"There is a message for everything. From handwritten to verbal, seen and unseen. Messages exist all around us."
But when if you don't see it?
What if you don't understand?
What if, by ignoring the message, your life is never the same again?
Estelle Evermore morphed from nobody to somebody overnight. Galloway Oak put his past behind him and endeavoured to make his fortune using his trade.
Multiple unseen messages.
From sky to island, they find neither fame nor skills can save them. Stripped from society and left alone to survive the elements, the very task of staying alive outweighs all other needs.
Until survival turns to desire.
And desire turns to danger.
From New York Times bestseller Pepper Winters comes a timeless love story answering the question of what happens when everything is stripped away.
Life offers everyone messages. Either unnoticeable or obvious, it's up to us to pay attention. I didn't pay attention.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Whew, this book is really hard to review. It is intense, nerve racking, heartbreaking, and absolutely beautiful. Please don’t let my 3.5 star rating make you think I didn’t enjoy Pepper’s latest novel – I truly did. However, there were a couple elements that prevented me from full-blown loving this story.
After being on tour, constantly surrounded by people and admiring fans, introvert Estelle Evermore wants nothing more than to get home to her beloved cat, decompress, and recharge her batteries. But when she arrives at the airport to fly home, everything seems to take a strange turn; multiple occurrences send up red flags and warning signs. Chilling messages that make Estelle think she shouldn’t get on this flight. She doesn’t listen to them, and she gets on the plane. This fateful flight brings aspiring builder, Galloway Oak, forcefully into her life and now two strangers must learn how to depend on someone they met only hours ago…because their survival rests equally on each other’s shoulders.
When I think of Pepper Winters, a few words come to mind – dark, gritty, taboo. Her previous novels have straight ruined me (in a sickeningly fantastic way), but Unseen Messages is a whole different beast. And for the record, the fact that this is a departure from the style of her other books I have read has no bearing on the rating. Pepper’s writing is brilliant, and I was immediately immersed in this story from page 1. She set a chilling tone of unease right out of the gate that had my nerves on edge; it seemed like the perfect storm of something in the universe trying to tell you “Don’t do what you’re about to do, DON’T. DO. IT.” While this was a long novel, I never once found myself bored. The intricate details, tragedies, and triumphs that Pepper weaves throughout this story of survival kept me reaching for my Kindle during any spare minute of my day. (Seriously, I was stealth reading at work…I promise I’m a star employee when a good book isn’t within reach…which is always…okay I’m digging myself a hole, just nevermind).
So, at this point you might be thinking “Okay, this walnut has done nothing but rave about Unseen Messages. What type of rating system does she have if she’s giving this 3.5 stars?!” I have a method, people! While the story was very enjoyable, the main issue for me was the overwhelming insta-love aspect. I’m not one that typically jumps on board with insta-love stories, because I appreciate the gradual build of a relationship. Now that’s not to say insta-love can’t be done and done well, but this was poured on a little too thick for me. It made sense that two people would fall in love with each other given their circumstance, but I would have enjoyed their love story infinitely more if the L word hadn’t been dropped so early. And for me, the initial mention of falling in love seemed a tad cheesy. Aside from the insta-love, there were a couple other arcs in their relationship that unfortunately left me disappointed. To me, they weren’t necessary; this was a brilliantly written story without them. *le sigh*
Few issues aside, Unseen Messages was a story that will have you pulling for these characters with every emotion and tug at your heartstrings time and time again. In the midst of isolation and tragedy, two strangers found survival and love – not just with each other, but within themselves.
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