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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ARC Review: Stealing Promises by Brina Courtney

Stealing Promises is a novella length New Adult story by Brina Courtney. I really loved the cover of this book, and after reading the blurb knew that I wanted to read it. I love books that get me emotionally invested, and end up showing a hero or heroine who overcomes something. I have mixed feelings about this book after reading it though. There are both things that I really liked, and then some things that I didn't care for. Stealing Promises was not what I had been expecting though.

Victoria thought that her and Levi would always be together. They grew up together, and over time their feelings grew from friendship into something more. Levi had some issues because of his mother, but with Victoria he was able to move on with his life. Victoria was set to graduate soon, and would be attending law school either at Yale or Harvard. Levi had just given her a promise ring and had secured an apartment for them to move into. Then one tragic night, everything changed. Victoria is left broken with no will to live in a future without Levi. She gets some help from a grief counselor who quickly becomes a good friend of hers. Even though she doesn't always agree with Kate's approach, she realizes that every time she ends up in a better place because of Kate's help. Victoria decides to transfer colleges for her last semester and ends up moving in with a friend. Kate helps her get involved with a group on campus for those that have lost someone. Victoria meets Brighton and they begin spending time together. Brighton wants to be with Victoria, but she knows that she is not ready for a relationship yet. Brighton says that he will wait for her, but Victoria wonders if she can ever move on with someone else and truly leave Levi behind. Even though she cares for Brighton and he makes her happy, she isn't sure that she will ever be able to love someone like she loved Levi.

I liked Levi. He was sweet and thoughtful and he really took care of Victoria. Even though he had a tough past and had issues because of his mother, he cared about Victoria so much that he put himself out there for her. Victoria was determined and devoted. I loved just how much she loved Levi and how committed she was to him in any capacity that he would allow. She knew that he had troubles because of his mom and yet she was happy just to be with him even if it wasn't exactly what she had envisioned for herself. After she lost Levi, she was a total wreck. It was awful how she just shut down and gave up. With Kate's help though, she was able to begin to move forward. She was stronger than she knew and I liked seeing her get her life together. One of the things that I really liked the most was that she didn't continue with the same path her life had been on before. She changed course and was able to figure out something that worked better for her and could possibly help others who were going through what she had been through. I liked Brighton and that he was able to start to bring Victoria out of her shell. They were able to help each other and had an understanding that most people don't have because they had both lost someone they were close to. I thought that they had a great balance and connection because of that. I feel like we didn't really get to know most of the characters in this book very well though because the focus was mainly on Victoria's process through her grief. I would have liked to have seen more character development and seen into the characters on a deeper level, especially with Victoria and Brighton.

Overall, I think that Stealing Promises was a good story. I think it had so much promise and had the opportunity to be even greater though. Even though this was about Victoria and her growth, I felt like the rest of the story and character's suffered because there wasn't room for much else. I also thought that because of the length of this story, that the reader was never really able to connect with the characters or become invested in them. My biggest complaint with Stealing Promises though was the ending. Just when the story starts to move forward, it is over. I felt like the ending was really rushed and rather abrupt. It just felt almost unfinished to me and as though it was missing something. I would have liked to have been given a bit more of their story or at least an epilogue or something so that we could have seen a bit more in the future of where things end up. I would have liked to have seen how things played out for Victoria and Brighton. I think that this was a good story about grief and moving forward. It showed how even the most heartbroken and broken can heal with the help of friends and loved ones. But I think that beyond that, this one had so much more promise than it delivered on. This book definitely was emotional though, and I found myself tearing up at several points. If you are looking for a quick and emotional read about growth and self progress, I think that this might be something that you would enjoy.

**ARC provided by Mark My Words Book Publicity**

Purchase: Amazon | B&N |


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