Perhaps you think I’m being harsh, but there isn’t anything that would be considered punitive enough for putting this up for sale given that the Salem witch trials are no longer a viable option. And, really, someone close to Andrea Hurst (as in family member – somebody that loves her and humanity), should take that laptop away and just smash it … we’re talking to smithereens. Consider it an intervention! And, no, I don’t care if she promises to only go on Pininterest because you just know this type is going to try again! She’ll be pecking on the keys, using bits and pieces of bestselling stories that do work, all in an attempt to patch together something that will ultimately make us bleed out our eyes and beg for the torture to stop! In the words of Roberto Durán, “No mas! No mas!” I mean it, Ms. Hurst, but let me tell everyone else some specifics of why this is one book that should be woodchipped.
For starters, the wet-noodle protagonist, Cathy, mentions a “dream” she’s had. It’s fairly important since it proves there’s a thing such a “fate,” yet in the first chapter, there’s only a vague reference to it. It’s this: “Those startling blue eyes—like the man in her dream.” I’m thinking, what dream? Am I supposed to know about a dream? It made no sense whatsoever. None. Their meeting hinges on this dream and there’s no description of it? When did she have it? When she was a child? Yesterday? The day before yesterday? I’m thoroughly confused, and on a hunch, I decide to go on Amazon and peek inside. I peek inside the Kindle edition (the one I downloaded), and it begins where mine does at: CHAPTER 1—THE SUMMER OF 1977. I then go on the page where the paperback is featured and peek in that one and discover there’s supposed to be a prologue! Yes, folks, THE ENTIRE PROLOGUE THAT STARTS in THE SUMMER OF 2007 IS MISSING!!! This brings me back to those reviews I mentioned early—ninety-eight of which are five-star! Most of which PROMINENTLY proclaim “KINDLE EDITION!”
You mean to tell me that one hundred seventy-five “verified” customers read this book and that NOT ONE NOTICED THE PROLOGUE IS MISSING BUT ME? Is that even possible? It’s so unlikely as to be unbelievable that seemingly not one person, not even those doling out five stars, noticed that chapter one made no sense! You tell me what’s going on! I understand that what people like is subjective, but this is not! This is a mistake that no one noticed? Or mentioned? I’ll leave it to you to decide.
When we get past the extremely sloppy mistake of deleting an entire prologue and uploading the remaining crap … I mean, manuscript, we get to focus on the rest of the problems which are all the words contained on the pages! There are such riveting phrases as: “Jamie ran his fingers through the red soil. It looked rich with nutrients.” WHAT? Which nutrient stood out for him? The nitrogen? Calcium? How about phosphorous? Hey, let me guess! This guy can probably also smell snow, right? Fascinating. And that chopping up of sentences? Get used to it! It’s how this book is written. And speaking of writing, I’m being this hard on Andrea Hurst because in her bio it says that she’s an “instructor in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts.” This woman teaches writing? No, way, no how, brown cow! She should be TAKING a course, not GIVING it!
The writing is pedestrian at best—on par with the Dick and Jane “See Spot Run” primers given to first-graders. Nonetheless, Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author, and the never-turn-down-a-chance-at-promoting, Melissa Foster, wrote glowing reviews? I’m telling you that the only way ALWAYS WITH YOU should be connected to the New York Times is if the book was mentioned in its own obituary! Example: “ALWAYS WITH YOU expired from dullness on February 5, 2014.” If the book met its end on that date, it would have been one day before publication which would have worked out perfectly!
I recommend you save yourself time and money and pass this one by. And if Andrea Hurst ever publishes a book again, I strongly suggest she use white-colored font that matches the pages. Me? I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before and try to get a refund. If you bought this, you should do the same. Better yet, give it to someone you hate. I’m giving this zero stars.