I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion and am happy to give 6 Stars for this AMAZING piece of work by Ashley Pullo. One for my favorite’s list for 2014!
A Refrain: … alteration of Old French refrait, melody, response; a regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or division of a poem or song: chorus; also: the musical setting of a refrain
A refrain helps to create a flow. Bringing the reader back to ideas presented in earlier stanzas. The Author revisits the July 4th holiday thereby centering the reader. It was obvious much thought was taken in this as the story spans nearly two decades and many characters. This story was about Chloe, Adam, Natalie, and Zach, and the people who were instrumental in their lives. They face love, heartache, trials and tribulations. They love and they hate. But their stories always find a way back to the 4th of July.
As always, Pullo gives us alternating POV’s. Each character getting their light to shine. But it was her use of narration that was most brilliant. This straight forward approach was used to express feelings in such a dramatic-no nonsense way that I was gutted. I felt Ashley reach into my chest and claw out my heart. I sobbed, ugly tears. I felt my chest squeeze and couldn’t breathe. Her writing was ingenious.
She gave the reader gems. She made these connections that were so quiet that if you didn’t pay attention, or if you didn’t pay attention in previous books you might miss them. There were times during my reading when I stopped and went back to The Ballad to reread a section because I thought I remembered something from there. And when I found it I smiled, because The Refrain added a new dimension to that story. Or made me better understand what had gone on.
The Fortune Teller was to The Intermission as YaYa is to The Refrain. Both had perfect wisdom.
“…You know the old lady in Titanic? The one that tosses her necklace into the Ocean?” I nod my head – movie references are my favorite. “She says something like, ‘a woman’s heart is an ocean.’ And what I think she means is, some secrets are meant to be buried deep beneath the surface – untouched.”
There are others and I won’t spoil your reading experience by sharing them here, but when you come across the gems, I hope you will have moments like I did. I had to stop reading. Because as the moment of clarity became so bright I had to revel in the moment.
This series is written like nothing I’ve ever read before. Where past and present meet, POV’s mix and mingle and intertwine into one. Which should be confusing but somehow isn’t.
This was a beautiful love story with a happy ending(s).
“Every great love story has a beginning, whether it’s a planned meeting, a random encounter, or an impulsive jump into the unknown. But it’s the middle of the story that really counts … expanding the verse and building the chorus.”