Publisher: 5 Spot
Number of Pages: 368
Source: Hachette Book Group
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
Rachel Braun was the inspiration to a group of her friends, the one who lived each day to the fullest - and the one whose life was cut tragically short. Upon her untimely death, Rachel left letters for her three best friends challenging them to face their biggest fears.
Sarah, an international relief worker, must travel halfway around the world to track down the only man she ever loved. Stay-at-home mom, Kate, must confront her fear of heights by skydiving and soon finds that her new hobby is affecting her once-tranquil marriage. And Jo, a media mogul voted "least likely to breed," is given the most terrifying assignment of all: caring for Rachel's orphaned and grieving little girl.
Even as these women mourn Rachel's passing, her legacy lives on and their lives are enriched by a friend who, in many ways, knew them better than they knew themselves.
"When the rumbling Cessna heaved into the sky, Kate Jansen completely lost her nerve."
I truly loved the story-line of this book, it was just so heart-warming and incredible. If you've ever been touched by someone who had an untimely death, you can relate to Sarah, Jo and Kate. Their best friend passes away, but before she does, she writes everyone separate letters instructing them on one fear they must face. Even though the reader never really gets to know Rachel, she is an easy character to fall in love with. She is a fly by the seat of her pants kind of girl, who doesn't really let anything stop her. She is truly an inspiration, and although she is no longer alive, she lives on in the other three women. I would honestly have to say that Rachel was my favorite character.
I really loved the challenges that Rachel gave Jo, Kate and Sarah. They were very fitting, and showed each woman that while it is okay to mourn for their loss, they have to go on.
This book had many great qualities: the storyline, the characters, the writing style, yet I still feel like it lacked in other areas. I felt like the book was somewhat slow-going, and at times I was almost a little bored. I'm all for a long book, so long as the entire time I am engaged...I just didn't get that from this book. I wanted to see how everything played out, but it seemed like I had to do a lot of work to get to that point.
Negativity aside, I honestly think that this was a book that anyone who has ever lost anyone should read.
"That night I knew it wasn't the end for us -- that the thing that bound us together, the thing we all understood deep down, was that life -- however we chose to live it -- was something you embraced with open eyes and a full heart -- and that if we made an effort, we could be friends like this forever."
Likes: The incredible story line, and amazing characters.
Dislikes: It was a little too drawn out for me.
Favorite Characters: Rachel & Jo
Least Favorite Character: Mrs. Braun
Writing Style: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.75/5
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This in no way affected my review.