Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L.B. Simmons

Received from author in exchange for an honest review 

5 Sunshine filled stars
After reading the synopsis, I needed to get my hands on this book immediately. The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller was my introduction to LB Simmons’ work and now I am kicking myself for not discovering this author sooner. To say this was a poignant read is an understatement. It was a paradox – causing me to wonder how this author created such magic that was both devastatingly soul shattering, yet extraordinarily heart warming. Page after page, I felt as if I was thrown head first into a tumultuous cyclone, as I fluctuated between feeling gut wrenching despair and absolute elation. It was a wondrously profound story of friendship, grief, self-discovery and the healing power of love.

Meet Aubrey (Bree) Miller.

I'm dark, dreary, morbid.
I hate the person I've become.
A child surrounded by death whose life is consumed by guilt and grief. A scarred little girl left only to survive losing her entire family by locking up all memories of her past and reinventing herself. Aubrey is lost as ‘Raven’ emerges, her self-loathing emo-goth-like alter ego. The girl she once was has been masked, hiding behind crazy makeup, hair, contacts and body piercings. She purposefully becomes unrecognizable, disallowing all from seeing her pain or tempting to breach impenetrable walls surrounding her heart.

I am death. 
And I bring it to all who love me.

Her tragedies struck me, and I was truly saddened when seeing how Raven emotionally guards herself through her physical transformation. Her ruse works well for her up until she is off to college and encounters two loveable characters – Quinn and Kaeleb. Each burdened with sorrows, but systematically work together to dismantle tough girl Raven’s defenses in hopes to reveal the sunshine bury deep beneath her gloomy façade.

This story addresses some pretty serious issues and by no means a flowery sugar coated cutesy friends-turned-lovers romance. This trio of friends faced grim circumstances (Bree’s being the most extreme), which were so powerful and so intense, it moved me. I was totally gutted the way this author painted Bree’s pain, through childhood flashbacks and current heartaches she continues to endure, as they are slowly peeled away to reveal her inner turmoil. All the while, my emotions were stirred to the point of which I felt an overwhelming connection to her sorrows. I cried ugly tears for all those she lost, frustrated with her stubbornness, and desperately hoped for her healing. Bree was a compelling character whose journey to self-discovery touched my heart.

I can go on and on gushing over Kaeleb McMadden, Bree’s once childhood pal and adorably sexy boyfriend. He is the perfectly flawed romantic hero.

Sincere, loyal, patient and most importantly…passionate, Kaeleb is the driving force fighting to bring back his Bree from the darkness that is Raven. He captured my heart with his unwavering determination. Loved how despite his own problems he selflessly puts her welfare before all else. Seeing them fall in love was deliciously heartwarming. I so adored all things Kaeleb.

And then there’s Quinn, the stunning yet broken beauty queen who pushes her way into Bree’s life. Her character added a bit of levity and hilarity into this otherwise sober read with her perky personality and crazy antics. She was the perfect compliment to Raven’s stark persona.

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller was truly a touching read for me. I enjoyed every laughable, sizzling and tearful moment. There were times I found the story was too emotionally difficult for me to handle, especially during Bree’s childhood flashbacks. It was during those times that I literally felt her character’s anguish. Nevertheless, the more dynamic the story, the more I tend to savor every word. It was an exquisitely written tale, whose characters and experiences will stay with me for a very long time. 



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