Monday, 10 July 2017

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure



But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure
Published April 6, 2017 by Hachette Australia
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: Eden has always let her head lead the way. It's why she excels at ballet, at school, and at life in general. But when she nearly drowns and then wakes from a month-long coma, everything is different. She's troubled by dreams that seem more real than waking life, and her neat cookie-cutter existence is no longer satisfying. Unable to stifle her passionate heart anymore, she finds herself drawn to a boy with melting-chocolate eyes, and to a future different to what she ever imagined. That's when Eden discovers that when it comes to love, first you fall, then you have to leap. 

But Then I Came Back, a companion novel to Estelle Laure's debut novel, This Raging Light, is told from the perspective of seventeen-year-old Eden Jones. Eden lives in Cherryville, New Jersey, with her parents and twin brother, Digby. She has been studying ballet since age eight, but recently gave it up. Lucille, Eden's best friend, has been seeing Digby and it's changed the dynamics of their friendship, to the point where Eden feels guilty agrees to meet Lucille one night, at their spot by the river. That night she falls, hits her head, and goes into a coma. Eden awakens a month later. She's experienced visions and dreams, but she can't be sure what she really saw, and now that she's awake, some of the visions have followed her back.

I enjoyed Laure's debut last year so was thrilled to see she had a new book coming out. What I didn't realise was that it would be a companion novel and I'd completely forgotten about the way A Raging Light ended. It was wonderful to get closure to that story by picking up Eden's story in But Then I Came Back. Eden's personality shone through, despite the fact that she no longer felt like herself. Before the accident, she had her life planned out. She loved lists, she loved quotes, she knew where she was going for college. After the accident she's haunted by visions of black flowers and feels disconnected from Digby and Lucille. She's no longer sure of her future.

The romance between Eden and Joe was sweet and intoxicating. Eden has never been in love and she finds herself falling for Joe quickly, finding him to be a welcome distraction and respite from the aftermath of her accident. Eden's dramatic flair really came back to life in describing their moments together. To complicate matters, Joe's best friend Jasmine is also in a coma. And Eden saw Jasmine while she was out, while she was In Between.

Laure's writing is poetic and carefully crafted, starting out in second person before moving into fisrt person for the remainder of the story. The introduction was intense because of this, it felt like I was going through it with Eden. The rest of the story was just as powerful, very character-driven.

Ableist language: idiot, psycho, crazy, moron, lame, dumb, insane, psychotic.

But Then I Came Back is a beautiful follow up to This Raging Light.  I found the writing enchanting, so much so that I didn't want to leave this intoxicating story.

Thank you to Hachette for my copy.



Cover illustration: Marion Deuchars

I love this simple cover design and the way the flowers are incorporated into the text. I took the flowers and turned them into a full design for this manicure. I love the result!





3 comments:

  1. Great review and nail art! :)

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  2. Great review, Mands! I apparently was "wrecked" by Estelle's debut novel, but I can't remember ANY details nor do I even really recall having ever cracked open the book. In fact, where is my copy of the ARC? Or did I get rid of it. I don't even know??? And that's kind of scaring me, like am I just losing my mind? Haha.. :S

    Anyway, I might have to reread This Raging Light (and actually review it properly) before picking this one up. Glad that the writing was lovely though, it certainly helps to keep the eyes on the pages.

    Cass @ Words on Paper

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