Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: An Ounce of Hope by Sophie Jackson

From the fanfic phenom whose debut A Pound of Flesh had over 4.5 million reads, this sequel, An Ounce of Hope, tells the passionate love story of Carter’s best friend, Max.

Max O’Hare can’t seem to let go of his past: his drug habit, the end of his relationship with Lizzie Jordan, the woman he knows he’ll never get over, and the loss of their unborn son.

After successfully completing rehab and learning to explore his deepest fears and dreams through painting, Max meets Grace Brooks. With her innate optimism, and her love of art and photography, Grace appears to be the perfect girl. Yet no one knows where she came from, or why she keeps her past so closely guarded. Over time, Max and Grace gradually allow each other in—but will he ever be able to fully let go of his past? Or will his heart remain closed forever?

4.5 of 5 Stars

Sophie Jackson's first novel, A Pound of Flesh was one of my top books of 2015 and I fell in love not only with Kat and Carter but also with her writing style instantly.  When An Ounce of Hope appeared on my kindle in my gut I knew it would be good yet I was unsure of whether or not I would really care tremendously about Max O'Hare, Carter's drug-addict best friend.  Why I doubted this I don't know because here's the truth - it turns out I did and do care about this troubled best friend and the more I read the more eager I was to see how his story would play out.

The beginning of the book begins with Max in rehab.  Although I understand the need to see him in this setting and set the stage for his story, I couldn't help but feel as though it gave the story sort of a slow start.  Things however pick up once Carter and new character Grace finally show up in the same town.  For me it was around the 20% mark before I felt myself getting more and more addicted to the story and having a harder time setting the kindle down to deal with life's interruptions.   

Grace is such a sweet, innocent character who from first introduction you know in your heart deserves happiness.  Max is a troubled character who has been dealt a crap hand of life and is very jaded, he too deserves a break and you want that for him, but he's also a wild card and you're just not sure how he's going to react in certain situations.  Max wants to live, he wants to be happy, but that happiness seems so far out of reach to him.  

Grace and Max completely balance each other out, when these two share a chapter or even a page you will not be able to help but smile and cheer them on towards a HEA together.  They both have experienced such tragedy and heartache they can understand where the other is coming from.  I have often heard it said that pain and horrible situations will either make you a bitter person or a better person.  These two characters display the truth of this statement.  Grace wants to move on and learn from the past, while still living.  Max prefers to wallow in the past and let it prevent him from ever being happy.  The question is whether or not will they choose one another when push comes to shove.

Ms. Jackson perfectly crafts a story that illustrates how Max struggles with his addiction, anxiety, depression and trust of others.  I can't help but believe that this is exactly how someone with this mindset truly thinks and acts.  It also shows how their actions affect everyone else in their lives.  The story was beautifully written and has me itching to begin Riley's story ASAP.  

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