I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller has to be the most thought provoking books I've EVER read. It is brilliant, captivating, and absolutely beautiful. The writing. The characters. Everything. This phenomenal read gave me the best heartache I've ever had.
"The simplicity of living astounds me. But it's the terror of death that devours me."
For Aubrey Miller, death is what she knows. It consumes her. She brings death to everyone she loves. Or so she believes. This beautiful blonde hair, blue eyed girl becomes engulfed into complete darkness. She completely alters her look. She becomes Raven. The girl who wants no personal connections. The girl who allows solitude to be her way of life. Until college. A friendship connection with Quinn Matthews, her roommate, and Kaeleb McFadden changes everything. Slowly Aubrey comes back. But, when tragedy strikes, her past comes back with a vengeance. Darkness threatens to consume her again. It is only friendship and love (the two things she's avoided all her life) that can save her. Is that enough?
"I know you're still in there, Bree. And I will find you."
THIS BOOK. It is like no other. It will consume you. It is utterly and completely heartbreakingly beautiful. Aubrey is completely broken. She is a shell of her former self. But Quinn and Kaeleb awaken the light within her. Kaeleb happens to be the best friend she left behind years ago, but she has never forgotten. While she recognizes him right away, she is not completely sure if he remembers her. But the soul does not forget it's first love. And despite how Aubrey has altered herself, Kalaeb still finds himself completely, irrevocably in love with her.
"A kiss that will forever alter my life and revive my soul."
Kaeleb McFadden is THE epitome of a soul mate. His love for Aubrey knows NO boundaries. His soul found hers, beneath the darkness. His love went beyond the darkness and found her light. His love never gave up. It never faltered. His love just is.
"...and even though you didn't know it at the time, I knew I had finally found you, My soul breathed for the first time in ten years."
This beautifully written book will shatter your heart and put it back together piece by piece. It is a heavy read, dark at times, but so worth it. There are books that you read. And there are books that you LIVE. The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller is one of those books. You FEEL everything. You hang on to every word. At times it left me speechless. It left me breathless. How can someone put all this emotion of pain, heartache, tragedy, and love within one book and turn it into one of the most beautiful and heartfelt stories I have ever read? L.B. Simmons goes where authors don't go. She goes straight for your heart with her writing. And she doesn't let go until the end. And even then your heart is still reeling over this story and it's characters.
"You're my balance."
"You're a life altering experience."
This book completely changed the reading game for me. No more mediocre love stories. I want all consuming, soul-searching love like Aubrey and Kaeleb. This was my first book by this author and she will forever be on my "buy anything she writes" shelf. This book consumed me. It captivated my heart and I am not sure if I will ever get it back.
The memory escapes slowly from its confinement, almost cautiously, before finally freeing itself, rushing my mind so quickly I physically wince in response. The pain it will yield is inevitable and I’m defenseless against it as it begins to replay in my mind:
“I don’t want to go, Kaeleb. I’m scared.” I wipe the endless streams of tears from my cheeks as I search desperately for the relief of comfort from his glistening eyes. But there’s nothing that can help me now. Cold darkness threatens to swallow me as I’m pulled under and barely breathing. I’m dying. Just like my family.
“Bree,” he responds, quickly removing the salty trails of sorrow from his own face. “You have to go. You – ”
“I know. I have no one here.” I sigh. “They’re all…gone.”
Kaeleb nods ever so slightly before pulling me into his arms. Only eight years old, same age as me, yet his hold feels so strong, so secure. I know he doesn’t want to let me go, and as the pretty lady with the rose perfume comes to break us apart, the need for us to grasp onto each other becomes more frantic. She calls for help and as they pry us apart, the tears continue to roll down our cheeks with the knowledge that this will be our last moment together. We hold as tightly as we can, but are eventually broken apart, our fingers the last to let go as we reach for each other.
“I love you, Kaeleb,” I whisper to myself as they gently guide me into the back seat of an unknown car. Before they close me in I scream as loudly as I can. “You’re my best friend!”
His eyes meet mine as they shut the door between us. With purpose, he stalks to the car and just as they start the engine, he places his palm flat on the window with his fingers spread as far as they will go. Slamming my hand against the cool glass, I mirror his gesture, knowing this will be the last time I will ever be in the presence of my friend. My best friend.
As we drive away, I watch out the back window as he runs down the street as long as his weary legs can carry him. They eventually buckle underneath him and his knees hit the ground, unable to keep up any longer.
Throwing my hand against the back window, the car turns the corner and I lose sight of him. Not until he’s gone do I allow myself to surrender to the darkness. I no longer fight for the need to breathe as I let go. Stepping out of myself, I watch the pretty, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl slowly dying as she sinks, spiraling lower and lower, until finally disappearing into the bottomless pit that consumes her.
“Hell-ooooo!” Quinn’s voice filters slowly through the searing pain of my memory, bringing me back into the present where I’m still standing on my bed and the damn poster is still swinging from side-to-side behind me. But now, instead of the sound barely registering, it’s grating against my eardrums like nails on a chalkboard.
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.
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