Friday, July 24, 2015

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

Title: A Million Miles Away
Author: Lara Avery
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want. 

Sometimes, you read the synopsis for a book and you’re intrigued by the premise. You’re curious about what the story is about, but at the same time you aren’t exactly sure how it’s going to work out or how the author is going to be able to pull it off. That’s exactly how I felt about Lara Avery’s A Million Miles Away, but for me, it totally worked.

Despite being identical twins, Kelsey and Michelle couldn’t be more different. But they have always been two halves of a whole. When Michelle dies in a car accident, Kelsey isn’t sure who she’s supposed to be anymore. The one thing she knows is that she has to tell Peter, her sister’s recently deployed boyfriend, that Michelle is dead. But when she finds herself face to face with Peter on Skype and he mistakes her for Michelle, she can’t bring herself to do it. To tell Peter that Michelle is dead would mean really losing her sister for good. So she pretends to be her sister because she doesn’t know what else to do. Before she knows it, Kelsey is falling for Peter, for the one person she shouldn’t. But she can’t help it. With everything else happening, he’s the one person who can make her feel like herself.

The thing about Lara Avery’s A Million Miles Away is that I wasn’t entirely sure how the story was going to work out. I’m all in favour of stories with cases of mistaken identity, but not when it gets to the point where one person’s feelings are getting seriously hurt or one person is getting duped. All that to say that I was a little curious about how it would all play out in A Million Miles Away. I mean, for much of the book, half of the couple doesn’t know the real identity of the person he’s with. Because that’s not a recipe for disaster. But the thing is, the more I read, the more I bought into the romance, the more I was hoping for Kelsey to find a way to make this work without completely breaking Peter’s heart and have everything fall apart. And that’s because as much as the story was about the romance between Peter and Kelsey, it was also very much about Kelsey finding herself. And for me, while I was reading, that allowed me to better understand Kelsey’s motivations when it came to misleading Peter about her identity. The one part of the story I wasn’t as big a fan of was the ending. Yes, I was happy about the way things turned out as far as the romance went, but it felt kind of precipitated. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s something I can live with.

Kelsey was an interesting character to read about. I say that because when I first met her at the beginning of the story, I kind of made assumptions about her. But then I kept reading and everything happened with Michelle and the car accident and it felt like Kelsey became a whole other person. The more I read though, the more it felt like the person Kelsey was changing into was actually who she really was. Losing her sister, the person who had defined everything she wasn’t her whole life, made it so she had to figure out who she really was. And it was interesting to see that transformation happen, to see Kelsey find herself and come into her own. And a lot of that had to do with Peter. And I loved Peter. I wish I could have seen more of him. Every time he was part of the story, it felt like it was never for long enough. And in a way, that was kind of representative of his situation, of the fact that being deployed and in a war zone meant that he never seemed to get enough time to talk to the people he cared about. But what I saw of him I loved. And I already said it and I’ll say it again, I was so hoping that he and Kelsey would find a way to make everything work out.

I really enjoyed reading Lara Avery’s A Million Miles Away. The story was emotional and hit the right notes to pull at my heartstrings. It’s not your typical romance, but it worked.

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