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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-10 17:24
Always by Sarah Jio
 
I checked my e-mail yesterday night and I received a message from Random House. The manager of the publishing house asked me to post as soon as possible a review for the launch of Always by Sarah Jio. Eeeek...Bloody Hell, not yet read, I thought in complete panic  without thinking that the launch was yesterday.

I decided to change my schedule and I started to read the eBook yesterday night. I finished it today.

You'll need to keep close to you a box of Kleenex because Always is moving and one of th most interesting love-stories I read since now.

I picked up this book by Sarah Jio time ago for various reasons.

I love her books, I had read previously other novels she wrote.
Seattle is in my heart.
One of my best pen-pals - yes you know paper and pen, envelopes and stamps, that dinosaurs thing of the 1990's - with which I am still in contact with is from Seattle.
One of my favorite movies Sleepless in Seattle set in that city.
Being a friendly reality I have also other connections as well.
I feel the thematic of homeless a lot and I thought while I read the synopsis of this book in NetGalley that this one could have been potentially a very good love-story. As always, my instinct didn't fail. I was approved and joyous for it.

Always by Sara Jio is impressive because it's not just a love-story.
 
 

It's something else. It's a love between a man and a woman stolen by destiny and then re-donated at the protagonists.
It's the book of second chances.

It treats of loss and return, of waiting, love and defeat, and at the same time of crucial choices in our life and understanding. Of real love able to set free the partner for love, of gratitude and dignity and sentiments respected.

The book is never superficial but profoundly explores the sentimental dynamics of a lady who thought she had found a stability in every sense and that maybe she must re-think all her life again.
Maybe.
Because the past better than the present, because simply, the love of the 20s for Cade too strong for being thrown away again not giving to it another possibility.

It's a book that will speak at the heart, at the conscience, at the life and at the dignity of people and their lives trying to have respect for every point of view.

The story starts with Kailey and Ryan, a happy couple at the italian restaurant Le Marche of Seattle.

Kailey is a reporter of the Herald and she reached the success she  desires. Ryan a very successful man. A happy couple who intend to start a life together, celebrating the joy of staying together with a wedding pretty soon.

Kayle is a reporter very involved in social problems and she treats the topic of homeless very often. That night while leaving the restaurant Le Marche while she was waiting for her fiancee and their car she notices this homeless pretty starved close to the restaurant. She presents him something to eat and when she looks at his eyes she recognizes him. Impossible to fail: this one was her boyfriend Cade McCallister, never forgotten.

Cade had a label and was very famous in the music industry of Seattle during the mythical 1990s. Why now Cade is here, in this state, homeless and what happened to him during these past 10 years? She asks a desperate Kayle to herself.

Kayle is shocked, and she starts to live in a life of flashbacks.

Oh: the power of the twenties and the magical idea that everything is possible and that life is in your hands. You can imagine to find Mr.Right,   and building a good existence with him, having some children, working and being a satisfied girl.

In general it goes in this way, but not for Kayle.
To Kayle the dream of marrying the man she loved so badly broken. Broken because she knew something: that Cade was her Mr. Right and the man with which she would have wanted to spend the rest of her existence. And he just disappeared like a ghost from her, without to tell her why, without an explanation.

Once this dream over she didn't think at love anymore with the intensity of the past.

Two years spent together, from 1996 to 1998 one day Cade simply evaporated from her life.

Her dream of a family, of a love, some children, replaced by a successful work and other gratifications. Her heart locked until later she would have met Ryan. Other age, a more mature love, her sentimental life back.

Kayle accepted this second chance with enthusiasm thinking that life must be lived and truly loving deeply Ryan. Cade McAllister buried in some corner of her heart but now inoffensive.

But...What happen if the past returns, and which can be the reaction of a person at the return of someone so beloved?


It's what the book wants to analyze, and it does it with great maturity and class according to my point of view.

Memories of the moments  Kailey spent with Cade are back in all their intensity. They had lived a real, beautiful love-story. Walks discovering secret corners of Seattle, trips as the one they did at Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, where Kailey's grand-dad knew his future wife, unforgettable moments for both of them, moments spent together enjoying the company of each other and thinking that yet, they were made for spent the rest of their life together.

Few characters all very well centered, the book doesn't know any kind of dispersion but focus in the relationship created by the two protagonists at first in 1996. The book is divided in two part: a first part is set in 2008 the crucial year of the return of Cade and a part from 1996 to 1998 the years of the first relationship between Cade and Kailey.

Not only.

Always is also a book that wants to speak at the heart of people revealing the social conditions of American hospitals, sometimes too cold with people marginalized by the society for many reasons.
It wants to speak at the heart of people reclaiming that we are all human being, and it is not important if we are rich or poor, each of us has dignity and should be cured very well.

