You guys... This post has literally taken me a month to write...
I am the worst slacker EVER.
Thank you guys, you rock!! :))))
Of course, we said yes; we couldn't turn it down!
Stronger Within tells the story of Lori and Jake. Lori is a graphic designer who does merchandising for musicians. Jake is an musician (I want to call him aspiring but that just doesn't seem right...) When Lori and Jake meet, Jake comes to Lori's rescue- she had fallen and was unable to get up! Having had a serious accident months before, Lori sought convalescence in Rehoboth Beath, DE (which is a great place to spend time).
Throughout the course of the novel, we find out what happened to Lori and we get to see if Jake is able to achieve his dreams of rock and roll stardom.
The best thing about this book (for me at least) was that it takes place in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I've been there many times over the last several years and it's a great place to visit the beach!
You're near the outlets where you can shop. You're near the beach where you can swim and tan. You're near Maryland- where you can visit Ocean City and go to the boardwalk or where you can find *amazing* seafood. Plus (!!) you're able to find the BEST donuts EVER.
It's close enough to New Jersey but far enough from New Jersey when you're looking for a quick getaway (haha).
It was fun to envision the main street in Rehoboth and imagine where the characters were walking and the places that they were going to. I felt like I knew exactly what resturants McCallum was referencing when Lori and Jake went to the sushi restaurant or “the Turtle”.
Coral did say that she also has vacationed to Rehoboth Beach many times in the past and that it was a spot she did love to visit.
When I asked Ms. McCallum what her inspiration was behind Stronger Within; she said that she received advice many years ago from an English teacher of hers, who said to write about what you love and passionate about. (Which sounds like some pretty solid advice if you ask me!). By taking the love she has for both rock music and the beach, McCallum was able to curate a story that was packed with both love and tragedy.
The things that I didn’t like are small and silly. I'm going to be honest when I say that I'm not really drawn to the rocker type of guy. I had a hard time with the fact that Jake has this long flowing hair. The tattoos, I was on board with (especially if the tattoos are like the ones that Michael Ray has ;) ). Jake was all bad boy exterior with a great big heart of gold.
Part of me would have liked to see Lori end up with Grey. You could totally see the special connection that Lori was developing with Becky. I thought it would make for a good twist and turn, if Lori and Grey had some sort of torrid love affair and ended up together. It seemed to me like the relationship between Lori and Becky was developing to be very strong.
There were some moments that were heavy- when you see that Becky’s mother gets fatally injured and when Jake gets shot. Looking back on it, I thought it was packed with too much tragedy. In a way, I felt that the reader was left to process a lot.
If you're interested (and you have to time to read!) and wanted to read Stronger Within (The Silver Lake Series Book 1), you can find it on Amazon! :))
Over the course of the next few months, Jess and I will be posting the reviews from the books that we are so kindly sent. (As you saw with Jess’s review from this week. Which, if you haven’t read- you should go check it out!)
Thank you again to all of the authors who are willing to share their wonderful books with us!