3 out of 4 stars
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Humans always desire to defend what they consider theirs, but sometimes they resort to drastic measures in doing so. When death is added to an already escalating situation, it seems the only way to solve the problem is shedding more blood. In Until Irene by A'taris Anthony, we learn that the pain of physical destruction is nothing compared to the pain of hatred.
Lamont knew that things were tense in Paterson, but he had no idea just how much he was going to make it worse. He made a seemingly inconsequential decision that put him on the road at a particular time, and in a few seconds, his world was seriously impacted. The spin-off from it would cost several people their lives, leave others severely injured, and bring immeasurable pain to many others. As the situation seemed to get hopeless, a storm brought unlikely foes together, and it was up to them to decide whether all the mistakes made by the different parties were worth forgiving.
I love the storyline of this book. It's simple and straightforward, but it still has a lot to teach. Though it is a bit predictable and there is not much buildup of suspense, the emphasis is more on the internal and external struggles each character has to face and the slow transition from doing what is considered best to what is right.
The author conveyed so much through her writing. The book's message was communicated beautifully, and the emotions of most of the characters resonated with me. The book flowed very smoothly and appeared to be well thought out. No matter how little, each action or decision precipitated some other events that somehow tied in with the book's overall plot. Everything was connected; there were no unnecessary scenes or holes in the plot. It made the book tighter and more concise. This was what I liked the most about the book.
The characters were very human in their thoughts, feelings, and desires. They were realistic, and it was easy to connect with them even though their circumstances were different. Like any other person, they sought comfort, peace, and happiness, and they took steps — sometimes wrong ones — to achieve these things. I saw how the main characters slowly evolved and how their decision-making process was impacted in the process. It wasn't abrupt or unrealistic.
One problem I found in this book was the abundance of errors; it seemed like there was one on every page. This posed a distraction for me while reading, and I would recommend another round of professional editing for this book so that other readers wouldn't have the same distracting experience. Another problem was that the narrative was pleasant but forgettable. While reading it, I enjoyed the story, but it didn't leave much of an impact on me a few moments after I was done.
I rate it 3 out of 4 stars due to the plethora of errors, and I recommend it to anybody who enjoys meaningful or slightly evocative storylines.
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