Saturday, 29 June 2013

ISPA Event: After Forever Ends (Review)

After Forever Ends
Title: After Forever Ends
Author: Melodie Ramone
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Orphaned by her mother and brushed off by her dad, fifteen year old Silvia Cotton had lived a lonely life. That is until 1985 when her father moved the family from the Highlands of Scotland to the Midlands of Wales. It is there she was enrolled in Bennington, a private boarding school, met the charming and rebellious Dickinson twins, Oliver and Alexander, and her regrettable life was changed forever. 

Locked into a fierce friendship with Alexander and lost to a whirlwind romance with Oliver, Silvia found herself torn away from everything she thought she knew. Married too soon, she moved with Oliver to a rustic cabin deep in a Welsh wood and embarked upon a life she'd never planned for, surviving on hope she never knew existed and faith she never knew she had. She made her way through university and onto a career, only to surrender her ambition to raising her children and living a life that was strikingly "normal". But what is normal? Certainly not what ensued in the wood.

True love, faeries, friendship, loves lost and gained. Old magic, fate, doubt, strength and courage, Silvia's story could belong to anyone, but it is her own. Simple yet extraordinary, told in retrospect with wit and candor, Silvia recalls a life of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. As she unravels the tangled web of her days, she reveals the secrets that exist in an ancient wood, how hearts given freely can become the stuff of magic, and how true happiness was never any further than her own back garden.

“Sometimes the changes are good. Sometimes you think they're good and you end up disappointed. Other times you think life has handed you a lemon and it turn out to be a diamond. And there are other times when it just is what it is. It's not what you wanted, but there's nothing you can do about it, so you just have to accept what's happened and go on.”

How am I suppose to talk about this a book that left me speechless and crying until the sun came up? After Forever Ends gave 'happily ever after' a whole new meaning. When I first saw Sab's updates and read her review after, this book piqued my interest but at the same time scared me because she mentioned that she cried so much over this book. I am a sucker for stories that have the ability to make you cry but I was curious about what it was that will exactly make me cry. Another thing that confused me was the twist in the book because we were given a very simple summary. Sab said that there were no twists but encouraged (more like pushed, accompanied with feet tapping. lol) me to read it so I did. And she was right, there were no twist. After Forever Ends was actually simple but undeniably magical.

I have no idea how Ramone did it but she created a simple story and made it extraordinary. The whole time I was reading this book felt like I was listening to my grandmother's story, preferably in a cliche setting where she's on a rocking chair and I am seated on the floor.

Silvia and Oliver's story was the love story of all love stories. The insta-attraction between them didn't bother me at all. It's like it would be wrong if they are not attracted to each other. Their connection felt so true, natural and magical (There I go with the word again. I have a feeling that I will use that word more in this review.) The things they went through in their relationship were common and realistic but what made a difference was how they faced it together, holding each other's hand.

Aside from Sil and Ollie's relationship, one of my favourite parts were the friendship in this book. It was not just with Silvia and Alexander but also with the whole gang. Their witty banter and funny conversations between these guys made me wish I have this kind of super close friendship.Oliver and Alexander's bond was also one of the cherries of this book. I love reading books that has siblings that have a very strong bond with each other.

The best part was how the characters were written. It doesn't matter whether that certain character had a small 'screen time'. The author still managed to make them memorable and make them more real than usual. They weren't perfect. Silvia, Oliver or Alexander were far from it. But that's the beauty of it. The author still made me fall in love with her characters despite their flaws.One of the flaws that annoyed me a bit was Silvia's clingy-ness. I know she was young and very much in love but how she acted seems a bit much for my taste. Thankfully, her insecurities were crushed by Oliver.

This book was the ultimate roller coaster ride of life. It made me laugh really out loud, pissed me a bit and definitely made me cry like a baby. After Forever Ends makes me wish for this kind of life more than I used to.This book made me contemplate about life and make me see simple things in a different light. This is the kind of love everyone deserves. This is the book that everyone needs to read.

I'm a wife, mother, keeper of fuzzy critters, author, speaker and certified Kitchen Witch. When I'm not creating Culinary magic, I can usually be found writing stories, reading books, relentlessly tweeting, knitting or delving into fringe Physics. Super geek? Oh, yeah. 

What else? Well, I’m funny and quick tempered, older than I look and young enough to be able to fall on roller skates and still move the next day. I’m short. I have curly, red hair. My favorite color is emerald green. I like Japanese Anime, rainy days, cats, kids, and any movie that includes Simon Pegg. 

I'm obsessed with the Science of Physics, particularly Particle Physics, although in the last few years I am drawn more and more toward Astronomy. I’m fascinated with Outer Space and what’s going on out there. Hubble and the Mars Rovers have sparked a passion in me that goes back to the first time I saw Star Wars. And that was a long, long time ago. I’m a curious person by nature. I want to know everything about everything, I want to see it. I want to understand it so I can understand the origins of our universe. But, then again, I want to understand everything in general. 

Some things I never will. I will never understand hate. I will never understand ignorance. I try to let them wash past me, but sometimes it’s hard. I think, in some ways, it’s why I write. So I can leave behind a world I don’t always understand, one I sometimes find too painful to stay in, and create my own universe. One that parallels this one, one that is similar, but one which I, ultimately control. One where everything, at least to me, makes sense.

In short, I’m a happy person. I’m not perfect and I’m not entirely sane, but I don’t pretend to be. In the end, when I look back at my life I will see an amazing smear of color. All the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the strength and weakness that was me. I’ll see all I did and all I failed at. And I will sigh and I will say that I lived. I really, truly lived. I was real. I wrote books. And that, I think, will be good enough for me.