I have been in a reading/reviewing abyss. Sure I’ve read this and that, I’ve even read some pretty great books. But I haven’t read anything a quite a few weeks that has had me needing to review it…. Until now. Kaleidoscope Hearts has broken my book slump! Hurrah!
He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.
One of us did.
One of us left.
Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it
This story devoured me. I was hoping for heart squeezing intensity and I got that and more. The last time I had such a major case of the FEELS over a book was when I read BATM by the super talented Penny Reid…. So for this book to take me to that place was beyond expectation.
The first boy I fell in love with used to regale me with stories about kings and queens and war and peace, and how he hoped to one day be somebody’s knight in shining armor. I lived vicariously through his late night adventures, watching the way he swung his hands animatedly as he told his stories, and loving the way his green eyes twinkled when I laughed at his jokes. He taught me what it feels like to be touched and thoroughly kissed. Later, he taught me the pain one feels at the loss of someone that you’ve grown attached to. The one thing he forgot to teach me was how to deal with the way my chest squeezed after he broke the ghost of what heart I had left. I’d always wondered if it had been a missed lesson. Now I wonder if maybe he’d been trying to figure it out for himself, or if he just never felt anything at all.
I loved LOVED LOOOOOVED these two main characters, Elle and Oliver. These two have possibly ruined me for this genre for a wee while… Elle has been through a lot, she’s suffered loss and heartbreak, she’s not all together whole. She is perfectly broken, endearing in all of the right ways. I commiserated with her, I was angry and sad with her, I felt her hope and her passion, I felt her happiness and above all I felt her reawakening. This is a female character worth investing in. No attention to detail was spared when the author sat down to write about Elle and her story and I really appreciate this, if you’re going to read about a character who has been through so much and has so much emotional cleaning out and organizing to do you want to be able to buy it…
Oliver was written in much the same careful way, whilst maintaining that mysteriousness that we all love to see in our leading men. This guy has joined my super selective book boyfriend list. How could he not? A paediatric doctor who I’m sure leaves drooling women in his wake while being his effortlessly cool self, no he’s not without his quirks and not so fabulous bits, but it wouldn’t be a novel if he was perfect would it!
Life is short, and brutal, and painful, and it takes loved ones away from us as quickly as it brings them into our lives, but it’s also beautiful.
I think a big part of why I felt I got such a well rounded complete picture of these two characters and their story is the clever use of flashback chapters… These little gems were carefully sprinkled throughout the story and the combination not only provided a complete timeline of their romance, but also their own personal stories of growth and discovery. Love doesn’t need to be completely co-dependant, there is a beauty to watching characters grow and change and come into themselves as adults before the strings of a relationship start to pull tight.
So as you can tell I completely and utterly fell in love with this book. I would definitely read this again, and probably again after that! This book was a very lucky random find on one of my endless Amazon browsing missions. Claire Contreras can expect me to be reading pretty much anything she puts out next and I intend to go through her prior releases while I’m at it. So get ready Claire… There’s a new fangirl around and she’s super grateful to you for ripping her out of her book slump!