Friday, September 2, 2016

Release Day Review ~ The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis

Release Day Review ~ The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis

Title: The Red Thread
Author: Bryan Ellis
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 256
GoodReads ~ Dreamspinner


After a suicide attempt left him hospitalized for seven months, Jesse Holbrooke is returning home to live with his parents. Despite the treatment he received, his depression hangs like a cloud over his head, casting his life in a perpetual darkness he can’t seem to escape. But just when the obstacles become insurmountable, a glimmer of light appears.

Life hasn’t been easy for Adam Foster, a barista with a bad stutter, but he keeps his chin up and tries not to let the mockery of others get to him. Though shy, Adam is sweet and romantic, and Jesse knows they could be perfect for each other. Adam’s support gives Jesse the courage to face the darkness and believe in the possibility of happiness at last. But if their romance is going to last, both young men will have to look inside and find acceptance—for themselves as well as for each other.

4 Stars

*Copy provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review*

This was a powerful book, but it was a daunting task to read at times. Jess faces so much darkness in his life, darkness I understand and can relate to. I have walked in his shoes. I have been to those dark places and faced those doubts and fears. I've let and still let those little voices tell me I'm not good enough, and people don't or can't love me. I've felt as alone as Jess has and he's right, sometimes you can be in a room full of people and still feel so alone and helpless, like you'll never be happy again. 

I do have a couple friends, but I also have my books. They have always been there for me throughout everything. I’m one big stereotype. A depressed person who reads books.

This is so me. I could have spoken these words myself. I escape into books, as well. I think the reason I am so drawn to books is an escape, but I also find myself drawn to very dark reads, and I think it's because I want to know that I'm not alone, and that there is hope. Jess is a complex and well developed character, but he was also a frustrating character. I'm not sure if he didn't want help at times, or if he was just too far gone to ask for it. Others can't make you better and they can't force you to ask for help, and although I understand that, it was hard to watch him fall back into that black pit. 

Let's talk about Adam. I absolutely loved him! Adam was so sweet and caring. He was sort of childlike and had a refreshing innocence about him. I wish we had gotten a few chapters with his POV and gotten to know him better. I think his POV would have broken the book up a bit, so it wasn't so dark throughout.  Adam was so good for Jess and he cared so much for him. He was an amazing character. 

For the most part the book is well-written and while some parts were slow moving, most of it flowed well. At the beginning of the story I found the author's writing to be overly descriptive. (Jess picked up his red hoodie, put it over his head, zipped it up, and picked up his black Chuck Taylor's  off the beige carpeted floor, slipped them on over his white socks and tided them tightly.) Jess put on his hoodie and shoes would have sufficed just fine. I don't need all that detail. Thankfully, as the book moved forward, this wasn't as much of an issue. 

“G-g-give me your, your hand,” he orders, and I follow suit. He begins to wrap the red thread around my fingers.
 “There is, is this ancient p-proverb that I l-l-l-love. It g-g-goes like this: ‘An in-invisible r-r-r-red thread c-c-connects those who, who are d-d-destined t-to meet, r-r-regardless of t-t-t-t-time, p-place, or cir-cir-circumstance.’”
 He continues to wrap the thread through our fingers, tangling it as much as he can. “‘The thread m-may s-s-s-s-s-stretch or t-tangle, but it, it w-will never b-b-b-b-b b-b-b-b-break.’”
When he is done talking, the long red thread is wrapped around both our hands, and he clasps his hands in mine. The thread is tangled between our fingers. Right now it feels as if we are one. With his hand in mine, as we are tangled in the thread, I, for the first time in my life, believe that maybe something did bring us together. Maybe there is such thing as fate, and maybe Adam and I are meant for one another. “I think the w-w-w-world brought m-m-me you, Jess. S-s-s-s-s-some things a-a-a-aren’t c-c-coincidence.”

I thought the ending was realistic. With a mental illness you fight everyday, even with proper medications, you'll fight the rest of your life. The darkness will likely swallow you up once more, but with professional help, family, friends and med changes you can get through. I'm so glad in the end Adam is there by Jess' side, every step of the way. They had an amazing chemistry and you could feel the love they share coming off the pages at you. 

As I said, it wasn't always an easy read, but I think it was a realistic account of someone suffering from severe depression. If suicide is a trigger, I wouldn't recommend it. If you do read it, I'd recommend a light and fluffy read on the side for some cheering up. All in all, this was an enjoyable read. 

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