Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Bianca Easton is the perfect senator’s daughter.
Law school? Check.
Camera-ready smile? Check.
A dull and boring existence? Double check.
But that was before. Before she lost her best and only friend in a tragic accident. Before she found that friend’s unfinished bucket list. Definitely before she turned her life upside-down by deciding to stay in New York for six months to finish it.
It’s while she’s checking off her first item on the list–buy coffee for a stranger–that she meets Ian Mathis. Between the tattoo sleeve curling up his right arm, his guitar-roughened fingertips, and the secrets shadowing his past, he’s a complication Bianca doesn’t need but desperately wants.
With every item they cross off the list together, Bianca uncovers a piece of herself that she’s buried under what’s expected, all the while breaking her own rules by falling hard for Ian. But when her six months run out, Bianca has to decide if she’s willing to risk her empty but picture-perfect life for a chance at real, messy love.
So I recently joined the Jamie Howard fan club. Earlier this month I read The Feeling of Forever and absolutely loved her writing style and the characters she had created. I knew I had to go back and read All The Ways You Saved Me, the first book in the series. I was going to wait a bit to knock off some of the books on my TBR list, but Cristina happened to mention it had an “Ugly Love” feel to it and I was sold. I immediately downloaded it and dug in.
All The Ways You Saved Me consumed me from the minute I began reading it. I was so engrossed with the story that I put off stuff I should have been doing to read it. I loved everything about it. It was told through Bianca’s current day first person perspective and Ian’s past perspective. I loved the way Ian’s past was woven through Bianca’s current thoughts. It added so much impact to their story.
Bianca was like so many young women, struggling for perfection and prove herself. I felt horrible that she had to find herself through her best friend’s death, but I loved the journey it sent her on. I especially loved that it brought Ian into her life. Their initial meeting was so cool. Where things went from their was even cooler.
Ian’s inner struggle broke my heart. While it took a while for his past to unravel for the reader, I knew it was going to be something tragic. I really enjoyed the way it was divulged in bits and pieces. I also loved learning more about his current life through Bianca’s eye. My favorite part of his perspective happened at the end in present day, though. It reminded me that what we think people are going through or thinking in a moment with them isn’t always what’s truly happening in their mind.
I’m so happy I decided to read All the Ways You Saved Me. It’s made me want to read the rest of Jamie Howard’s books that I haven’t read yet, and it’s making me crave the next books in the Unplugged Love series. I can’t wait for Gavin, Rachel and Ben’s stories!