Friday, February 6, 2015

Series Review: Emi: Lost and Found by Lori Otto

3 Book Boxed set
Can be purchased individually as well
Author: Lori Otto
Not Today, But Someday (prequel) 
Nate Wilson knows he wants Emi Hennigan from the moment he sees her. Emi knows she needs Nate after one night together. A life-long friendship is born, and a pact is made to ensure that nothing will come between them. 

Lost and Found (book one) 
After swearing off love with Emi in a silly high school pact, Nate has been seeing other women in hopes of finding one that evokes stronger feelings than the ones he’s been harboring for Emi since he was a teen. Over the span of a year, boundaries are crossed, feelings are confessed, and their unique friendship begins to blossom into something more. With a promising future ahead of them both, fate intervenes to bring two soul mates together. 

Time Stands Still (book two) 
No man could compete with Nate, Emi thought, until one night – one evening, one party, one journey, one second alters her course completely. That night, her brother’s best friend, Jack Holland, comes back into her life with a mission. In a year’s time, he slowly finds a comfortable place in Emi’s life, but only time will tell if it’s right for Emi – and enough for him. 

Never Look Back (book three) 
To say Emi’s life over the past two years has had its share of peaks and valleys is an understatement – and her friends and family would agree. In the conclusion to Emi Lost & Found, Jack guides Emi through a year of self-discovery, and teaches her that faith in true love – and in soul mates – can yield happiness from even the darkest of places. 

Plus two bonus short stories! 
Love, Lost and In the Mind of a Dying Man

~You meet someone that affects you in ways you never even knew were possible. From that day on, no day you live will ever be like the ones that came before. Your future is changed with just one word or one person that stands apart from all others.~

A little background on this book series and why I read it--other than it came highly recommended. Lydia (co-blogger) swore I didn't have a heart because I have never cried while reading a book. I just haven't. I have had a few tears, here and there....but I have never openly cried while reading a book. Well, Lydia says she WINS this one now.....and, let the record show, I have a heart.

For the record: I did NOT ugly cry....but I did have tears slowly streaming down my face while reading this one.

Every single emotion that you know of? Yeah....I felt those, all of those. 

I. Felt. Everything. 

Now, I am not entirely sure how to rate this book series, and let me tell you why:

Would I recommend this series?
Hell. Yes.
Was it emotional?
Hell. Yes.
Did I FINALLY cry at a book?
Hell. Yes.

Hands down, one of the most emotional, heart wrenching, gut-checking, beautiful stories I have ever read. It truly was. But it was also draining, depressing and it wore me out emotionally. 

I will say this with all the seriousness in the world, I was super upset at the ending of book one. 


I was like....I am done. I am not reading any more of this. How dare she??? How dare Lydia tell me to read this???? Then the rational me told me to power on through, but Ly was at the very bottom of my friends list at that point; but I love her and trust her with book recommendations. Still, how dare she tell me to read this book when it hit a HARD LIMIT for me?? I texted her really late that night and gave her a piece of my mind!!!! I got a message early the next morning from the author with an explanation as to why the events happened the way they did. Now, my rational mind KNEW that what happened was necessary....I did, really. Lori did such an amazing job with these characters and this story that it made my head spin. It was beautiful. It was lyrical. It was magical. It was breathtaking.

And two broke me. It was so hard, so emotional and so different. I want to say that I was at a really bad point emotionally (in real life) when I read this because my grandfather (only one I've known and was there for him until the end) had literally just died the week before I started it. So, I know that my personal emotions allowed me to explore the emotions that were in this book and it really affected me on a different that no other book has. 

After reading and feeling, because I am pretty certain that Lori writes 'emotions' and not just words, I started to see things in a different light. To realize that some of the clues she gave early on and the way she wrote this story allowed me to feel one thing, but rationalize things another way. One particular moment that I 'singled out', it stuck with me for some time. I wasn't too sure of the significance of it....until the 'right' time, the moment where it all made sense. There was quite a bit of self talk and "oh yeah" moments while reading this series.

Book three was such a necessary *release* for me. Weird word to describe this book, but I don't know how else to explain it. I felt so wound tight and tense from the first two books because of the amount of emotion shoved into them. I got to explore the next phase of Emi's life.....she was 'found'.  This was also the book that left me just.....there. I felt done? drained? down? depressed? I don't know how to explain it, other was all over. It didn't end on an emotional high for me (after the gamut of emotions I went through in the first two books).....but it was the most perfect ending ever. Does that make sense? I'm not sure I make sense to myself at this point. I have sat on this review for the last few days wondering how I'm going to get my emotions out, convey them in some manner here, purge and move on.

Emi's journey was achingly torturous, but wrapped up into one heartbreakingly tragic, yet very beautiful, story. My favorite part about reading this journey was the POV change....I have never read a series like this, I doubt I ever will, but I will always hold this series close. Maybe someday I will put a rating on this book review.....maybe. But right now, I can't. I just can't. Will I trust Lydia to recommend another book/series to me with an agenda/motive behind it? NEVER. AGAIN. Ok....maybe I will.

The title of this series is so amazingly accurate....Emi went through so much to get to where she ended up, and I think that it was such a beautiful journey. Amazing. Incredible. Miraculous.

*head shaking awe*

Would I recommend for YOU to read this series? Without a doubt, yes. Enjoy the emotions, because Lori did an exceptional job with this story. Her words are artistic and eloquent, and she has a way of making you 'feel' the story.

~It's rare that you meet someone who has the power to change the world as you know it. One day, you're alone, going about your own business, expecting that day to be the same as all the ones before. Most days happen this way. And then, out the blue, it all changes.~

Series Boxed Set
(includes short stories not available individually):
Amazon | B&N 

Prequel: Not Today, But Someday

Lost and Found, Book 1

Time Stands Still, Book 2

Never Look Back, Book 3

~ Lori Otto ~

After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Lori Otto worked in the billboard industry for ten years. Frustrated with trying to communicate entire messages in “seven seconds or less,” she decided to leave outdoor advertising and return to her love of creative writing.

After an exhilarating, collaborative writing project, Lori L. Otto had an idea for an original novel. The characters and their rich stories would keep her awake at night, and even with barely any sleep, she felt more alert and alive than she had in years. Her days off were spent in cafés, sandwich shops and bookstores, feverishly trying to get all of the details out of her head and onto paper.

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