For All You Have Left by Laura Miller
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback, 270 pages
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Buy It: Amazon
Description from Goodreads:
"This is certainly one of my favorite love stories ever." ~A Novel Review
Logan Cross married her high school sweetheart when she was eighteen. But life had different plans for Logan, and now, at twenty-two, she is in the midst of starting over when Jorgen Ryker moves in next door. Jorgen suspects that Logan might be hiding a few secrets, but neither he nor Logan is ready when she reveals her biggest secret from her past—a secret that neither of them realizes they share.
Set in small-town Missouri, For All You Have Left is a love story with an unexpected twist centering around three lives, two great loves and one epic journey in learning to love again.
Going into this book, I wasn't expecting too much. Just a cute story that I'd enjoy and hopefully be able to go back to sometime when I need a dose of sweetness. After reading the story, I'm left with those expectations kind of met. For All You Have Left is a good story, and it definitely has some of those cute moments I hoped for, but I didn't really love it. But I did like it, definitely.
The premise isn't completely out of left field, but Laura Miller's writing was great enough so that the story was hers. I wasn't speculating about other stories similar to this one as I read, I was completely there with the characters Laura introduced us to, and the world in which they lived.
While the writing was wonderful, the plot didn't hold up for me. I understand that this is the story of Logan Ada Cross trying to move on and find love again. I love that, because it's sweet. But a pivotal issue she has, her first love, is something she hides from Jorgen. I hated that. She outright lied, and if she hadn't things would have been different. I am still very happy with how this story ends, but the little problem of her lie gets on my nerves. Also, I was a little confused about the timeline of the story every now and then. First they'd meet, and then it'd be a week later without me knowing it until after the interaction is over and I'm like WHAAAT? That wasn't a huge problem, and neither was the lie thing, really--but these things did bother me some.
I love the characters in this book. Logan/Ada isn't my favorite person ever, but she isn't really terrible, either. If she hadn't lied, I'd probably not be able to think of anything about her that straight up bothers me. Jorgen was the perfect sweet, noble guy that fit into this story like a glove. I liked that there weren't any horrible people in this book. There weren't really stereotypes. And honestly, how many absolutely horrid people do we all actually know? I liked that the story was realistic in that sense--in the people Ada and Jorgen surrounded themselves with.
Another thing I adored about For All You Have Left was Andrew. Everything about him. Laura did a fabulous job of creating Logan/Ada's backstory with Andrew. I am truly sad about how things happened with him, and I actually missed him as I was reading. Some of the absolute sweetest moments come from Logan's time with Andrew, and I loved that so much.
The romance overall was certainly something I approved of. They didn't jump into things, but they didn't drag out their relationship and its growth, either. I liked watching them move forward at a pace that wasn't hard to believe, yet was still satisfying. Plus, Jorgen and Ada are adorable. Though, honestly, I prefer Andrew myself. What happened with him couldn't be helped, though, and I (obviously) don't hold anything against Ada for moving on to Jorgen. Moving on was so, so important. And I'm glad she did.
Overall, For All You Have Left is a wonderfully written story with characters I loved and romance I very much enjoyed. I honestly felt this story, and I find that impressive. This book may not be my favorite ever, but it was definitely worth my time.