her mother is overbearing and over protective and has her own issues, raising L as a single mom. She's not happy that L wants to do more than just survive. However, L's heart is failing and she'll need a transplant to live.
Jude is stuck -- mourning his fiance who died 3 years ago in a car accident, right in the very hospital where L spends most of her days. From a wealthy family who wants to use his financial gifts for their own greedy purposes, he abandons that life to live and work near the hospital where she died because he can't let go. Jude meets L and he's attracted to her and learns a lot about her and wants to check off the things she'd like to do someday...and eventually they fall in love.
Great concept. The writing is good, but I had issues with execution and how some issues were treated.
There's actually a lot more that could have been explored with Jude and his family, but I felt like those issues were given short-shrift, which is a shame. At the time of the accident, Jude's expected to go work for his family's financial business, and we learn that it's not exactly what he wanted or wants. So was this whole extended-mourning just an excuse? It was a missed opportunity by the author to address this.
Then there's the transplant which is overshadowed and downplayed. This might work for some folks, but I know too much about organ donation to believe that she recovered so quickly and without issue. This was really disappointing. The thing between the Mom and the doctor was really... odd, but would have been less so if we got to know these two more than we do.
The strength and perseverance that Lailah showed was truly awe inspiring and her journey is one I couldn't even begin to imagine. I absolutely LOVED Within These Walls and I can't wait to start on the continuation of Jude & Lailah's story.