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The Day He Went Away by Jennifer Millikin

Author: Jennifer Millikin
Date Released: November 10, 2016
Genre: Romance
Rating:  4 Stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoyed this story. It was real, emotional and raw. The main characters were well developed and the author's descriptive writing was on point.  I felt like I was with Katie while she was grieving and while she was struggling to get her life together. I absolutely love second chance romances and this book was a great example of how great they can be.  The Day He Went Away is about a young lady named Katie who, ten years later, discovers that she is in love with her best friend, Ethan.  While their relationship starts to bloom, Ethan's life is, unfortunately, cut short while he is deployed overseas.  Finding it incredibly hard to cope with her best friend's death, Katie goes into a deep depression and loses herself in alcohol.  Ethan's soldier in arms friend, Nick, has been assigned the duty of taking care of Katie in the event of Ethan's death. I liked Kate, but her friend was a class a bitch and a horrible friend.  The things that her friend said was harsh and I was happy when Katie came to her senses.

Okay….Okay enough of the summarizing because I want to get to the good part of this review.  The book…This book was G-O-O-D.  From the moment that Ethan is introduced and up until the moment of his untimely death, I loved his character.  Ethan has been in love with Katie for ten years and even though Katie did not return that love in the way that Ethan wanted, he waited for her.  So sweet, right? Ethan's last goodbye to Sarah when he was going back overseas was so emotional.  The author wrote this scene with passion and finesse and I cried like a baby while I was reading it.  Usually I do not like to read about death because it simply kills my moods, but reading about the death of Ethan gave the story depth and character. I was really sad because I knew that Ethan was going to die because it was in the blurb.  The author handled his death with grace and emotion and she wrote it so well.    I also appreciate that at the beginning of book, the book's POV jumped from Ethan's to Katie's, but it did not tell the story from Nick's POV.  The author made it clear that this book was all about Katie and her journey to accept that it okay to grieve and love again.

The pacing was a little off for me because the author took a lot of time with Katie's grief. The other parts of the story's pacing was satisfactory, but Katie's grief was dragged along.  Katie's grieving process was stretched and the author began to become very repetitive.  in the book she is grieving for Ethan and her way of thinking turns me off.  Okay here is the scenario, after discovering that alcohol numbs her and allows her to see Ethan alive in her dreams, she becomes an alcoholic.  She believes that Ethan is alive and pushes everyone away.  She says that "she can't take the risk of losing Ethan again."  I understand that she was grieving but her way of thinking makes no sense at all. She  has already lost him in the worst possible way and I just do not know why the author will use this as an excuse. The fact that their birthdays fall on the same day was too coincidental for me, but it added that closeness of their relationship and it also make their relationship that much sweeter. I was so glad when Nick and Katie's relationship start to bloom because their relationship was beautiful.  I loved Nick for Katie and he was a good friend to Ethan.  Overall this book was emotional, compelling and definitely a book to add to your wish list. 


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