Friday, October 16, 2015

One Life ~ AJ Pine (earc) review [@AJ_Pine @BerkleyRomance]

One Life (One Night #2)
October 20, 2015
add to Goodreads/buy from Amazon/or B&N

In the latest from the author of One Night, tragedy causes a young woman to struggle to keep her head above water, and the only one who can help her is the guy who’s been in the friend zone for the past year...

Every time life throws Zoe Adler a curve ball, she changes her appearance. Freshmen year—after almost following in her mother’s alcoholic footsteps—she said good-bye to her blonde, girl-next-door image and opted for jet black hair and piercings galore. After her brother Wyatt’s death, she escapes to the city to teach a summer art program for kids. Her black hair goes blue, and she finds solace in the arms of a longtime friend, in his heart, and in his bed—but her guilt makes her unable to accept the love he wants to give.

Spock might be the guy to save Zoe. But when she learns the truth about his past, the edge she’s teetered on since losing Wyatt drops out from under her. The girl who kept it together for everyone finally falls apart. Now Zoe must choose between drowning in guilt about Wyatt or asking for help. But even if she gets the help she needs, Spock may not be waiting for her when she’s ready to let love in.
I have been waiting to read One Life since reading One Night earlier this year and, yes, it was worth the wait. This is Zoe's story - Zoe and Spock's - so you do not have to have read One Night first, but you should. Not only will you get to know Zoe prior to the loss of her brother, you'll also see the very beginning of her relationship with Spock (and learn why he's called that!). Plus, you'll get Jess's story and it's a good one.

Zoe is not the same girl we met and loved in One Night. Now it is not Jess who needs help through her problems, it's Zoe, Zach and their parents. After her youngest brother's sudden death, they're all reeling. But Zoe knows it's up to her to keep it - and them - together. Even if she feels like falling apart.

When Spock comes back into her life, it seems like the timing could be right for them . . . even when it's oh so wrong at the same time.

There were a lot of parallels to One Night with One Life. Though it is definitely about Zoe and is Zoe's journey and struggle, it reminded me at times of what happened with Jess. Different circumstances and different reactions but with both of them I just wanted them to open up to someone, to stop hiding and ask for help.

I liked that who Zoe is and what has happened to her both during college and in her childhood and how that impacted her, were all a part of the story. We know that the different things that have happened to, around and because of her have all played a role in who she is now, but here we get to see and learn about more of those things.

Zoe and Spock and crazily adorable, but they still have to deal with the tough stuff.

If you've read One Night, Zoe is still that girl, even if she is so impacted by Wyatt's death and her guilt that she almost is not. Her relationship with Spock is sweet and sexy but also troubled and complicated. There is a lot for Zoe to think about, understand, and decide on and the story works so well because Spock and Zoe's relationship with him is part of that. There isn't the romance and then the hard stuff, it works together.

One Life is honest and it's  trying and difficult but it's also sweet and hopeful. The characters are all impacted in very honest ways but real, painful things. The realness of the characters and their journeys help make this a fantastic romance.

digital copy received for review, via NetGalley, from publisher

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