Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: HILLS OF SORROW by Danielle Lewis

It s the first day of class, and even from across the room Daisy Forester s beautiful green eyes and soft-spoken voice have captured forever the heart of Dakota Blackwood. They reluctantly separate for college, but eventually the distance causes them to grow apart, and Daisy becomes involved with another man. Torn and lonely, Dakota can t accept the prospect of living without her. He tries to remain a part of her life, no matter how small, but can t understand why his letters are only greeted with a cold silence why she has cut him completely out of her life. Meanwhile, Daisy finds herself caught in something she never asked for, and tries desperately to regain a life now spun violently out of her control. Unbeknownst to Dakota, his letters may be her only salvation...

My thoughts: From the first moment he laid eyes on her in class, Dakota Blackwood has been captivated by Daisy. It wasn’t long before they developed this intense, emotional relationship that could only exist in Shakespeare plays. By that point, all they could do was think of each other—when to be together, how to prolong the time together, and so on.

Written in a reflective journal style, the story carried a wise empathy with a refreshing dialogue. Dakota’s voice had a blend of the dark romantics of Edgar Allen Poe and the youthful, naïveté of Kevin Arnold in “The Wonder Years.” Throughout the whole book, we heard nothing but the hopes, fears, and passions of our main hero as he developed into a man with purpose. There was, however, a slight change in the POV after Dakota was trampled by the horses. The story went from 1st person perspective to 3rd person all within the same chapter—a brief notion I found to be odd and unsettling.

What Dakota and Daisy had was nothing more than a sappy romance. I was actually glad when they went to different colleges, because I believe that a relationship is strengthened by a separation. Dakota could’ve compensated for his loneliness in some other ways that could’ve enabled him to discover his own individuality, even though everyone else around him was pairing up like Noah’s Ark.

A fast and gripping read that was often too happy and mundane at times.

The plot accelerated for me once things became less than perfect, when a conflict was finally introduced. Seeing that ring on Daisy’s finger was a flood gate that allowed Dakota to become angered and embittered for once; it allowed him to seek a world without Daisy and focus on something else in life. Unfortunately, what he discovered was loneliness, something we all feel on occasion. Still, it doesn’t mean that you should marry the first person you see.

Dakota was a nice, caring, sensitive guy, who was often in touch with every emotional feeling known to man. I did often wonder how long Dakota would hold the torch for Daisy. Would he be doomed to love her forever?

By the end, the book was a rollercoaster of emotions, which was all very well-written, but I wish each twist and turn would’ve allowed for more pause just so the wind could settle into the reader for a soothing ride of quiet contemplation and absorption. It is a great book if you like fast rides—like the “Tunnel of Love” on a speed wagon.

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