Thursday, November 23, 2017

ARC Review: The Map To You by Lindy Zart

The Map to You

Author: Lindy Zart
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Pages: Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Genre: NA
Release Date: November 28th 2017


They both had secrets that could drive people apart—or bring them together forever . . .

Keeping his inner demons at bay means Blake Malone has more than enough trouble on his plate. He doesn’t need any extra complications. But that’s exactly what he gets when, on his way to North Dakota, he leaves his truck unattended—and returns to find a beautiful woman sleeping in the front seat.

Opal Allen seems to have a knack for attracting trouble. Which is why she isn’t about to tell her new road trip companion the real reason she needs to hightail it out of town. But Blake has a way of seeing right through her, which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Now her biggest problem is figuring out how to resist their undeniable attraction. Because once this road trip is over, she plans on never seeing Blake again.

But the best adventures don’t go according to plan.

OMG! This was so amazing! Heart breaking, shattering really but so so beautiful!

Zart slowly sneaked her way into my heart, then bit by bit dismantled it until it was a shattered mess on the floor. Then she went about to put it back together again, she added a little joy, quirk and a whole lot of hope to it. My heart sores.

I think this is one of the most touching books I read in 2017. Even if at first glance it just looks like a quirky, off-beat romance, somehow it was much more, for me at least.

Blake , who we met in Roomies, is a perfectly flawed male lead. He seems like a tough, difficult guy at first, but quickly we get to discover he is really generous. I could totally relate to Blake and loved his POV. Not because I had any kind of issues that he faced growing up, but because I got his bond with his grandfather and I can relate to the feeling down. Also let's face it I am "mrs. sunshine" lol. Grumpy and scary to approach at first, but a big old marshmallow if you dare to overlook it. I got his fears and his struggles, felt his worries and hopes. One of the best male leads I had the pleasure to read in a long long time
Opal is quirky and off beat. Again extremely well written. It took me a bit longer to relate to her. Partly because she was so mysterious about stuff, partly because she is rather opposite to me. A beautifully strong female lead, with passion and talent I could only dream of. I was awed by her braveness and heartbroken over her lostness. (is that even a word?) Her tendencies to spin stories was kinda off putting - as a character trait- but I found it beyond entertaining.
The support cast is brilliant. Vibrant characters that set off the lead. It was really fun to see Graham and Kennedy from Blakes POV. And let me tell you, they so different from how I remember them. I love how Zart made them look fluffy and slightly wacko in Blake's eyes. I love even more how he ends up admitting, that they are quirky but not completly insane. With that one gets to see the Graham and Kennedy I grew to love in Roomies.
Now let me assure you, while this is a spin-off from Roomies, you don't have to read it. This works perfectly as a stand-alone. If you however read Roomies; this isn't another take of it. It is much darker and has little to do with Roomies- other than, the writing style and humor.

This is written beautifully. So many interesting moments of insight. So many moments that made me laugh, plenty of moments that seared themselves into my heart. All wrapped up in Zart's fun to the point writing style. I am definitely a fan of Zart's prose. So poignant yet easy going. I can't wait for her next book!

About 3/4 of the plot is set only over a few days. So this is kinda super fast. But funny enough it's not totally insta. I got the connection between Opal and Blake, it made sense. Perfectly so. Though I wish Zart would have explored their chemistry a little more.
I absolutely love the end. L.O.V.E it. It's kinda open-ended, but not. It is at a point of beginning, the end of a chapter. Just.. sigh. Love it.
The banter between Blake and Opal is another favorite about the book.

All of this is fun. But the thing I loved most? The underlying message.
The characters are flawed. They are even pretty broken. They have a terrible past. But they make peace with it. Even more they work towards who they want to be. They hope.
And that's what growing up is for me. Letting go of the past, letting go of what everyone expects from you and decided what or who you want to be. Moving towards that step by step, driven by hope and helped by loved ones.
It is the most exciting view of life if you ask me. The most hopeful. To be who you want to be, for yourself. Taking that leap and that responsibility that's adulting, if you ask me, not paying your bills.
It gives one an unlimited amount of possibilities and the acceptance of who you are. Facing yourself, will make you face, what you were in your past. Examining your demons- whatever they are and most importantly gives us the power to letting go of them. It has been one of the most crucial discovery in my adulthood and Zart putting it into novel form, touched my heart.


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