Saturday, May 7, 2022

✱✱Book Review✱✱ This Is Not the End by Sidney Bell


Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it.

A bold and deeply emotional novel, 
This Is Not the End marks a new way of looking at love, family, and happily-ever-after.

Zacary Trevor is the love of Anya Alexander’s life. Their sometimes tumultuous marriage has survived ups, downs, and all the in-betweens. With successful careers, a lovely home, and a beautiful child, domestic bliss is a hard-earned reality for two people whose hedonistic days are in the not-so-distant past. They’re happy.

Enter Zac’s best friend, the deeply reserved Cal Keller. Zac’s friendship with Cal is the foundation of his career and—until Anya and their son came along—the most important relationship of his life. Cal’s a cipher, someone Anya can’t help but gravitate to, even if they don’t always get along. Even more, she’s drawn to the Zac she sees when he’s with Cal—a careful, cautious version of her husband, someone with hidden thoughts and desires kept secret even from her.

Inviting Cal into their home, deeper into their life, is a risk.

Zac should say no. He knows he should. But he doesn’t. From the first, the hint at the life the three of them could have together is exhilarating. And finding a new definition for family just might be worth the risk to every bond that exists between them.

Momma Says: 3 stars⭐⭐⭐

This Is Not the End was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I waffled back and forth through the whole book and finally landed somewhere in the middle. It's pretty angsty, which is kind of surprising given the lack of outside conflict. It's pretty much just these three characters plus the baby who pops in and out when it's convenient - Sorry, I don't actually know that's the reason, but it sure felt that way. First little I've ever known of to be completely out of the way without any interruption when it's time for steamy fun, and there was plenty of steamy fun. Now, I have nothing against that, but I had a hard time seeing any other connection between the characters. There is also a ton of inner monologue, and the back and forth was both irritating and emotional. I liked the emotional elements because they gave me some reason to invest in this relationship and to want it to work. Now, I realize it sounds like I didn't like much of anything about the book, but I actually did. In fact, some of the things I didn't like have elements that I did like. The lack of outside conflict allowed for more focus on these characters and the building relationship. Speaking of characters, I liked all three at least most of the time. There were times when they irritated me to no end, but I still liked them and wanted them to work. I feel like this story had so much potential that just wasn't realized. I would've liked to see more interaction between the three of them. Well, more substantial interaction like some real conversations about compromise and what it's going to take to make things work - some real discussion about feelings and life, etc. Love and lust is great, but it takes more than that for a solid, grown-up relationship. That's what I feel was missing here. On the flip side, there is plenty of steam generated between these characters, and I think Bell had the right idea. It just didn't all come across the way I'd hoped. 

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