Hi girls. I’m procrastinating, but I did get this book read and I had to share my thoughts. I’m really excited to be all caught up and after the last two books I have, I’ll be taking a break from reviewing for the month of April and probably may! It’s going to be a lot of fun because my family is taking a very long trip. So it’ll be good recovery. I wish I could say more, but you all are going to have to wait until Sunday for more Playgrounds and Black Markers news… For now you’ll have to be happy with a review of Facing the Dawn.
Ok so this one was hard.
The characters were special.
Ok but first, Mara? So whiny. It bugged me to death. She just complained and complained and complained. There weren’t even very many characters during the first two or three chapters. They were introduced, but Mara was too absorbed with feeling super sorry for herself.
Later in the story though, I really did come to appreciate Ashlee and Sol and Logan.
Ashlee was such a selfless beautiful character too. I loved her. She almost reminded me of a weathered, experienced, wise version of my Angel from Dewdrops and Butterflies.
I hated the start. I almost quit reading in chapter four and resigned to not ever finishing this one. But I felt like that wouldn’t even be a fair amount of chance. It was just so dark and whiny and hard. But I pressed on. And then, for the sake of forgoing spoilers, I’ll quote the blurb “Liam’s three-year absence turns into more, changing everything and plunging her into sunless grief.” No kidding. It plunged me into sunless grief. Again, no spoilers. But WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DESTROY MY HEART SO HARD? It felt so useless to cause so much grief so early in the story.
But this was NOT a story about being sad and alone.
Facing the Dawn was about HEALING and allowing people to come alongside you during that process. The way that the author used darkness and pain as a setting created THE MOST GLORIOUS contrast for the rest of the story, for the light and hope and pain and healing that came in delirious, beautiful waves of warmth.
I don’t normally cry at books, and when I do, I’ll usually cry pretty hard and then move on. This book had me tearing up at almost every chapter. And not tears of pain, but tears of fond remembrance, and tears of a broken heart on the path to healing. Not just Mara’s, but my own.
THIS BOOK HAS MANY POTENTIAL TRIGGERS. There’s drug abuse and a brief mention of physical abuse. There’s a juvenile suicide and the grief and denial were VERY real and triggering, and also talk about burned bodies, ashes, breakdowns, and miscarriage. If you can handle these topics, the healing this book can provide is worth it. I’m a very big fan and I hold this book very close to my heart. I have a lot more good things to say, but instead, I’m going to save you from spoilers and recommend you pick this one up soon.
Language is clean, and romantic/sexual content is was almost nonexistent. When Mara’s daughter does develop a relationship, it’s very clean and pure and mostly not on screen, but very sweet.
If you can handle the trama that is included in the trigger warning, PLEASE take the time to read this story. It’s so beautifully and masterfully woven and it’ll leave your heart with so much hope, even as it aches.
I’m also going to include one more part to my reviews now. This is kinda stolen from Kate Willis because I thought it was a super smart idea. Reviews will now contain my favorite /spoiler-free/ line from the book. This one had so many, but I picked this one as my highlight.
“Love does not mean never wrestling with doing the right thing, but choosing the right thing in the end.”Ashlee ~ Facing the Dawn
That’s it! As always, thank you to the author and the publisher for a copy of this book. It will be on my shelf for a long time. A positive review was not required, and all opinions are my own!
If you want to read more reviews, you can do so here!