Friday 2 March 2012

A Place in This Life blog tour stop: Book review

For Natalie Miller, it’s just another family vacation. For someone else, it’s the opportunity he’s been waiting for. 

With only a single peck from a guy named Frank, Natalie’s anything but experienced with boys. But when Todd pops out of the water, says hi, and tells Natalie he has leukemia, all of that changes.

She’s never had attention like this from a boy, let alone one who’s a real charmer with sex on the brain and the experience to match. Drawn to Todd like a magnet, Natalie gives him her friendship, her love, and her body. Even when she’s tempted by gorgeous, healthy schoolmate Alex, Natalie’s desire to love and care for Todd pushes her to see how far love can go in spite of the potential for death of the relationship — and death of the one she loves.

I just finished reading A Place in This Life and I don't know where to start. My mind's a muddle. I'm so taken with so many things about this book! Let's start with the beginning. I totally didn't expect A Place in This Life to be so... real. It wasn't an easy and glossed over read. It wasn't over dramatic and over emotional. It wasn't overdone at all. It was so real. Which makes sense as it is based on the author's experiences. It takes so much skill to portray that period in the protagonist, Natalie's life so vividly.

The book opens with Natalie vacationing with her family at Catalina Island. At seventeen, she has had only one sort-of boyfriend and her parents seem naturally over protective of her. She never expects to meet someone special at Catalina but she meets Todd who tells her outright that he has leukemia. The rest of the story is a plethora of firsts for Natalie as she decides to stick by Todd who was an out-and-out bad boy before he fell ill. As the school year begins, Alex, a perfectly nice, rich boy, makes things complicated as it's clear that he likes Natalie and Natalie thinks she might like him back as well.

At first, I didn't like Todd. He was too brash and forward in a way that made me worried for Natalie. But soon, I started liking those things about him. Maybe it was as Natalie found herself falling for him. I liked how unapologetic and positive he was. I didn't realise how strong he was till midway through the book. 

Natalie felt like the little sister I never had or me from few years back. But it's clear that everything she went through made her stronger. I could feel her grow as a person over the span of a year and truly find a place for herself. She had a lot on her plate when it came to the two guys who suddenly entered her life. I could feel every awkward flutter, the queasiness, the heartbreak and the impact of every decision she made. 

But what I liked most about A Place in This Life was the small things. Whether it was Natalie's first conversations with Todd which were so awkward and difficult to read, her habit of chewing her nails, the chemo session or her amazingly supportive parents... Every stage of her relationship with Todd... Natalie's walk in the rain, the "invisible audience" when she's on the phone, her weird dreams that always gave shape to her worries or the path she carved for herself... I was taken in by these parts that I felt most books leave out or don't elaborate on. 

Dealing with first love, heartbreak, sex, drugs and cancer, A Place in This Life is raw, moving and so real. It will make you smile before you reach the point where your heart drops and you want to sob your heart out. Available at the Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and BookieJar at 0.99$, A Place in This Life is a book you wouldn't want to miss!

Publication date: 23rd September, 2011
Publisher: Self-pub
Source: A copy of this book was provided by the author as a part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
So heartwrenchingly real. I loved it. A few minor editing issues but overall, it is definitely worth checking out.


  1. "It wasn't an easy and glossed over read. It wasn't over dramatic and over emotional. It wasn't overdone at all. It was so real." <-- That was enough to convince me to want this book. So many books nowadays are amazing and breathtaking and really original (which is definitely okay!), but sometimes I think it's nice to read something that makes you feel connected to it like this book did for you! :)

    Beautiful review, Ajoop! Even with those few little editing issues, I think this book will be well worth the read! :) <3

  2. Aww, such a beautiful review, Ajoop! Your review makes me want to grab a copy of this book now! I love it that the story seems so real, and I'm a sucker for heartbreaking story! I think Natalie will be a character I can easily connect myself with! She seems like a normal girl who suddenly gets into difficult situation. I love it that she seems to grow up throughout the book!

    Thank you for putting this book on my radar, Ajoop! Can't wait to check out this book soon! <3

  3. @Mimi I know, right? Unique concepts are all good but it's so refreshing to read something that's real and insightful every now and then!

    @Hilda Thanks, Hilda! I hope you do check it out! <3 Natalie is so relatable in many ways! That made it all the more heartbreaking and realistic.


HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)