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Oh my gosh! I have to start off this review by saying that I didn’t realize I would love this book as much as I did. The first line of the synopsis “Welcome to the South – where the tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter.” along with the cover were what sold me on the book to begin with. Being from the South, I kind of understand that way of life, even if my family is nothing like Charlie’s.
So let’s talk about the writing. Jones is an excellent writer. I was intrigued by the synopsis, but I was hooked by the end of the first page. The characters are well developed and had personalities that practically lept off the page. I felt like Charlie was a much more developed character than Jhett, but I also think it worked with the story line. Even though we got chapters from Jhett’s point of view, he was this mystery that Charlie had to figure out. And he has all the secrets that he has to deal with. So in a sense, we the reader were learning about him just like Charlie was.
Charlie’s grief was real and raw — as was her personality change. I really felt her changing into what I like to call ‘California Charlie’ was authentic. I love the balance of strong Southern charm, along with the backbone she built up when she finally started to learn about herself.
This book was more about losing someone or falling in love. It was about learning who you are outside of others, especially your parents. As someone who has spent her entire adult life working with college students, this is something I try to instill in my students. You have to live your life for yourself, otherwise you will never truly be happy. It was also about learning to move on after someone close to you dies — and to accept those people for who they were when you weren’t in their lives. Charlie has to come to grips with Cameron when he lived apart from her, but she also had to see herself the way he saw her. It was heart-breakingly beautiful.
I cannot gush about how much I loved this book. There are so many new adult books that just sound like any other one. But THIS book stands out. I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens to Charlie, Jhett, and all the others from Promise Me This.
My rating: Four point five out of five