But in which state Kailey finds Cade? In a miserable one. This man must suffer of some mental retard, she thinks desperate. Maybe he remembers her, maybe not. At the beginning the reporter can't interact with him because the man is absent, starved.

Kailey once saved by him decides that now it's arrived the moment of helping her biggest love of her life, but at what price?

Ryan will understand her feelings? And mostly: is she still loving Ryan as much as she should love him considering that very soon they will be married?

Always is a book that tells of changes. The changes that can occur during our life, the differences that we can find in a person we love so badly and we thought we had lost forever and the acceptance of this person transformed by life but also of the immutability of love when the feeling has been real and sincere with all the crosses that can bring with it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is another example of a great love for a wonderful, conflictual man. At the end of the book the protagonist will discover that her love, unforgotten, Edward Rochester had lost the vision from both his eyes because of a terrible incident but she won't go away from him because real love is able to resist everything.

The title Always created because of a tattoo the protagonists once will decide to do while in vacation, in french, Toujours, while the cover of the book speaks of true love. There is the tradition of put a red wrap in a branch of cherries tree everytime you think you have found your true love.

I highly suggest you this book for the maturity I found while I was reading it. It is written by a writer who gives dignity to each protagonists and at the end of the book in the happiness and unhappiness that some protagonists will live, no one will be completely defeated by life because love will always win in every case.

I thank NetGalley and Random House for this book.
 


Anna Maria Polidori







Source: alfemminile.blogspot.it
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review 2017-02-08 00:31
Always
Always: A Novel - Sarah Jio

By: Sarah Jio

ISBN:1101885025

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Sarah Jio returns following The Look of Love (2014) with her eighth novel, ALWAYS. Written with the passion, past love, romance, relationships, the music of the 1990s, TBI, and of course the art, beauty, and charm of "spectacular" Seattle. When love never lets go.

“To old love and new, but, most of all, to the kind that lasts, always.”

It is 2008 in Seattle, Kailey Crane, a writer for the Seattle Herald has it all. A successful career, a charming new Craftsman bungalow and an upcoming wedding to the perfect guy, Ryan. He has wealth, looks, and the entire package.

As the book opens, the couple is having a leisurely dinner at the upscale French restaurant, making their upcoming wedding plans. As they are leaving, Kailey comes face to face with a homeless man and his piercing eyes. Shockingly, she recognizes him. Cade McAllister, the love of her life.

Cade was part of her past. They had dated back in the 1990s. A famous record label owner. He loved music. They had matching tattoos. Skin inked a decade prior- a glaring reminder of the past that did not become a future, of the dreams that evaporated into thin air. How he goes from success to thin, bony, and homeless? The sight of him haunts her. Why did he disappear so long ago?

Their tattoos. The word: Toujours, French for “always,” remained on her shoulder. Thinking of Cade reminded her of Tracy her best friend and former roommate. They both had been wide-eyed and idealistic. They believed in true love and happy endings. She and Cade had planned their future.

Kailey is working on an article for work, regarding a series about Pioneer Square and the homeless. Ryan, of course, does not agree with her opinions. They agree to disagree on the areas where their professional interests diverge. Ryan is a developer and thinks they should dynamite the six-block radius. He thinks there is nothing but addicts and vagrants. The homeless.

She wants to help the Hope Gospel Mission, the non-profit organization to help offer shelter to the homeless. The new proposal would entail demolishing thousands of low-income units and shelters. Currently, they were in the midst, of a gridlock with the city.

She believed these establishments needed to keep their doors open. Ryan worked with builders which were ready to throw up apartments, displacing the lifeline for hundreds of homeless people in the process.

Kailey cannot get Cade out of her mind. They had been in love and he left. She had tried to locate him and never found him. He did not recognize her. She must help him and find out what happened to him.

She begins searching the streets for him and ultimately finds him to learn, he has TBI. Traumatic Brain Injury. She puts Ryan, and her wedding plans aside since she is obsessed with helping get Cade off the streets and getting him the medical help he needs.

We revisit the 1990s and the early days of the couple's relationship. Kailey now is torn between her loyalty and love for Cade, and the man she is about to share her future with. Why did Cade leave without a word to her?

A little different novel than some of Jio’s typical historical fiction (have read them all). She brings forth all the charm of Seattle and the strong emotions of a woman, who has to make a difficult choice between two different men.

