Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review & Tour: Light In The Shadows

Light in the Shadows by A. Meredith Walters
March 26, 2013
Source: eArc
Genre: Mature YA/New Adult
(strong language, sexual situations)

Goodreads Summary:
How do you keep going when you feel like your life is over?

Maggie never thought she’d see Clay again. So, she attempts to put her life back together after her heart has been shattered to pieces. Moving on and moving forward, just as Clay wanted her to.

Clay never stopped thinking of Maggie. Even after ripping their lives apart and leaving her behind to get the help he so desperately needed. He is healing...slowly. But his heart still belongs to the girl who tried to save him.

When a sudden tragedy brings Maggie and Clay face to face again, nothing is the same. Yet some things never change. Can the darkness that threatened to consume them be transformed into something else and finally give them what they always wanted? And can two people who fought so hard to be together, finally find their happiness? Or will their demons and fear drive them apart for good?

The thing about love, is even when it destroys you, it has a way of mending what is broken. And in the shadows, you can still see the light.
My Review:

You can find my review for Find You in the Dark here.

Once again, Ms. Walters has touched my heart and moved me with this continued story of Clay and Maggie. Find You in the Dark left me heartbroken at how everything fell apart in the end. Even though I knew the train wreck was coming, it didn't make it any easier to watch. Light in the Shadows picks up where FYITD left off - Clay trying to get the help he needs, Maggie trying to move on from that devastating letter.

What I love about this book (and this series) is the realistic and honest approach Ms. Walters takes to mental health, as well as teenage maturity. These are not issues thrown onto these characters just to make them more interesting or to heighten the plot. Tackling deep waters such as these by mature adults with life experience under their belt is a task in itself. Face these challenges in your teen years ups the ante tenfold. And that's what we find here. Challenge after challenge, issue after issue, faced head-on. It is ugly and raw at times, sweet and beautiful at others, and ultimately redemptive and hopeful. But in all that Ms. Walters does not shy away from portraying Clay and Maggie's struggles honestly, yet with a loving hand. 
I loved having the dual POVs in LITS. We finally get to be inside Clay's head, and although his thoughts are so heartbreaking at times, so destructive and negative, I felt such kinship with him as he worked so hard to fight past his usual reactions and push himself to make his health a priority. He had so much to face, not only with his own mind, but external forces that were beyond his control, not only dealing with his past, but new circumstances as well. Yet the courage he had showed what an amazing person he really was, not just the misunderstood 'crazy' person he had been dubbed by so many, and proved that he was worthy of Maggie's love. And he had so many beautiful thoughts and moments about Maggie that were super swoon-worthy. He is a hero truly worth cheering for.

Then there's Maggie, who I like for her snarky, sarcastic nature, but also love for her ability to show compassion, forgive, repent, and be willing to fight for love. Her struggles may not have been the same as Clay's but they were intertwined with his and just as unrelenting. What I really appreciated was that not only did Ms. Walters demonstrate the challenge and growth of Maggie's approach to her relationship with Clay, but she also showed us what Maggie learned from FYITD with her interactions and treatment of the other characters. She had to not only heal herself, but heal and rebuild her relationships with her parents and best friends. (And I loved her parents, Daniel, and Rachel in this novel as well!)

Ultimately, this book continues our journey following a raw, honest, realistic, and beautiful road to second chances, healing, hope, and love. Clay found that there is no shame in admitting you need help. There is no shame in seeking help. Clay may have needed more than just Maggie's love to help him, but her love had the power to give him something to believe in and hope for. This is a love story and a story of healing that I will not quickly forget. I'm only sad that there won't be more Clay and Maggie to come (except when I re-read these books again). Bravo, Ms. Walters! (And thank you for that wonderful epilogue!)

Special Quotes:

"There is more beauty inside you than in anyone I have ever met. These pictures don't lie. I won't ever forget you. Or stop loving you." ~ Maggie

"Seeing him again had only confirmed what my subconscious already knew. I would never move on from Clay. My soul belonged with him, was so entangled in him that I was no longer a single being." ~ Maggie

"You are everything good in my life. Even when I thought all I had was the darkness, you were there. And you gave me something to live for, I couldn't let you go. No matter how hard I tried. I know now that's because to lose you would be losing the very best part of myself." ~ Clay

"When I was drowning, she became my air. In the cold, she became my warmth...In the dark, she became my light." ~ Clay

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About the Author:

The New York Times bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including Find You in the Dark, Cloud Walking and Bad Rep.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

A. Meredith recently moved to England and is trying to get used to driving on the other side of the road, eating fish and chips and all things British :-)

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