Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: Finding Laila by TK Rapp

Author: TK Rapp
Genre: Young Adult
Joey, Cole, Haden and Braxton have been a constant in my life since
I was five, and I have loved being one of the guys.

I’ve been cheerleader.

I’ve been study partner.

I’ve been listener.

When we’re young, we don’t realize the profound impact certain people will have on our lives. I had no idea twelve years ago I’d meet four boys who would turn out to be my best friends, my soul mates - my barmy.

Now school is almost done, our last summer together is drawing closer, and I’m trying to hold on to what we have while I still can. After this we’ll have to say goodbye to each other, as our choices will take our lives in different directions. But I don't know if our friendship can survive once secrets and surprises begin revealing themselves to us at every turn.

When it’s all said and done, will our friendships remain unbreakable? Or will our once strong bond prove to be weaker than we anticipated?

Letting go is harder than I thought, but some changes are necessary.

And finding Laila...finding myself…may be the greatest journey of all.

~ 5 Stars ~
I’m at a loss for words right now… I finished Finding Laila early this morning and I’m still reeling from the experience, letting it all sink in. So much emotion!! I was literally blown away. I went into this book expecting it to be a light and sweet YA read about a girl finding herself—her journey. Boy, was I wrong. It was brilliant. There’s no other way to explain it. TK Rapp surprised me at every turn (or swipe) of the page. The story was written brilliantly well and it captivated me from the very beginning. I felt like a movie was unfolding in front of me. I was emotionally invested in this story…in these characters. WOW. I’m just…sigh. MASSIVE BOOK HANGOVER.

“She doesn’t understand how we all fit together.”
“No one understands,” Cole shouts. “That’s the beauty of it: we’re misfits.”

Joey, Cole, Braxton, Haden, and Laila – what a wonderful group of kids!!! Seniors in high school experiencing all sorts of emotions, drama, and the impending changes life throws our way at that age. They had been the best of friends for over 12 years and they just clicked. They fit together like a perfect puzzle – each brought their own piece and made the group whole. The way the boys were protective over Laila made me swoon, bad! They had no problem whatsoever standing up for her and defending her against the bullies and petty girls that didn’t understand their friendship; not that Laila needed much defending, really. She spoke her mind, kicked ass and took names.

“While all the other girls around are clawing and beating each other to be noticed, you are happy to stay in the background away from the spotlight—unseen. But I see you; I always have.”

Just when I thought I had the story figured out, TK managed to prove that she had yet another thing up her sleeve. I kept falling in love with these characters and this book! I laughed, I swooned, I CRIED! OMG – I felt so many different emotions!!! I connected 500% with everyone, so it was like I was living Laila’s life. I was right there. My heart broke for her, for them, but it just as well felt so full of love! Sigh… I was/am quite the emotional mess, if you couldn’t tell…

“He put everything on the line—our friendship, the fate of our group, all of it—for me. For us.”

Yes, there WAS romance in this book and it was PHENOMENAL. I just about died swooning!!!! Really, no joke. I won’t tell you WHO Laila fell in love with because it would honestly ruin it for you, but trust me when I say it was incredible seeing them venture into the romantic side of their relationship. I fell in love with how much they cared for each other. It was truly BEAUTIFUL.

“When we become comfortable with what we know, changes—big or small—can be hard to accept. But for us to grow and become the adults we are meant to be, we have to adapt. Life is change, but doesn’t mean that we forget.”

Oh, dear… This book has ruined me for any and all other YA books. It was true perfection. The book’s pace was great, the character development was amazing, and the storyline was hands down fantastic. I’ve got zero complaints about this book. In fact, I’m itching to re-read it…and I JUST finished it!!!! I can’t even remember the last time this ever happened! Gah!! BOOK HANGOVER!!!!!

And OMG – that Epilogue. Oh. My.
My emotions were already on high alert and that epilogue did me in. I CRIED (uh-gain). Now, calm down – YES, there was a HEA. Trust me, I would’ve died otherwise, but sheesh… talk about an emotional ending!! Sigh….

“I have loved you for so long, and I know you love me. No matter what the future holds, I want you to find the Laila you are meant to be, because I’m going to love every version of her.”

And I just died swooning….again.  GO BUY THIS BOOK! Brilliant 5 stars!!!


~ T.K. Rapp ~

I am a Texas girl - born and raised. Since we only have two seasons...I suppose I like the less-hot summer. 

While my husband was in the military, I stayed home to raise our two daughters and found myself frequently sitting in front of my computer starting stories, but too scared to finish them. They were password protected so no one could read them and somehow I forgot the password. So I will never know what I wrote. 

During his military service, we had the opportunity to live in California, Virginia and South Carolina, and there was something in each of those places that I loved. It was a wonderful time. But after 7 years in the Navy we were able to settle down in a small town with our daughters Peece & Gidget. 

Before writing, I spent eleven years as a photographer/photo editor with my mom. I love photography, and it was hard to let it go, but writing was where my heart was drawn. After some prodding from my husband, I started writing my first book and never looked back.

Being There, a standalone, was released in July of 2013 and was followed with two other novels - Mine to Lose and Mine to Steal.

My goal is to keep writing and hopefully you enjoy these characters as much as I do. In some way, they are all a part of me and love them so much.

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