2 Book Lovers Reviews
*Although this book is a prequel, it is recommended that you read it after Ten Tiny Breaths.
I already knew that I liked Trent Emerson when I was introduced to his character in Ten Tiny Breaths. He was a man that made a terrible mistake, he was suffering, and was searching for forgiveness. He wanted to attempt to bring a sparkle back into a young woman’s eye who had lost so much because of him. In Her Wake allowed me to get to know Cole Reynolds, the man that he was prior to the accident, the man who lost his friends, the man whose pain, grief, and guilt were so strong that I could feel them myself. This story is emotional, heartbreaking, and a powerful companion novella to Ten Tiny Breaths.
Losing his two best friends who were more like brothers to him was like losing a piece of himself. But finding out that he also caused a young girl to lose her parents, her boyfriend, and her best friend was almost more than Cole could bear. The immense sorrow and survivor’s guilt that Cole felt was jumping off of the pages. It was palpable. How could he go on knowing that he caused so much pain? He ended up wondering what would’ve happened if…he hadn’t let his friend drive, if he had just abstained from drinking, if he had taken his car instead of his dad’s huge Suburban? What if Kacey and her family hadn’t stopped for pizza, could they have avoided the collision? All of these scenarios didn’t help Cole, they didn’t change the dreaded outcome - all they did was add to his festering grief.
The carefree life that Cole once knew – as the student, the football player, the boyfriend, and the best friend - was all shattered. All that remained were the broken pieces of the man that he once was. He couldn’t get the accident out of his mind. He couldn’t get Kacey out of his mind. He needed constant reminders that she was alright. But he knew that Kacey was far from alright. Her body had healed, but her spirit was as broken as his was. He wanted her to be the vivacious, spunky, smiling girl that she once was. He believed that if Kacey was okay, then perhaps he could move on with his life as well. But this proved to be easier said than done.
I certainly didn’t read this book without shedding any tears. Cole’s life, and so many other’s lives were changed in the blink of an eye. Just making the decision not drive or not to let his friend drive could have altered their outcome. As I mentioned before, this book was so well written that my stomach was in knots, and my heart was breaking on almost every page. I am so glad that the author decided to write this prequel. It was a vivid and important depiction of what happens to the people who are left behind, how they cope, and how they move on from such a tragedy.