I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As I write this review, tears are streaming down my face. Is this book sad? Yes. Are there happy moments? Absolutely. Why the tears? Because I don't think I've ever read such a beautifully written story in my life. Never has a book touched me in a way this one did. I was completely engaged in this story from the first page until the last, and even after. Days later I am still reeling over this story. Every feeling I had while reading it came rushing back. I had to really think about what I wanted to say as I wasn't sure I could do this book justice with words. I sobbed while reading this story. And even after. The characters will stay with me for a very long time.
"I didn't want people to feel sorry for me. I was a warrior. I'd beaten cancer twice, and I could do it again-at least that's what I told myself."
Kate was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 11. Now as a teen in highschool, the cancer is back. And it's back stronger than ever. She does what she knows how to do. She fights. Then in walks, bad boy Damian. Never in her life she expect him. His troubled past should be a reason why she should stay away from him. But she can't. And he can't stay away from her. Damian knows pain. Not like Kate, but it hurts the same. He knows loss. It is what drives his behavior. But with Kate? Things are different. He wants to be different.
"You don't expect me to be someone I'm not."
Kate and Damian develop a friendship that develops into a relationship where they fall in love. This love is like no other. Their love doesn't see leukemia. It doesn't see pain or loss. It just is. Their love believes in the impossible. It goes places where love doesn't go. Their love saves. It endures. And it is the most passionate kind of love that you will ever experience as a reader.
"Pain, even through it hurts, made us stronger-if it didn't destroy us first."
FEELS. Love, Always Kate? Oh it has FEELS. I cried a lot throughout this book. I cried through the happy times, the sad times. You will feel EVERY emotion while reading this story. Every Single. One. How can two people that have come face to face with death fall in love? Easy. They just do. Slowly. Passionately. Completely. Irrevocably. In. Love.
"You're not broken, baby. You could never disappoint anyone."
As the relationship grows between Kate and Damian, leukemia is still in their lives. Kate continues to fight, but she has been fighting since she was 11 years old. Damian and Kate face issues that teenagers should never encounter and they handle it with such poise and grace. They are challenged in every way, yet their love continued to persevere and grow. I know you're wondering if there's a HEA. I can't tell you that. That would ruin the entire story and be a huge disservice. You will do more than read this story. You will live it. You will experience it. This is the kind of book that reminded me why I enjoy reading. THIS BOOK. It goes where many attempt to go, but fall short.
"I want to love with all my heart. Give all I have, experience all I can, and leave behind one piece of me that will never be forgotten."
Love, Always Kate is SO much more than a story about a girl that has leukemia that falls in love with a boy. It's about hope. That all we have is hope, but since we have it, make the best of it. It's about love. That love goes even into the darkest places and beyond. That love saves. It makes life worth living for. That in all things, choose love.
"I'm choosing life. Moments. Memories. For you."
"Always isn't long enough."
The author's writing is completely flawless and captivating. You are completely immersed into the story from the first page. Even though Damian and Kate are in their late teens, I easily related to them. The emotions in the story are raw. Genuine. The story tore my heart to pieces and I am not sure if I ever got it back. It went beyond where I thought it would ever go. Damian's love for Kate went deep. It changed him. Who knew love could do that?
You're worth it."
I don't think my words can ever truly capture the emotions I felt through this book. My words cannot fully explain how beautiful this story really was. And I tried. Love Always, Kate is beyond a five star read for me. It is heartbreaking, emotional, yet hauntingly beautiful. I didn't love this book. I lived it. There is so much to learn from this story. Love with all of your heart. And when you do, love harder. Love comes when you least expect it, so you embrace it and never let go. Kate and Damian's story is one I will never forget.
"Life isn't about merely surviving. It's about living."
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
I knew before I even read this book how it was going to end, I knew I was going to ugly cry and I knew it would touch a nerve within me, did that stop me reading it? No way! I devoured this book in just over a day; it was that bad I was desperate to leave work to finish it. I had to know more about Kate’s journey and if all her dreams came true.
Kate’s cancer is back and that sucks, she’s defeated it twice before but she fears she is not lucky enough for a third time. On the outside, however, she is brave for her parent’s sake and she faces her condition head on. All Kate longs for is a ‘normal’ childhood, she longs for friends to gossip with and to go shopping with, she wants to gush over guys and see interest in their eyes instead of pity. But countless hospital appointments and a balding head takes her dreams away from her. This time may be different though; the day she runs into Damian Lowell changes everything.
“Is it too much to hope that maybe, just maybe, he could look past the cancer and see me?”
Damian is your typical rebelling teenager, after a family tragedy his father threw himself into work and Damian was left to grieve on his own. Drink, drugs and careless mistakes followed. When he discovers Kate during one of her treatments, she intrigues him. She has so much fire inside her despite her condition and Damian admires that, he soon can’t get enough of her and not only is he changing Kate’s life but she is leaving a last impression on his.
“He wrapped his arms under me, holding me tight. His face nestled in my neck. “Now you’re al mine, Katie. All mine.”
Love Always, Kate was a sweet tale of first love in the most impossible circumstances. Both Kate and Damian understood firsthand how finite life really is and instead of living in fear, they chose to live life to the fullest. I cried from the first chapter and by the last, I was a sobbing mess. I think at one point I couldn’t even read the words on the page. There is a realness to the story, Kate’s condition is well detailed and true to life, it makes her journey all the more real and heartbreaking and it’s testament to the author’s writing that I could relate in the way I did.
“Being strong means allowing yourself to cry over the things you can’t change; laugh when things are funny; smile when you’re happy. It means understanding where your breaking point is, and yet, going further and still remaining whole.”
Damian isn’t the easiest character to love, and there were a few things that I didn’t get and felt more clarification would have made me empathise with him but instead I think it portrayed him as heartless a few times and turned me off his character. I had to remind myself he’s and eighteen year old boy and we all cope with heavy situations differently. But I did see the good in him and Kate made him a better person, he tried so hard to clean up his act and be deserving of her and for that I couldn’t fault him.
“I wanna see the sun rise with you every morning for the rest of my life.” What felt like minutes passed before he answered. His voice cracked when he did. “That’s a whole lot of sunrises. Are you sure you can put up with me for that long? “That long and longer.” I touched his face wiping away a tear. “For always.” He buried his face in my neck. “Always isn’t long enough.”
This was my first book by D. Nichole King and I really enjoyed her writing, I fell into the story immediately. It was paced well and she captured the emotions of each character perfectly. The story was about being grateful for what we are given and not regretting a moment. To love and be loved is the greatest feeling in the world and I’m glad Kate got to experience it all.
“If it’s possible, I love him more today than yesterday. I gave him all of me, and I don’t want myself back. I’m his for always.”
There were a few points during the story I wished for Damian’s point of view, we got a little of that via diary entries, I think if this was expanded on I could have understood him more. There is going to be a second book and to be honest, I’m undecided if I will read it. I think Love Always, Kate is a beautiful story in its own right and sometimes things are better left untouched. But with that being said I know others will be desperate for more and a follow up can provide that for them.
If you are looking for a Young Adult romance that will touch your heart then you need to read this one today, it will certainly stay with me for a long time.
Born and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.
She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now she can’t stop.
When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.
Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.
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