Dear Life by Meghan Quinn
Standalone Contemporary Romance
I had to wait a week before even starting this review of Dear Life by Meghan Quinn. As I choose the quotes for my review, I am already bawling my eyes out. I don’t like to ugly cry, and let me tell you, Dear Life made me ugly cry a few times. But it also made me smile, laugh, swoon, get angry, and cry happy tears (those were the ugliest ones!) I seriously finished this book in huge, wracking sobs, not because it was sad, but because I just felt so much. I have tears rolling down my face as I type this over a week later.
What a way to start 2017! Meghan Quinn has quickly become a top favorite author for me for her emotional Rom Coms, but Dear Life is a departure that she navigated beautifully. Completely unique, and so, so personal, I went in having no clue about what the book was about. It originally came out with a different cover showing the four main characters, but has since been updated to reflect that this is a romance. But it is still about four individual’s journeys towards bettering themselves and proving their existence.
Four very different people, with four very different lives come together in a program called Dear Life, to help them get past their fears and issues and move on and grow in their lives.
“Until you face your fears, push through, you will never know what’s waiting for you on the other side.”
Hollyn is grieving and wallowing in guilt. She hasn’t accepted her tragedy and is stuck in miserable limbo. She may seem a little bitchy. Sometimes I wanted to smack her. But she was portrayed amazingly well, and it was very realistic.
“Face your fears. Make the leap, Hollyn. One more steppingstone toward proving your existence.”
There’s that word again; fear. It’s always clogging up our lives, putting us at a standstill until we’re able to finally push through and prevail.
Jace is grieving as well, for a different, but even more heartbreaking reason. Jace was such an inherently good person who was dealt a shitty hand. His story is the one that broke my heart the most and the one that made me tear up whenever I read it his chapters. I love him, he was romantic and good and thoughtful and never afraid to show his raw emotions. I loved how he listened.
“I knew we were connected on a deeper level…I saw the same tortured look in your eyes in my reflection.”
Daisy is the bright spot and the comic relief of the book, and her lack of life experience and her very sheltered background made her the character I loved reading about the most.
“Maybe this is what life is. One giant, nauseating, and confusing roller coaster. Funny, coming from the girl who was born and raised on a merry-go-round.”
And Carter, well Carter doesn’t want to be there and just has a big Fuck You for life. He’s the damaged bad boy. The one who is hard to like in the beginning, but he turned me around the most.
“She’s sunshine and rainbows; I’m rainclouds and puddles.”
They all have a right to be mad at life. But they are all finding themselves through each other.
“As if we were brought together in this world, at the most difficult times in our lives, to be mad, but with a purpose.”
The groups are assigned to be each others support system through out their journeys, and some of them connected well outside of the group.
“Oh, I’m so excited. We are going to have the best time, I just know it. Oh, we can puffy paint together.”
We have all heard that you have to make changes for yourself. But I loved how Dear Life showed how a strong support system, a real one, can incite and inspire change. It’s OK to lean on someone else and have setbacks, as long as it helps you move forward.
“This is a pretty shitty world, but you’re a bright beacon amongst all the dark.”
Does he know he’s my beacon? Because right now, I wouldn’t be able to see past my nose without his guiding light.
She soothes me, but not just me. She soothes my soul.
In five years of reviewing, I’m not sure I ever struggled so much with a review. It’s hard to put into words how this story made me feel. I had so many quotes that I want to put in the review and remember forever, but I don’t want to really give away the story. Picking the quotes was impossible!
Putting so much of your personal journey in the story and sharing it made an amazing book phenomenal. Books like this are why I read. I want to thank you for exposing your heart and a bit of your journey to us, my heart is so happy for you, yet it breaks from your journey to get there.
“It’s not until you face your fears that you will finally be able to find acceptance.”
I’m scared to write this. I may jinx what I have. An amazing husband of 26 years, two beautifully talented and smart children, and parents and family I am close to. You’ve thrown some big challenges our way, and we have had to make the hardest decision a parent can make, but we faced it and pushed through. Our marriage has had bumps, my health has had huge bumps, but with a wonderful supportive family, my life just continues to get better every day.
I hope that through my amazing kids I have proven my existence. Thank you for the beauty I have in my life.
“Life is work. Life is a journey of triumphs and sorrows. Of successes and failures. Of learning experiences and growing opportunities.”
- How it was was four individual stories that all intertwined, but also two romances.
- How personal it was.
- Daisy’s Grandma was hysterical
- As emotional as it was, Meghan’s humor shined through and made us laugh just when we needed it.
- All four stories were given equal weight.
- It made you reflect on your own life.
- Filled with so many amazing quotes that i struggled to choose for this review.
- The last two letters. OMFG. (Shit, I’m crying again!)
- Completely unique.
- The huge sobs I keep breaking into when I think of the beauty of this book!
The Down & Dirty:
Rating 5+++++ Stars, Heat 4 Stars (to be honest, I think there were some pretty sexy scenes, but I don’t remember, that was not what stood out to me)
Purchase Dear Life by Meghan Quinn