Friday, February 3, 2017

738 Days by Stacey Kade

738 Days by Stacey Kade
Release Date -  June 7, 2016
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?
Sometimes the opening chapters of a novel are forgettable, and other times they are seared into your memory. 738 Days has an opening chapter that is one of the latter. Harrowing, clutching, and unflinching it demanded I read on. That is an accurate description of this novel as a whole, even though it is far more hopeful than the first chapter hints at.

Most women I imagine have, at some point, had the nightmare of being taken against their will and forcibly confined. It is something we're shown is a fear we should have.We see stories of victims and survivors in the news and, even if it is fleetingly think, that could be me. 738 Days looks at the reality of going back to your 'old' life after experiencing something so horrific. It also looks at the media , and public interest of the women who often just want to blend into the background. It reads as if a lot of research went into what this might feel like, and that comes through in the writing.

Amanda Grace may have escaped her captor, but the physical and emotional scars are nowhere near healed. Years later she is still haunted by the trauma that was inflicted on her, and dealing with severe post traumatic stress disorder along with triggered panic attacks. The sheer strength she portrays was inspiring. Her character is defined by her fierce instinct to keep trying, and to not give up. She may not by physically strong, but she is emotionally (even if she doesn't want to admit it). She may be struggling, but she never accepts things will remain the way they are. She is such a well written, nuanced character and I loved getting to experience her story.

Chase is a Hollywood screw up who is on his last chance. His addiction issues, and how they played a factor in a lot of his decisions is something that is not ignored. He has just as many issues as Amanda, even if his are of a entirely different nature. His story is one of redemption and forgiveness and is just as inspiring as Amanda's own journey. He stumbles, makes mistakes, but you always root for him to do the right thing because Stacey Kade ensures you understand him.

My favourite part of the romance is perhaps the care and patience that is shown. Chase knows that Amanda needs to do things on her terms, particularly when it comes to anything sexual. Her agency and choices are not only respected but sought out. It may seem remarkable that I wouldn't expect this in an novel about a rape survivor but this novel did feel unique in how considerate Chase was of Amanda's needs and wishes. Her agency throughout the whole book is something Amanda fights for. She wants to make her own decisions and reminds people that she needs to be allowed to for her to heal. It made the romance for me, and ensured I was fully invested in each of them getting a happy ending to their story.

My only minor issue was the pacing was a little off. The first half of the novel is stellar. The latter half is good, but not as gripping as the first. I enjoyed it all but the first half is so gripping that the difference, for me, was noticeable.

A well written, nuanced look at finding your way back from the darkness, and letting in the light. Stacey Kade has written a book that glimmers with hope even at its darkest moments. If you like romance novels with a bit of an edge this one definitely delivers and is one I would highly recommend.

1 comment:

  1. This story is absolutely terrifying -- I feel like I have to read it, though, it just seems too good to pass up. Thanks for sharing!

    Alyssa @ Purple People Readers


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