BOOK REVIEW ~ THE RESURRECTION OF AUBREY MILLER BY L.B. SIMMONS
February 7, 2019
For some, it’s simply one of life’s certainties, nothing more. For others, it’s merely a fleeting thought, one often overshadowed by the reckless delusion that they have been blessed with the gift of immortality. For Aubrey Miller, death is the definition of her very existence. Overcome with the guilt resulting from the loss of her beloved family, she alters her appearance from the once beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl to that of one shrouded in complete darkness, enveloping herself in her own unbreakable fortress of solitude as a form of protection for others.As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: Earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the boisterous former pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend from her past who never really let her go.
Over the years, as their connections intertwine and grow, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three…
But when death painfully reemerges, Aubrey is lost once again, burying herself deeper than ever before inside the familiar fortification of her fears.Will the refuge of friendship, the solidarity of life-long bonds, and the power of unconditional love be enough to do the impossible?Will they be enough to finally bring about…
The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller?
Think Ten Tiny Breaths + I Love You to Death + Ruin + dose of L.B. Simmons magical writing style and quirky humor = this gorgeously written story that’s nothing short of extraordinary. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!
I’m selfish. You see, I’m writing this review a month ahead of its release date, meaning I got to bask in the pure awesomeness of this book while most of you…have not. Lol. But that’s okay…mark those calendars for April 25! History will be made on that day I say!
Now on to the actual review…
This book is SO unique!! Never before have I read a story where the depressing and humorous are so delightfully balanced and set in a NA background! Witty dialogue, endearing characters, and high-quality writing, this book completely charmed me and evoked a wide range of emotions! This is a story that other NA books should strive to achieve.
So what’s it about?
Aubrey Miller is on her way to college…just another normal college-bound girl. Except…she’s not. For one, she goes by Raven, a name that symbolizes all the darkness, agony, and pain she’s been through. Once a spirited, happy girl, Aubrey’s past is overshadowed by death: death of her parents, her beloved sister, and in a twisted way, believes she’s responsible for them. As a result, she locks away the few bright, innocent memories of her childhood and morphs into a hollow, depressing version of herself as a defense mechanism.
“I look like a freak.
Sometimes, I wonder if I overdid the attempt to deter anyone and everyone from ever getting near me.”
Depressing right? But no matter how heavy the content got (and trust me, there were times I felt SO somber), there was this underlying lighthearted tone to the story. Part of the reason can be attributed to the setting, and this is where I truly appreciated the NA aspect of the book. For stories set in college, there’s always a youthful quality added to the story and that serves as a great contrast to the melancholy, morbid vibe Aubrey gives off. But the main reason is Kaeleb’s character and oh my gosh!! I’ve fallen hard for him! He’s nothing but sexy, supportive, and kindhearted.
I find it so refreshing that despite the college setting, the author went against the norm and created a male lead who was neither a jackass or bad boy; instead, a witty and loyal friend to Aubrey. Another vital part of the story was Quinn, Aubrey’s roommate-turned-BFF. I absolutely adored her character!! Though the author epitomized her as the classic blonde who was the queen of everything, there’s a depth to Quinn’s character. Her bubbly personality completely charmed me and once again, helped balance the dismal and depressing tones of the story. These three people, together, all so different but so similar in their brokenness, are the perfect group and though this book is focused on Aubrey’s “resurrection,” I’d say the three of them helped heal each other.
I loved seeing the progress all of them made, especially Aubrey, and I particularly appreciated how well the story was paced: over the course of Aubrey’s 4 years in college. Despite the positive improvement and healing on her part, though, there were many setbacks and just when I thought things were going to be okay, the characters hit their rock bottom and the old, happy Aubrey disappeared, leaving only the cold, detached Raven in her stead. And Kaeleb saw it happen, pleaded with her to not retreat into a shell of a person.
“I wanted to be enough for you. Strong enough. Man enough. Enough for you to find a reason to live again. To give you that courage and strength. But I know now, you’re the only one who can do that Sunshine.”
[“she” referring to Raven, if that confuses anyone]
Anyways, everything that happens after the 65% mark pretty much broke my heart (thanks L.B.), but it’s also the most powerful portion of the book. This is where the true beauty and meaning of the story kicks in as Aubrey struggles and faces her past and chooses how to live her future. This is where she understands the pain and sorrow of death, tragedy, and heartache, yet takes the lessons she’s learned and figures out that without experiencing it all, she could never be “resurrected, ” finally delivered from the shackles of loss and gloom.
“Sometimes in life, there are these random moments when everything just clicks. When all the fragments of your fractured past fall together, merging in your mind to form a lucid image of your future. Each mistake made becomes a vital piece as it serves whatever purpose necessary to complete the picture as a whole and suddenly everything becomes so clear.”
As for the romance aspect, it’s more of a secondary element to the story but equally as important. I loved how it developed at a natural, believable pace and not turn into some insta-love fest. Kaeleb and Aubrey complement each other perfectly and I was ecstatic to see an old friendship turn into something more for the both of them, and that together they were able to move forward despite their weighty pasts.
I absolutely adored this book! Of course, no book is completely perfect and there were very minor qualms I had (in some flashback scenes where she was 6 or 8, she didn’t really sound her age) but in light of how emotionally evocative this story is and how I literally drowned myself within the pages until I finished, Ihave to give it 6 stars. It exceeded all my expectations I had and is by far the best work I’ve read from this author. Giving it anything less than 6 stars is unfathomable; my heart just won’t allow it.
“You know, if the sun and the moon were to actually collide, it would set off a cataclysmic reaction of epic proportions. Are you ready to have your world completely obliterated?”
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advanced copy and may be subject to change in the final edition.