Tiff over at Escaping...One Book @ a Time hosts this marvelous event called Indie Girl March. This year, I'm taking part by reviewing an indie novel. If you'd like to see the full schedule for Indie Girl March, just click the banner above! :)
If I Didn't Have You by Kimberly Larson
Release Date: November 2013
Format: ebook, 255 pages
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:
Throughout Lydia’s life she has always had her best friend, Greyson, at her side. Their bond is unbreakable and undefinable.
At the age of twenty-four, she has everything that she’s ever wanted ... a family. Unfortunately, her husband dies in a tragic accident and she’s left to raise her one-year-old son by herself.
She pulls herself together with the help of her close friends, especially Greyson, who has always been there for her. As life's tragedies and obstacles collide with them, Greyson and Lydia find themselves together. Their bond, stronger than ever, that grows into so much more than friendship.
While the premise of this story wasn't the most original thing ever, I liked that there was the added factor of Lydia's son, Theyer. I was interested in seeing how throwing a child into the mix would change things for a story like this. Now that I've read it, I can say that it didn't change it too much, but it did make the protagonist appear more responsible, this making me like her more than I would otherwise.
The characters in this novel were all pretty likable. There wasn't any one in particular that I spent the whole time wishing they would just GO AWAY and never come back. Of course, I had the characters I favored more than others (Greyson, Theyer, and Caleb), but the others were pretty darn amusing as well. Especially Alivia. I liked her. The MC did a nice job of not making me hate her even as she went through such a hard time--and I even kind of like her a little. She was responsible, and she dealt with things logically.
Greyson was the best friend who turns into more than a friend, unsurprisingly. Now, I say it was unsurprising, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it. I am totally down for a story like this every now and then, and this was one that I did enjoy. Greyson's character was one that I liked more than others, as well. He wasn't a complete and total manwhore because he wanted to forget about Lydia or anything. He didn't make me angry--he made me love him. Definitely a male lead I preferred over some others.
This is a novel about how Lydia deals with the loss of her husband, and then moves on with her life. In some ways, this was a great story. The loss and how she dealt with it were portrayed wonderfully, and understandably. But while we were watching her work through everything and trying to move on, I couldn't help but notice how slow it was going.
And that is my one huge problem with this book--the slowness of the plot. I liked the characters, and the premise was one I do love to dive into, but the pacing didn't work very well for me. It took me a while to get into the story, and then I kept wanting things to just HAPPEN. And things DID happen, it simply took them longer than I would have preferred.
Overall, If I Didn't Have You is a nice story with characters I definitely liked and a premise I can totally get behind. While the pacing of the story could have been better, I still thought this was a really good novel.