Keeping it strong with my Kindle Unlimited and keeping true to my book resolution this year of branching out into other genres of fiction. Enter “Everything We Keep” a book where the first half of it reads like the worst Lifetime movie you’ve ever seen before, about 60% in, turning into that chick flick that you’ve seen about 80 times already. There were parts I sincerely liked and then other parts where I was shaking my head, and not in the good way, at the “easy outs” the author used….
The book opens with Aimee burying her fiancée on her wedding day. Ouch. What’s worse about that is her almost-was Mother-in-law (who’s crazy rich, I’ll just put that out there) cheaps out on her son’s funeral and decides the church they were going to get married at and the flowers that were supposed to be used at the wedding, well they can be used for the funeral now! I’m dying at this already. I know families come in all shapes and sizes but the callousness of this mother for her son’s fiancée and hell, her own son, is staggering. I had a hard time fully believing the situation Aimee found herself in, despite how gripping and gut wrenching of an opening chapter it was.
Fast forward to chapter two where, just a few days after the funeral, Aimee’s parents tell her that they are retiring but instead of selling her their restaurant like Aimee had wanted, they already sold it to someone else and she’ll have to find another job. Come on! Your daughter just lost the love of her life! The timing of all this horrendously bad news on Aimee was really hard to believe, especially coming from her parents. Her parents! See what I mean about the Lifetime movie thing?
After that things mellow out and it turns into the story you’d expect. A woman piecing her life together but still holding on to her fiancée and the belief that he’s out there. The book gets slow after those first chapters with Aimee struggling to move on and her friends and family helping (and hurting) to various degrees. Aimee is getting better and even meets a wonderful new man that kind of has you wondering what she ever saw in her fiancée to begin with when things go to hell. Again.
Honestly, there are some plot holes that felt too convenient or didn’t get wrapped up at the end with the psychic and Ian’s mom and crazy cousin Phil but I was mostly alright with that because the ending felt good. It felt how I expected. And then the epilogue ruined it. Everything that the book was driving up to for a conclusion was unraveled within a few pages and I got mad. I genuinely was mad because it was such a sequel bait moment and not a good one either because, yes, there will be a sequel but I know what the struggle will be because I just read it in this story. So all the things I was willing to shrug off, I can’t anymore because of the epilogue and it irks me just enough to where I don’t know if I even want to read the sequel!
This book is hard to rate. There were some parts I liked and empathized with a lot. And other parts…. Regardless, it was an easy read and was mostly enjoyable. The author deals with some really heavy topics and I think she does it in a respectful and rather tasteful manner, but makes you question why she was with her fiancée again. I’m giving it a 3.5 stars and we’ll see how much I forget my annoyance by the time the sequel hits shelves.