BOOK REVIEW ~ TIME STANDS STILL BY LORI OTTO
February 7, 2019
Emi Hennigan could never have predicted her life would be like this. After wasting more than ten years being “just a friend” to her true love, Nate Wilson, Emi feels more than a little regret. Her future was set, though. Nate loved her as much as she loved him, and they were moving forward with a romance that took them both by surprise. They already knew their bad habits, quirks and the subtle nuances of expressions, but the love was all-encompassing and new to them both.
No man could compete, Emi thought, until one night – one evening, one party, one journey, one second alters her course completely.
That night, her brother’s confident best friend, Jack Holland, comes back into her life with a mission: to spend more time with Emi to prove he is the right man for her. A romance with him is the furthest thing from Emi’s mind, though, staying loyal and steadfast to a trusted man that she will always love.
In a year’s time, though, Emi must learn to make changes she’d never before considered after being impacted by unexpected events. While her fragile spirit takes time to heal, Jack slowly finds a comfortable place in her life. Only time will tell if it’s right for Emi – and enough for him.
In all my years of reading books, whether it be for enjoyment or out of necessity, this book was the hardest and toughest for me to get through. There were many times I considered throwing in the towel and just move on from the series.
But how do you move on from something that pretty much obliterated your world? The last word in book 1 blew a hole through my chest and with book 2 my emotions completely overwhelmed me. There wasn’t a single page that passed by where I wasn’t crying (of course it didn’t help that I had sad music playing in the background).
I’ll be honest; THIS book is the reason why I shelved the entire series away so long. I knew I wouldn’t be able to face the reality of what happened at the end of book 1 in here, and yep I didn’t. Even after finishing this second book, I’m still struggling to cope and come to terms with where Emi is now.
I can’t review this book without giving out spoilers so the next section is for those that need more details but just know that with all the heartache and unimaginable pain there is hope. A light at the end of the tunnel. Experiencing the sorrow makes the healing process more precious. Read this book. Read this series. You will emerge as a better and changed person. I know I have.
**This next section contains spoilers and is only for those that need more details. Obviously, this will also have spoilers for book 1 too so proceed at your own risk.**
LAST WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD
So at the end of book 1 there is a tragic car crash, Nate dies, and it.crushed.my.heart.
I didn’t cry when it happened though. I cried after, where Emi is left picking up the pieces now that she’s lost her life-long love and her unborn baby.
In the meantime, Chris’s best friend Jack Holland is present and just there for Emi. He never tries to push her into a relationship or take Nate’s place. Just thinking about him puts a small smile on my face. He’s pretty much the epitome of a good guy and what all girls dream for their Prince Charming. He helps Emi get through her healing process: he’s there to dry her tears, reminisce with her in the happy Nate times, and bit by bit, brings life, laughter, and happiness back to Emi.
As much as I rejoiced to see Emi heal and find love again, I struggled with her character and 2 particular scenes, which ended up being the reason why this is 4.5 stars and not 5.
1. When Emi second-guessed her feelings for Nate after she experiences thattranscendent kiss with Jack.
God. That hurt.
I’m a very flawed human being, but one of my good qualities is that I’m a loyal person. Once you’ve got me, you’ve got me, and that is the case with Nate. As hard as it was for me, I accepted his death and wished for Emi’s every happiness but WHY DID SHE HAVE TO SECOND GUESS HER FEELINGS FOR HIM? So he wasn’t the guy she kissed in college. So what? She loves him…right? Yes she does, but that just raised this question: if Jack and Emi are true soulmates, then what is Nate? What. Is. Nate.
2. What Emi said on Nate’s anniversary of his death.
“It is my day. It is your day. It is Jack’s day and Anna’s day and Jen’s day…but if it’s anyone’s day, it’s certainly not Nate’s.”
Now that gutted me.
I understand she’s spent almost a year mourning for him, but that is just NOT something you say about the man you loved and lost on his anniversary day. Mind you, I never for a second doubted that she didn’t mourn him or didn’t love him, but damn. That hurt.
Sorry for the little rant, but my emotions are running high and they’re extremely raw. I think the biggest thing is that while Emi and Jack were able to move on, I didn’t. And I don’t think I ever will.