Title: Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined #1)
Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 23, 2014
I met Sarah Kate Erickson when I was 21 years old. I was lucky enough to keep her for seven years before a tragic accident stole her from me. She didn’t die, but sometimes I think it would have been easier if she had.
I lived in a haze for those four years after the accident. Catering to her every need, even though she hated the very sight of my face. I tried to hold on to her and the future that we were supposed to build together. But you can’t hold on to someone that doesn’t exist anymore.
It wasn’t until I met Jesse Addison, a barista at the local coffee shop, that I realized I didn’t just lose Sarah that tragic night, I lost myself as well. Jesse taught me how to let go of the past and learn to love again. But what happens when your past haunts your present and the woman you used to love refuses to accept the woman you can’t live without?
Review by Michelle
Changing Course by Aly Martinez is a debut novel? Seriously? You could have fooled me. The writing was powerful and emotive. It was funny and entertaining yet also tragic and tear-jerking. The storyline was original and interesting with so much depth it was completely consuming. The perfect mix of intensely heavy and heartbreaking and delightfully lighthearted and amusing. I was riveted. Suffice it to say this book should definitely not be started at 11:00 at night as I did or you may very well just find yourself up all night reading.
I could have read a whole book about Sarah and Brett’s back story. Their relationship was so fun, passionate, and full of love. When Brett described it as perfection I really believed it. Within just a few short pages I was completely wrapped up in their history. So much so that at first I didn’t really want to like Jesse and was almost begrudging of her and any potential new relationship that Brett may have. Jesse is such a heartwarming, genuine, and wonderful girl though that, much like Brett, I found myself irrevocably attached to her before I even realized it. Jesse is wonderfully innocent, appealing, and sassy all at the same time. She is completely endearing and hard not to love.
I just love how realistic this story is. Brett and Jesse’s relationship is not overly romanticized yet perfectly romantic. They have to tiptoe around each other a bit in the beginning. They have misgivings and misunderstandings. They have a strikingly intense connection, find it hard to stay away from each other, and get along marvelously but they don’t instantly profess their love for one another and there is no uncanny ability to know everything the other is thinking at any given moment. They fight, they have problems, they don’t always say the right thing, or do what they should. They are a real couple trying to make their way through real problems in hopes of forging a real and beautiful future.
Brett’s point of view was such an honest portrayal of pain, longing, undying love and devotion as well as acceptance, determination, and desire. I love a male perspective and Brett’s was perfect and extremely potent.
The end was surprising in more ways than one. There are a few twists and turns that are completely unexpected and really surprising. I really love that undeterred by, but also because of, all the turbulence that Brett and Jesse are forced to navigate Jesse was able to find her way not just in love but in life as well.
Changing Course is an incredible debut novel that I highly recommend. I am now anxiously awaiting Caleb’s story as I am left needing more and Caleb seems to have already stolen a piece of my heart. I can’t wait to see what is in store for him.
Prologue"Sarah, don't do this. Damn it! Stay with me." I reach over and gently brush her blood soaked hair off her forehead. Even in this horrific moment, I'm in absolute awe of how beautiful she looks. Bleeding and broken, unmoving in my arms she is still the most mesmerizing woman I have ever laid eyes on. Deep down, I know this just the husk of my wife. My Sarah would never have done this to herself. More importantly, she never would have done this to me. Maybe it takes this level of madness, but I finally realize that I have lost her completely.
Whether she lives or dies, Sarah is gone. This is not the woman who made me laugh more in seven years than the rest of my life combined. She definitely isn't the woman who I spent years planning a future with, a future that now no longer exists. I feel a heavy weight in my chest at my silent confession, but oddly enough I also feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. I have watched this woman disintegrate in front of my eyes for almost seven months; everyday losing her a little more. The light in her eyes fading, while piece by piece and bit by bit, she lost grip of reality. Mentally, emotionally, and now physically, she's left me.
My Sarah died seven months ago on her way home from dinner, and I will never see her walk back into my life. Suddenly, I can't breathe. I'm terrified, and not only because Sarah might finally succeed in taking her own life. I'm paralyzed by the realization that my life is spiraling down in a free fall headed straight for misery and the only thing I can think to do is anchor myself to this dying woman. I love Sarah with all my heart, but I am clinging not to the woman in my arms but rather to the life I thought we were going to have together. I have to accept that she isn't there anymore. Her heart might still be beating but the bloody, confused, emotionally lost woman I am holding now is only the shell of my first and only love.
"Where the fuck is that ambulance!" I yell as loud as my cracking voice will allow. Stroking the little bit of her unmarred skin that I'm able to reach, I whisper in her ear, "Hang on baby." Then I repeat the one sentence I have said almost daily since the tragic event that stole her from me. Maybe I say it for her, maybe just for me, but I know it is the biggest lie I have ever uttered. "Just hang on baby, it's all going to be okay."
About the Author
I’m a 32 year old wife and stay at home mom to four kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. My life is crazy, which is probably why I drink entirely too much wine. Oh who am I kidding, I had a love affair with wine long before the kids came along. I was born and raised in Savannah Georgia, but we recently moved to Chicago. Let me tell you, this southern girl was not ready for the cold weather up here!
I’m an avid reader, but I haven’t always been that way. A few years ago my sister loaned me her Nook Color, and it changed my life forever. In the span of about two years, I read over 500 books. My newfound love of reading led me to start a book blog with two of my best friends. (Insert shameless plug here: WhiteZinBookends.com). Through WZ Bookends, I've had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing authors, bloggers, and readers out there. Now that I have taken the leap into writing my own book, they’ve all shown me endless amounts of encouragement and support.
While driving home from Walmart one day in late October, a story embedded itself in my head and would not let go. It spiraled out of control until I finally opened my laptop and started writing. This journey has been a wild ride filled with tears, hand cramps, and tons of laughs. I love company, so follow me at one of the social links below and join me aboard this crazy train!