Title: In Place of Never
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Daniela’s Rating: 4 stars
**ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
This was a really nice surprise. I requested this book because the cover drew me in. After I saw it, I went and read the blurb of the book and thought it sounded like something I would like. And it was.
This book introduces you to Mercy’s life, a girl who’s had to see death way too many times for someone so young. For years she’s had to suffer and live with the pain and guilt and the doubts that those deaths left her with. What if she hadn’t covered for her sister that night? Why hadn’t she seen what was really going on with her mom? Did she really knew her sister? Was she sad? Was she happy? What if she wasn’t really happy? What if she was in pain and she wanted to end it? The doubts are our own enemies. But what if those doubts can be resolved? Everything seems possible when the festival comes into town and with it, a new guy comes along. All the doubts start looking as questions that have real answers, and she’s set her mind to find them.
In Place Of Never is a story about searching the truth about life and about yourself too. It’s about grief and moving on. It’s about friendship and the beauty of being able to count on the people you love. Sometimes we depend or rely so much in someone, that we tend to forget who we are without them. It’s like, we can’t function if the other person isn’t around, and that couldn’t be so far from the truth. When I first started reading the book, I thought the storyline was interesting, and it got better with every page turn. At some point, the story got a bit predictable, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. Sometimes, you just realise what’s going on, but it’s the author’s job to still make the story interesting, and I got that. Even though I had an idea of what was going on, I wasn’t entirely sure and the story was inviting enough for me to keep reading until I found out the truth along with Mercy and Cross.
Mercy is just a young girl who’s lost a lot over the years. She’s barely survived over the years, dealing with her pain in different ways: stepping out of life, cutting, shutting everyone and everything out. I really saw the way she grew in those weeks. Finding out the truth can start as something to free someone else, but along the way, you might find that you needed to be free too, and that’s exactly what happens with Mercy. I really liked seeing her grow into a more confident girl over the chapters. When she was shy and confused and depressed, she ends up being a confident, and determined girl who will do anything to be free of her demons.
Then, we have Cross. Will. I have to say, there’s something about characters named Will that draw me in. And this one here, is no different. He’s mysterious but sweet at the same time. Cross is the little push Mercy needed to get out of that bubble she was in, so she could start enjoying her life. I loved that even though he seemed to be all serious and cranky, there was something sweet and adorable about him, like everything he did and said, came straight from the heart. I love that.
This book includes a few delicate topics, like cutting and fighting to feel something or drain the pain. I felt like these things were barely explained, and if they were things that marked the character’s lives so much (which I believe they were) I think the author could’ve gone a bit deeper into it, not in a morbid way or anything, but explain a bit better and give it the attention that a problem like that really needs, you know? But other than that, I really enjoyed it.
The pace of the book was really good. It was intense when it needed to be intense, and it was sweet and lighthearted when it needed to be like that, and those sweet moments were heart-warming and swoon worthy.
There was something I really liked about this story. We have two sides of beliefs. It’s sad but it’s so common to find people who say they do as God says, but in reality, they’re just so far away from what I believe God intended for us all to do. We should all love one another, right? Then, why judge? I saw a lot of judgement in this book and I really liked how the author managed to fight it. Sometimes, beliefs make people do crazy things, but sometimes, those same beliefs help you see how wrong you’ve been.
Buy link: Amazon