Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long
Published: October 1, 2010
Publisher: self published via Create Space
Pages: 352
Received: from author for honest review
BUY NOW: Amazon

The Tyler family had the perfect life - until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore.
While Leah's parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah's younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.
Will this family survive? What happens when love just isn't enough?

This story was overwhelmingly emotional. It centers around the Tyler family and how  communication or the lack of can cause the breakdown of an entire family. 
Leah has always been the perfect daughter - always following the rules, doing as she is told, playing soccer to make her father happy and even possibly attending the college/university of her fathers dreams. Everything is fine, until she meets and falls in love with Todd, a bad ass drop out. Leah suddenly rebels against her parents, gets kicked off the soccer team, starts drinking and doing drugs. Her life begins to spiral out of control and she runs away from home multiple times.

While all of this is happening, her parents relationship starts to falter - they don't communicate well, they fight all the time over everything and nothing at the same time. It's almost like losing Leah is the final brick in the wall that falls loose and allows the wall to crumble down. Her parents do not really handle Leah's situation very well and everything they try to do just pushes her further into Todd's arms.

They also start forgetting about Justine, the young daughter they still do have at home. Justine is smart as a whip, curious and endearing. She is both naive and mature depending on the circumstances. She just wants their life to go back to normal, for her parents to stop fighting and for her sister to come home. Sometimes it's as if she is invisible to her family and this takes it's own toll on Justine. Her faith is shaking with every new issue that arises. 

Honestly, I fell in love with Leah and Justine from the start. Two sisters - so different, yet so much alike. Sometimes the hardest part of reading this book was seeing how much the changes in Leah's life shake Justine to her very core. They honestly just both want love and acceptance from their family. Sometimes I felt like yelling at the characters in this book - Leah to realize that boys are not everything, Justine to realize that she needs to speak up more, and their parents for being cowards.

It's amazing how this book, told from the point of view of each family member, tears at your heartstrings. Each new scene brings it's own turmoil and emotion. The ending still left me wondering what truly would become of the Tyler family. I wonder if they finally do realize that family means everything?

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