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Friday, December 23, 2011

My review of Rise by Stefne Miller. Fantastic love story!

About the book:

"I’d come to a place of realizing that even if only for a time, Attie’s existence was heavily dependent upon my ability to protect her and shine light in her direction. At the same time, I had to give her enough room to live her own life. I also knew the connection was fragile and that as I navigated the space just outside her world, if her life were to start to spin out of control, I wouldn’t be able to come closer and intervene without causing more damage. I understood that I was created to be a part of her life, but only at a safe distance.

Our universe, the one that seemed to only include us, was about to be hurled into an entirely new solar system."


Attie Reed has finally found some happiness after the accident that took her mother’s and best friend’s lives and nearly destroyed hers. But that doesn’t mean life is going to get easier. She may not have nighttime monsters to fight, but her world is about to spin wildly out of orbit.

In the captivating, highly anticipated sequel to Stefne Miller’s Salvaged, Attie is faced with the challenge of fitting in at a new school while figuring out her next steps. Riley continues to fight with her and for her as she encounters difficult battles. He has been her protection, but he can’t protect her forever.

When Attie’s father finally comes back into her life, she is faced with her most difficult decision yet: to stay in Oklahoma and keep the life she has made or return to New York to repair her relationship with her father and allow herself to heal. What happens will define who she is and who she will become. Can she fight this battle alone and Rise? Or will she continue to fall out of orbit and be lost forever?

My review:

Words can barely describe the gammut of emotions I experienced while reading this novel. I absolutely adored Salvaged (the first book), which captivated me from the first page, but I loved Rise even more. I didn't think it was possible, but it's true. I can't remember how many times I got choked up or tears welled in my eyes, but I experienced some powerful emotions while reading this story.

There was so much good stuff in the book about what real love was, and the importance of being with someone because you want to be, not because you need to be with them to feel "whole." Attie was in many ways a needy, but loveable person, yet the fact that she needed protection made Riley love her even more. It got to the point where it was unhealthy. But it was still a powerful thing to observe. It kind of reminded me of "A Walk to Remember" where you just hurt for the guy on so many different occasions.

I loved the theme related to the importance of fathers and how being devastated by a father's rejection can really mess up a young woman's heart. Attie had plenty of reasons to feel crushed, hurt and rejected. But I adored her as a character, and even more than I did in the first book. I hated to see her going through all of those painful situations but she needed them to grow.

The theme regarding Jesus and how you can walk away and yet he never leaves you was pretty powerful. It made me think about my own faith and how many times I don't think to go to Him and try to solve things on my own. He is standing by patiently waiting for us to reach out to him. That was so well done. I also loved how Jesus encouraged Attie to tell Him how she felt and to "let him have it" because "he could take it." Well done! Honesty with God and with ourselves is always a good thing.

The healing themes in this book really touched me deep inside. Having made some dumb choices myself that had lasting consequences, I appreciated how the author laid it all out there. The pros and the cons, the motivations of the heart, the need to consider how each choice we make will not only influence our lives, but others around us was well done. And I loved Coop. He was a great guy. In some ways he was part of Attie's healing, but I still hurt for him. I felt like I was reading a Nicholas Sparks love story on more than one occasion and needed to remind myself that the story was fiction and these weren't real people.

I am sad the series has ended because I truly loved this story. The characters felt so real to me, it was like we were friends. The story warmed my heart and made an impact on me. It also made me think about my spiritual life, which is always a good thing. Attie made me want to be more honest with myself and others because I saw how it benefitted the characters in the story. The only way to be truly healthy is to rely on Jesus and not on other people. It doesn't mean we can't love deeply, but it does mean our hope needs to be in God and not in people.

Such a fantastic story, and if I could, I'd give it ten stars. Did I mention it was very well written? This author is incredibly gifted and really knows how to evoke emotion in the reader. I highly recommend this story. It's making my favorite fiction list for 2011.

Rise was published by Tate and released in June 2011.

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