My heart…my poor little heart! Many thanks to Kim Nash for the blog tour invite and the ARC, here is my review of ‘The Forever Gift’ by Brooke Harris.
I remember you learning to ride a bike, the first time you shot a goal with a basketball… and the first time I realised something was wrong. I look at you, my daughter, my beautiful sparky daughter. I would do anything to keep you safe.
Heather’s beloved daughter, Kayla, is her world. She is fifteen, a brilliant basketball player and a fierce friend.
Heather and Kayla have always had a special relationship. For so many years it was just the two of them, watching Friends, baking cupcakes and laughing together. But now Kayla knows her time is short, and she wants to give something back to the mother she loves more than anyone else in the world. A gift that will change Heather’s life.
With just a handful of days left, Kayla will need help from everyone around her to make this last surprise happen. Along the way, the people whose lives have been touched by Kayla’s light will be changed by her loss, and by her plan for Heather. And as Heather’s whole world threatens to fall apart, could Kayla’s forever gift be the key to piecing her life back together?
What does TWG think?
Omg, Brooke Harris, what the HELL have you done to me?! I wasn’t expecting this at all, even more so because I don’t read blurbs, so you know, I went in completely blind. I wasn’t expecting to bawl my eyes out for 10 solid minutes…..twice. Nor was I expecting to feel as though I had gone through a loss as well, as though Kayla was my own flesh and blood. To say that my heart was broken would be an understatement. I felt like someone had ripped it out and stomped on it. Dramatic maybe, but as I’ve already said, I felt as though I was grieving and I was absolutely broken.
With that in mind, please don’t think that I am trying to put you off the book, because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I want you all to read ‘The Forever Gift’ and cry like I did. If you don’t cry, or at least feel emotional towards the storyline, I really want to know why. I’m not a crier (no really, I’m not), so it takes a lot for me to actually break down to the point I cannot breathe…..just like I did with this book.
Wow….wow. Yes, my eyes were stinging and I was exhausted after finishing it, but I can honestly say that ‘The Forever Gift’ is one of, if not THE most moving, emotional, tender novel I think I have ever, ever read. It’s very clear that Brooke Harris put her all into the storyline and the characters, believing in their emotions and their individual journeys. I have no idea how she managed to connect the blended family alongside cancer, with family relationships of different levels, as well as including a four year girl into the situation. Kayla may have been the one in the spotlight so to speak, yet all of her loved ones were showing their pain a lot more than she. Now, that’s not because she wasn’t in pain, because it was abundantly clear that she was, it was just that Kayla’s parents were watching their little girl fight a battle no-one should ever have to battle. Not only that, her little sister couldn’t understand why her big sister was in the hospital. And still, despite ALLLLLL of that, Kayla still left her mark in such a beautiful and selfless manner. Yes, I cried at that as well.
You’re probably thinking how on earth did I manage to love a book which reduced me to sobbing, and I don’t blame you at all because I often wonder that myself in the grand scheme of things. However, it’s not the devastation which allowed me to love the storyline, it was the way in which Brooke Harris delivered the mind-blowing storyline, the powerful characters, and deeply moving premise – without all of that, I don’t think I would have felt the way I did. I mean, anyone could say that they want to write a book about cancer, but there’s one thing writing that book, and then there’s another thing writing the book and being able to connect with the characters and the readers own multiple levels, whilst also bringing the characters stories to life as though the readers are involved in reality. Brooke Harris did just that and I am in awe at this authors incredible, incredible talent.
I grieved for Kayla. I grieved for Heather. I grieved for Molly….oh Molly! I didn’t realise just how invested in the storyline I was, until I saw an advert on Facebook for ‘Friends’ Lego Mini-figures and thought to myself, ‘Kayla would LOVE those!’.
‘The Forever Gift’ may be an earth shattering and heartbreaking read, but it is also a read which gives you hope and the kick up the backside to be thankful for all of the little things in life, you know, like breathing. Sometimes in life we are too focused on how things SHOULD be, instead missing out on things just simply being. Instead of thinking about your lunch while you’re eating your breakfast, enjoy your breakfast for what it is. Probably daft thing to use as an example given the nature of the book, although I hope you get what I mean!
Stock up on the Kleenex (man size, trust me), unplug the phone and allow yourself to become invested in the most harrowing, yet beautiful story, of life vs loss, happiness vs sadness, and the all important gift of being. I can honestly see this as a movie, and I would even go as far to say that Brooke Harris is the female version of Nicholas Sparks.