**Krystle’s 5 Star Review**
One of the best parts of reading all of the works by specific authors is that you get to see the journey from their first books to their current work. Although I had some insta-love going on for the November Blue characters from my first read of Ten Days of Perfect, Andrea Randall keeps amazing me with each one of her releases. Her writing keeps getting better and better and her characters are more loveable even when I didn’t think it was possible to love them any more.
Sweet Forty-Two was a great surprise for me because it had a lot more of the characters I enjoy so much. I hold Bo, Ember, Rae and Regan in a special place in my heart and it was wonderful to read about them again. They are some of my all time favorite characters and reading this book made me feel like I was back hanging out with old friends. It was great to see their growth since we last saw them in Reckless Abandon and it was great to see the journey of coming to terms with Rae’s death.
She was beautiful. She was kind. She was fu ck ing gone.
Sweet Forty-Two gutted me from the very first scene. It reminded me of so many emotions that I forgot I had and continued ripping them out of my chest over and over again. Andrea’s writing has this raw intensity about it that has the ability to make you feel real feelings. That’s what I love about it and that’s why I continue to read everything she writes.
Although it was great to get some insight on some old characters my favorite part about this book was that I fell in love with a new character, Georgia. I enjoyed being in Georgia’s head so very much and absolutely adored all of her interactions with the other characters whether she was busy trying to be a badass or giving us a momentary glance at her vulnerability she truly made me love her from the very start.
…Until that blinding swirl of exclamation points and question marks masquerading as Georgia Hall barged into my life.
That is truly the best description of Georgia that could possibly be written. She is so full of piss and vinegar, so strong, so bold and yet she has wall upon wall built up around her that even when you see one breaking down you are left with new questions that you didn’t initially have.
Even if I could never act on those feelings, it would be nice to feel them. While I could still feel, that is.
This book teaches some beautiful lessons about what it is like to feel human. What it’s like to have flaws. What it’s like to have real s h i t to deal with. It thrusts us into the deepest and darkest parts of Georgia and Regan’s minds and shows us some raw examples of what it is like to constantly live in fear and hold secrets from those close to you. Like other books of Andrea’s this book hits some pretty dark topics. It’s real life. It shows the ups and downs these characters are going through and it shows that no matter what one thinks about people from their exterior there is always more going on inside.
One other great thing that I love about Andrea’s writing is that if you know anything about her she has a tendency to write about things that are near and dear to her heart. I love that she throws so much Massachusetts/Rhode Island into her stories. Obviously it means more to me since I am from around here but every single time it brings a smile to my face. I also know that she loves music and since music is one of my greatest loves in life I look forward to the fact that music is always so important in her stories. Andrea doesn’t just throw music in as a filler either. It is always very important to the story and to people like me, I understand the importance she places on it. One of my favorite parts of this story was Georgia’s initial reaction to hearing Regan play. I love when a band or an artist is better than I ever could have imagined and this is exactly what happened to Georgia…I’m pretty sure her exact words were, “Holy s h I t.” To me there is nothing better than that “holy s h I t” moment where you fall in love with a new sound.
Andrea also is a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and I am just amazed at the way she tied it into this story. Seriously, I effing LOVED it. I don’t want to give too much away about it because the journey of watching it all tie together was one of my favorite parts of this book. I think Georgia explained it best when she said, “Look at all of those adorable little light bulbs just bursting away over your head.” Yeah, it’s like she was watching me or something cause that’s EXACTLY how I felt too!
I could go on and on and on about this book. It was truly one of my favorite books of 2013 but I’m definitely to the point of rambling now. The wonderful thing about Sweet Forty-Two is that you can read it without reading her November Blue series and understand it BUT if you are looking for a great few books and have some time you will definitely benefit from reading Ten Days of Perfect and Reckless Abandon before Sweet Forty-Two. Not only will you have some strong emotional bonds with the characters but you will have the pleasure of seeing this story unfold and Andrea’s writing evolve.
Congrats on your new release, Andrea. You absolutely nailed this one.