For What It's Worth

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: For This Life Only by Stacey Kade


22608727A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

Three minutes.

Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.

Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.

She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.

But she’s also the first person to truly see him. ~
Goodreads

Source: Borrowed from a friend/purchased

Review:
I’m a lucky reader to have TWO Stacey Kade books released in one year (and within 1 month – the other being the NA title, 738 Days). I adore her writing and love the fact that she’s expanding into different genres and getting into some heavier topics like rape and grief – all handled with the same deft touch as her Ghost and the Goth and Paper Doll series, which are lighter in tone – yet still have a lot to say about society and relationships.

In For This Life Only, Jace is the rebellious *bad* twin, dealing with the death of his brother Eil, the *good* twin, in a horrific accident that also left Jace dead for 3 minutes.

As the son of the local pastor, Jace has to hold in his complicated feelings about the loss of Eli, the guilt he feels, believing that his parents wish it was him who died instead, and the fact that he didn’t see anything when he died. Appearances matter to his father and you can’t have a son questioning his faith or show a pastor's family unable to handle it’s problems to the other parishioners.

For This Life Only is a  beautiful exploration of faith and grief. Don't be put off by the religious aspect. It is a strong and complicated factor in Jace’s relationships but it's very well done - respectful but not overwhelming or preachy.

There's a small subplot about his father’s church that I didn't love (I wish the focus stayed on the family) but I do see how it tied everything together and moved things forward in the end.

For This Life Only reminded me a bit of This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready - another story that tackled grief and religion very well.





21 comments:

  1. I know I've heard of Stacey Kade but I don't think I've read anything by her. It sounds like a really rewarding read though!

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    1. I bet you would love the Ghost & the Goth trilogy.

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  2. Oh interesting set up. I really think I need to give Kade a try.

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    1. I've loved her YA for a long time now. I'm happy to see her branching out in genres and topics.

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  3. I think that religion is in it doesn't bother me. I think most people are put off if it is preachy and you said it isn't here. What may put me off of this one is the grief. I tend to shy away from those books even when I finally read them and end up loving them. *sigh* Will have to think about this one... you do make it sound interesting... :)

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    1. I'm not sure if it's for you. I think she deals with a lot of things in this one (grief, romance,faith, family, a bit of mystery) and it struck a nice balance but it had some tough moments.

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  4. Replies
    1. Probably not for you but it was good.

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  5. This sounds really good (and I love the cover). I'm glad the topic of religion was handled well.

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    1. It really was. As a bit of trivia - Stacey Kade is the daughter of a preacher so she's drawing from real life and it shows.

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  6. I quite enjoyed 738 Days as well and have looked forward to picking up this one. The religious aspect probably won't bother me so much.

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    1. It shouldn't. It's important but done well and not the focus of the story.

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  7. oh man the fact that she handled tough subjects so well is amazing. I would def need to be able to be in a mood for these kind of reads myself I think

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    1. This one tackles a tough subject but wasn't super heavy or angsty. I read it in about 6 hours.

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  8. Yes I found it tackled the church and family just right . I am hard to please with books like this but I loved it.

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    1. Agreed. It doesn't insult those who are religious or those who aren't. Stuck a nice balance.

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  9. Oh wow...sounds like a really good read...and twins...

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  10. That's good. Christian fiction turns me off because I don't want to be lectured. I acknowledge that faith can play a big role in our lives, but I'd rather have it on the periphery than on the forefront.

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    1. This definitely isn't Christian fiction - it's just part of Jace's life & the accident/his brother's death has him questioning things but it doesn't feel like it's about only that. It's more about the family dynamics and grief.

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  11. I really like her books, and I'm very intrigued about this one! I also really like to see religion in YA books on occasion (although I don't care for preachiness either) and it takes a skilled author to do it justice (I'm thinking of Miranda Kenneally's Things I Can't Forget and a recent book I read called Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit).

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