Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
BECCA TRENT LIVED HER CHILDHOOD NEXT TO A CRUEL WOMAN—her mom—who lived to torment and neglect her. During her high school years, her mother married; bringing home not only a new husband, but a step sister her same age. The latter took over her Mom’s role—making Becca’s life miserable. Including stealing Ian—Becca’s best friend and boyfriend—Lisa treated her worse than her mother had for the previous fifteen years. A couple years later, thing ended up in tragedy.
Becca buried that part of her life in the deep corners of her psyche, caught between sanity and nightmares. Between therapy, work and her constantly looming past she can’t seem to find room to breathe. The memories of her late step-sister, Lisa, are her closest company.
Her best friend, Dan gives her that family love she always lacked. Everything was close to perfect, until everything and everyone from her past came back. Now she’s trying to figure out how to survive and keep that bond which seems now to be held together by a thread.
Note: This is the first part of a two book noveL.
Book Review ~ ‘Where Life Takes You’ by Claudia Y. Burgoa ~ 4.5 Stars!
It’s taken me a while to put together my thoughts about this really incredible story. It’s a real emotional rollercoaster which I know many readers will not be able to stop thinking about long after they turn the last page. I love these psychological reads, and am awestruck by how well Claudia Burgoa delivered such a poignant, heartbreaking and truly captivating read.
I loved the characters that we were introduced to, and how each and every one had a huge impact on the person that Becca had become, the person she desperately wanted to leave in the past, and the person she wanted to become in the future. The diary scenes in which we read of Becca’s past and the emotional trauma she suffered through the hands of her step-sister, which has shaped the person she became later in life, made my hairs stand up on end. The blunt writing style in which Becca writes to her step-sister Lisa, not afraid to admit that the pain and anguish she had inflicted on her had made her half the person she could have been. It was psychologically captivating and I applaud the author for her intense writing style which made these parts of the chapters so memorable and praying on my mind as a reader many days after I finished the book.
Dan’s character was a real winner, and his devotion to Becca and his need to give her everything she could wish for broke my heart. Whilst Becca loved and appreciated Dan, I knew that she wouldn’t be able to give her whole heart to him fully until she learned to love herself after the trauma of her past. I felt devastated for her when we hear the full story of what happened to her at the hands of her step-sister, and how even those she loved the most betrayed her when it came down to a choice between her and Lisa. The way this left psychological scars on Becca was portrayed to perfection, and I felt angry at certain characters from Becca’s past, namely ex-boyfriend Ian who left her for Lisa, for making her feel guilt for things that were not her fault.
The ending was bittersweet, and whilst I normally cry when I don’t get my happy ending, with this book I knew that this ending was the best for all the characters. I knew that Becca could only give her heart to Dan when she let her heart be whole, and not cracked and stained from her traumatic past, and I felt content in the knowledge that Dan would not move on to another relationship easily, despite Becca encouraging him to do so. I felt sure that Dan would wait for Becca to find herself and they could finally get their happy ending (I hear that there will be a second book in this series, so I’d like to see if I’m right).
I erred between giving this book 4 and 5 stars, so I’ve decided upon 4.5. The only reason for this is because there were a few inconsistencies in the earlier parts of the book which had me a little confused, such as Becca saying that her step-brother hated her despite them having made up when they saw each other over the holidays. But even with a few minor things like that, I absolutely adored this book and can’t wait to see how Becca and Dan’s story continues in the next book.
Claudia Y. Burgoa
Review copy kindly provided through Xpresso Book Tours Review Opportunity.