Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Expected Publication Date: April 28th 2014
Format: PDF eARC
Source: provided by publisher for review
Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Larkin’s parents uninvited her to her brother’s funeral. She just wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt—the clothes Kyle would've wanted her in—not wrap herself up in death. So she watched the funeral from afar, like an outsider. Which is just how she feels. Chase came, though, just like she knew he would. Until a few months ago, the three of them had been best friends, and then Chase made a mistake that shattered both families. But when Kelsey looks at him, she doesn't see her brother’s killer. She sees the boy next door who’s always taken care of her. She sees home. When Chase tells her his feelings run deeper than friendship, she can't help but get lost in him. In Chase, she finally has the closure she’s been unable to find anywhere else. But the boy she’s falling in love with is still hiding secrets about the night Kyle died. Secrets that could destroy everything they have…again.
Family drama is something nobody is immune from. Even fewer to the degree of falling in love with your brothers killer but How We Lived was a beautiful story about overcoming grief and learning to forgive.
Kelsey and Chase have been best friends for years. Before anything bad happened to them they along with Kelsey's brother Kyle were inseparable. Playing the childhood friends to lovers angle really worked for me even though Chase made a reckless mistake that cost them both someone they loved dearly. This was another quick read that wasn't very long but ultimately stole my attention away pretty fast. It wasn't hard to connect emotionally with both characters and the grief they both feel but for different reasons.
Kelsey lost a brother and confidant but the absence of him isn't the only thing that is causing so much pain. It's watching her parents fall apart over their suffering while basically ignoring her. She's a girl floundering to find purpose in the sadness and trying to figure out what she should do with her life. Six months after Kyle's death she's failing at state college and the relationship she has with her brothers friend Bear isn't helping anymore. The comfort she once found in him is dying and the only person she feels who really gets her is Chase. There is so much that she learns not only about herself but about life and love. Kelsey has to grow up tremendously in such a short time but the growth in her character was just one thing I enjoyed about this book. Standing up for not only herself but for Chase as well took serious courage and because of that I felt pride in her development.
Chase Crowley was the best thing about this book. There is just something special about a broken guy as I've said so many times before. Yes he made a huge mistake and yes he's suffering right along with everyone else but it was his indomitable spirit to be better than what people think of him that really made me love him. Since the accident that killed his best friend everyone has turned against him. His friends, the town's folk and Kelsey's parents who have never cared much for him have gone to extreme lengths to make sure he knows they don't like him. Chase was the ultimate underdog who didn't have to try hard to win my affection. He was such a sweet guy and it showed in his actions. Knowing that he's been in love with Kelsey for a long time made their connection that much more beautiful to me. Seeing the significant changes he's made to his life and how it ultimately affected Kelsey made me want to bawl my eyes out. There's more to his story than just getting behind the wheel against his better judgement and learning the truth scared me a little because I didn't want it to hinder the relationship he shared with Kelsey.
How We Lived was filled with so many heart warming moments between Kelsey and Chase. Their childhood bond grew into something special and made me swoon with every new experience they encountered. Getting glimpses of how Chase changed from the skirt chasing sex pot to a guy who wanted to deserve Kelsey was very special. It was a bumpy road for both characters but they always say there is a pot of gold in every rainbow and How We Lived definitely fits that description. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this author in the future because she blew me away with this story which was my first experience with her writing. She made her characters come alive and the issues they faced were real and honest, something you could understand whole wholeheartedly. Sometimes you need a good story that gets you in the feels and shakes off the dust of some of the other tropes that can seem redundant so I would implore you to give this book a try and fall in love with Kelsey and Chase just like I did.
Sunny days were for lying on the beach, taking walks, and kissing boys. They were for happy things, not things that made you want to throw up your heart and toss it into the casket with everything else that had been taken away. eARC 1%
He'd made me feel safe, and not just because of our past. When no one else had, he'd made me smile. When no one else had, he'd thought about what was best for me. He made me feel...okay. When we were together, I wasn't second guessing my feelings. When we were together, I loved him like I always had. eARC 50%
"I know I was always selfish and got away with things, and treated girls badly. You were going to be different, though. I knew you and I were... we were it. I could feel it. Still feel it." eARC 89%
About The Author:
Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance. She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she'll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order. Erin is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal novel, and the forthcoming contemporary romance titles, HOW WE LIVED and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION.
How We Lived is available for Pre-Order for just .99 cents!!