Divided, by Billie Kowalewski
Trigger WARNING: Brief mentions of suicide (non-graphic.)
Good afternoon you B-E-A-Utiful Bookworms. ^_^
Today, I’m reviewing an inspiring story of love and loss, Divided, by author Billie Kowalewski. Even before the book started, I already began to love this author. Her dedication page, to the children she drove to school each day, had me welling up.
Below is the actual quote:
‘Follow your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t.’
From this one quote, I could immediately sense the type of person Bille Kowalewski is: a kind, caring individual, with a desire to see the youth of today flourish and prosper.
Even the prologue moved me, with quotes such as,
‘No-one is guaranteed a tomorrow on Earth- all we have is today. Seize this time to do all of the things that you know you should…learn to love yourself. Your story will one day come to an end, and just like this one, it has only just begun.’
I found myself so deeply moved by this quote that I had to pause for a moment, to soak in the author’s words of wisdom. Although I hadn’t begun the main story, I was already hooked.
The main story does not disappoint!
Our main characters are Harmony and Caleb, two soul mates trapped in separate realms, with Harmony in Heaven, and Kaleb (Earth name Curt) on Earth. Harmony and Curt’s interactions act as a framing device for the main story, with Harmony becoming the book’s main narrator. Within the pair’s story is the tale of one of their past lives on Earth, specifically focusing on Harmony’s life as Veronica, a young girl whose parents have gotten divorced.
Veronica’s mother was a most infuriating character. She continuously treated Veronica like dirt, often arriving home drunk and neglecting Veronica’s best interests, while lavishing attention on her younger sister Katie, who believes any of their mother’s lies.
I believe that the tension between Veronica and her mother stems from the divorce and how much her mother actually misses her ex-husband. It probably doesn’t help that Veronica takes after her father and thus probably reminds her mother of him.
In contrast to Veronica’s mother, her father is a kind and compassionate man, who is painted as a negative figure by Veronica’s mother for the majority of the book. This only added to my frustration with her mother’s character. Sometimes, I just wanted to slap some sense into her (And I do NOT believe in ever hitting anyone, especially not a lady, as I consider myself a gentleman, but this character was truly malicious.)
Having experienced my own parent’s divorce, I could not believe how stark the contrast was between Veronica’s two parents. Her mother behaved cruelly, often doing as much as she could to spite Veronica and ruin her plans. Her mother was like a spoilt brat. Not only is her divorce her own fault for committing adultery, but she then portrays herself as a victim.
Gah! That woman was beyond infuriating!
However, I did love how Veronica’s character became increasingly cunning as she reached the age of seventeen, in order to bypass her mother’s cruel and ridiculous orders. These scenes, such as Veronica climbing out of her bedroom window to go to a bar and hear music, had me cheering her on all the way.
Though Veronica may not have her mother’s support as she battles adolescence, she does have her Meme (Grandmother) and Grandfather, who more than make up for her mother’s pretty treatment and lack of love, or the distance placed between Veronica and her father.
As Veronica’s Story continues, it follows the journey that her soul takes as she falls in love with a kind boy she affectionately calls ‘Sackson’ (one of Curt’s previous life forms.) Their two souls have a remarkable bond that prevails across multiple life-spans. I adored the emotional vulnerability I saw in Curt’s character as he learns of his past lives with Harmony (as Veronica and Jackson).
I still can’t get over how much I loved Veronica’s ‘Sackson’ nickname though. Every time I remember it, I break out into a fit of laughter.
On the downward side of things, I felt truly sorry for Veronica when her only friend (‘Sackson’) disappears from the story. I was overjoyed when he makes a reappearance years later, allowing the pair to develop a coy romance that blossoms into true love. I feel that the relationship between the two is so pure and romantic that for once, it feels as though two characters will live happily ever after.
I would definitely recommend that you check out Divided, by Bille Kowalewski, especially if you have a love for Urban Fantasy and Young Adult books.
My rating? Definitely 5 stars!
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SHARING IS CARING, Or So They Say.