However, the story of Cade, his former business partner, and his ten years on the street were very undeveloped. The story was quite intriguing, keeping you hooked; however, like most reviewers and readers, we all were hoping for more to "fill in the blanks." I would love to have a POV from Cade. His voice would have been a nice enhancement to the overall story. The ending was tied up in a neat bow; however, left you wanting to learn more about the events leading up the night Cade lost his memory and after.

Possibly more research and discussions regarding TBI, and the homeless social issues. I am a huge fan of Seattle and have spent a lot of time in Pioneer Square, the jazz bars, quaint B&Bs, coffee shops, (ArtWalk, MusicFest), markets, as well as charming inns by the sea in Puget Sound and Snohomish. One of my favorite cities. Nice to revisit through the book.

An intriguing subject, since we learn —as in the book, every homeless person has a story. Any one of us could find ourselves in the same situation, if not for the help of others. We never know their “real” story or their journey. Instead of judging, we all need to join forces to help our communities continue with resources to assist.

The cover is stunning (received the paperback copy) as well as the digital copy. The cherry blossoms, the red scarf, the music, the setting, and the love story. As always, Sarah Jio continues to entertain, with compelling topics and those proposing critical life changing heart-wrenching questions/life choices. What would you do when faced with this difficult choice?

For fans of Colleen Hoover and contemporary romantic fiction.

A special thank you to Random House, NetGalley, and LibraryThing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 



On a side note: I reside in the urban downtown area Arts & Entertainment, West Palm Beach and walk everywhere; we have many homeless people, while surrounded by wonderful funky art, grunge, and flair and old converted lofts with a similar vibe to Pioneer Square. There are similar projects here facing the same controversial issues of billion dollar condos going up and replacing the low-income housing, leaving these people displaced and nowhere to turn.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/05/Always
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review 2017-02-01 17:12
Always/Sarah Jio
Always: A Novel - Sarah Jio

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle's chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can't believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she's willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

 

I found myself completely engrossed by this book.

 

I adored Kailey as a character--she cares about everyone and has a lot of passion for her causes. In that regard, I didn't quite comprehend her relationship with Ryan, who had kind of an opposite view of the world, but I appreciated that they could put aside their differences. I also enjoyed seeing how she grew up a little bit and lost her naiveté across the two sections. However, I wasn't terribly fond of the way Jio dealt with other characters, as the ending was quite anticlimactic due to her portrayal throughout the book.

 

I absolutely adored the setting! The music references were a lot of fun and I definitely shoved the book in front of my friend's face multiple times to share my excitement over certain references. I felt like I got a real feel for Seattle in two different time periods and from two different lenses.

 

This was one time where I wasn't terribly fond of the alternating chapters from different time periods; I thought it would have been better done to simply have two parts as I felt like Kailey herself didn't change personality wise very much across the years and thus I had trouble remembering where I was.

 

This wasn't quite as predictable as I expected it would be, and there were times where I was genuinely unsure what would happen, which I appreciated greatly for the genre. However, I still felt like the romance was at times hard for me to buy, and that Kailey was kind of going through some of the motions.

 

I loved the social justice aspect of this book, and I loved how engaging it was. Definitely recommend for fans of romance.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-01-22 16:06
The Past Crashes with the Present
Always: A Novel - Sarah Jio

Imagine: You are on a date with your fiance' at a fine restaurant when you exit you see your first love outside, the one who disappeared years earlier with no word. He's homeless, thin, dressed in rags and doesn't seem to know you. What would go through your head ? What a horrendous thing to even imagine right ? Well this is just the tip of the giant iceberg. The troubles go so much deeper and more complicated. The ties to the past are strong but the present is perfect.
The story was so well written I felt like a fly on the wall of these relationships. The old and the new crashing together, was heartbreaking, no matter what someone was going to hurt. Kailey, is living the dream, a wonderful loving fiance', good friends, great job and her wedding just around the corner. Ryan, the successful steady man who loves her, and is to be her husband in days . Cade, the man who was her first love, who was creative and lived life to the fullest, now an empty broken shell, that may never return to himself. Kailey, could not turn her back on Cade, she must try to save him as he once saved her. Heartbreaking, and beautiful.
Mental illness, brain damage, the homeless plight and people responses to the homeless are all represented here. There was some social awareness in bits throughout the story but never overdone to take me out of the drama.
This was my first Jio book and it will not be my last. I enjoyed the character centered story and loved how they were developed. I felt like I was there, like I knew them.

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text 2017-01-21 18:23
Reading progress update: I've read 192 out of 288 pages.
Always: A Novel - Sarah Jio

Heartbreaking. Living with the memories and the heartbreak and dealing with two loves at the same time. I hope this has a Disney style ending, but real life doesn't swing that way. I've been unable to put this one down

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