Wednesday, December 17, 2014

REVIEW... Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.

Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.
 


Poughkeepse GOODREADS


This Book Nerd Says: 

So I tend to be one of those readers who likes to devour a book. I'm voraacious, once I pick it up I don't like to put it down until I'm finished. But sometimes, sometimes, I can't put it down. Reading Poughkeepsie was one of those times. 
Daily Livia McHugh passes countless people as she catches her train in to the city. She offers them all a smile in passing, unthinking it truly matters. Until the day she steps up to defend the young homeless man that she likes to call Green Eyes. In that moment she begins to feel more connected to him than she's felt in a very long time. 
"But when you saw me for the first time, you actually saw me. You saw me, and then you smiled like i was just the same as everyone else on that platform..." 
As their friendship shifts into so much more, it's tested at every possible turn by themselves and others around them. As much as I fell for Blake and his broken soul, I was so happy to say that Livia was an amazing MC. She is smart and strong at the same time she is emotional and tender. She loves hard, but she also loves smart. Even if that doesn't make sense to you know, I hope it does when you read this story and come to know Livia. It's easy to see why Blake and Livia love each other.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Livia and Blake's love story is just part of what made Poughkeepsie so special. I was stunned by how many characters I became enamored with simultaneously. There's also the tale of brotherhood, a brotherhood forged by three kids who were different yet came to love each other more than anything. Blake introduces Livia (and us) to his brothers, Beckett and Cole. Throughout the rest of the story we get glimpses of how this forged family came to be, and how serious they take their vow to one another. 
A vow to protect each other and keep each other safe has led them to three completely different paths, yet the bond they have keep them tied together for better or for worse. 
I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a favorite though. Beckett steals the show.
He's amazingly alpha...but for his family. Beckett proves to us time and time again that he would do anything to protect his brothers. When Livia, Kyle, and Eve enter the picture, they also become his family. It's in those relationships we get to see that rough and tough Beckett is probably the most tender hearted one. Everything he does, good/bad/otherwise, is for the benefit of the ones he loves, to give them a chance at a better life. And that just makes me love him even more.  
You ever watch a movie and find yourself rooting for the bad guys to get away from the cops... that is kind of how it was for me and Beckett. Except I find it really hard to see him as the bad guy. Don't misunderstand that for me saying that yes some of the things Beckett does is absolutely wrong. But it's really hard to see him as a bad guy for me. 
Especially when we compare him to the real villains of the book (and there are a few doozies). 


"Blake's company made me want to hug trees and hear music. Cole's company made me want to try harder to be a better person. I never imagined that anyone could love either of these men enough for me to let them go..."  

I kept going back and forth between a 4 and 4.5 star rating for this book. I think the thing that had me pulling back a little was a little of the violence (yeah there's some of that in there). It gave me some pretty intense visualizations and there came a point where there seemed to be a lot to handle. So I took a day after reading to really think about it. I'm not sure the story would be quite the same without it. Seeing (reading) what the brothers had to deal with and how Beckett exacted justice... I think it's necessary to get the true perspective of their characters and the POVs they were operating from. So I'm going to give it a final rating of 4.5 stars.

Can I also add that I didn't realize until I finished the book that this was the first book in a trilogy?
Yup. I am so excited to visit Poughkeepsie again now to see what happens next! 

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