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Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa

Where Life Takes You is the first book in Claudia Y. Burgoa's Life series, and is the first book that I have ever read by her. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with this story, but I really ended up liking it. This book was such a journey, and I feel like we have just scratched the surface. I can't wait to see what happens next for these characters and to continue where this book leaves off. This one was definitely an emotional roller coaster, and there were times that things happened that won't be for the faint of heart. There are a few violent and intense things that happen that could be triggers to some, and I would recommend proceeding with caution if that is something that affects you.

Becca Trent had a childhood where the only bright spot was her grandmother. After her grandmother died she was left with the mother that never wanted her and that she was never good enough for. Things got worse when her mother married Greg and she got a new stepbrother and stepsister. Her stepsister Lisa made her life a living hell, and took advantage of Becca's mother's hatred for Becca as well as Becca's best friend Ian. When Lisa stole Ian away from her, Becca was left with nothing. Things continued to get worse and after a few years, things took a tragic turn. Now years later, Becca has tried to move forward but she still hasn't faced her past and sees a therapist on a regular basis. She relies heavily on her best friend Dan, and he provides her with the love and sense of family that she had been missing. But when her past gets brought back to the surface, things quickly spiral out of control and Becca is left more broken than ever before. As Becca continues to struggle, her relationship with Dan seems to barely be hanging on and for the first time in awhile she starts to feel alone again. Can Becca put the past behind her and move forward once and for all? Or will she continue to lose everything she cares about, including Dan?

I will admit that I did struggle a bit with both Dan and Becca. While I liked Dan at times, I thought that he was a controlling jerk a lot of the time. I also didn't completely understand his actions, and he seemed to not really think about Becca's needs all the time. He might have thought that he was doing what was best for her, but he never asked for her input or gave her a chance to tell him what she needed. I kept waiting for him to take a bit of a step back and tone it down a little, but it just never happened. After everything that they went through he continued to take control and pretty much surround her with those that would do his bidding. Becca was vulnerable and had been through a lot, but I also thought that she was weak and a lot of things that happened were her fault. She had been dealt a bad family and childhood, but once she had grown up I felt like she made some bad choices. While I think that her friendship with Dan was a good thing and it helped her, I felt like she let Dan get away with running her life too much. I felt like she had never really stood on her own two feet or really tried. She didn't really seem to take her therapy seriously, and I felt like she should have been able to open up to someone about her past. The longer it drug on, the more respect I lost for her. I felt like she should have been able to talk to Dan and that with their honesty policy that she should have been able to trust him, especially after everything that they had been through and that he had done for her. I thought that Dan and Becca had a great foundation for a relationship and they really seemed to work well together. They were great with one another and had a lot of chemistry. But I still feel like despite what they told themselves that their communication skills needed work.

Overall, I thought that this was a good start to Becca and Dan's story and I am interested to see where this goes next. I think that the characters are interesting even if a bit frustrating, and I kept turning the pages because I had to know what would happen next. I am really curious to see if Dan and Becca can heal themselves and each other, and if they can get past everything. I think that they still have a long road ahead of them, and I hope that they both are able to finally find their happiness. I will admit that this story was a bit confusing at times though, and I found myself getting lost more than once. I think that there were too many random and inconsequential characters and it was hard to keep their names and back stories straight. I thought that most of them weren't needed and honestly it would have been better if they weren't involved at all. But beyond that I thought that this was a great beginning. If you are looking for an emotional journey of healing and love and can handle some intense and serious issues, I would recommend giving this one a try. I am looking forward to getting more from Claudia Y. Burgoa, and I can't wait to see what happens next for Becca and Dan.

**Review Copy Provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

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