4 out of 4 stars
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I devoured this novel in two days, sacrificing obligations and sleep. With heaviness and bags under my eyes, I must say that I am impressed.
September Rain, the second installment of the Savor the Days Series, is a contemporary romance between a troubled foster child, Angel, and a musician named Jake. Throughout the course of Jake’s band’s advancement in the world of music, their affections grow. He writes songs about her. She sees him perform from the mosh pit. Angel goes as far as to picture herself with Jake in the future, the two of them living their lives in the music in which they met. But Angel has experienced memory failures since that fateful day her mother left, and throughout the novel, Angel’s closest friend, Avery, slowly fades into the background of her life. The bulk of the novel is recounted six years after Jake’s death as Angel is held in prison.
The selection grabs you from the very beginning as Angel describes her hands being shackled together as she struggles to move from her cell to the reviewing room, where she professes her hatred of her once-best friend, Avery, who apparently contains a dark secret beneath her twisted lies.
Rivera’s smooth writing style propels the twisting events of the novel, seamlessly piecing together Angel’s memories and present. I was never confused as to whether the narration was in the past or the present; it’s written and pieced together in such a way that it’s easy to distinguish the two. Not only in circumstance, but in voice as well. I applaud A. R. Rivera for this, as I know it could not have been an easy feat.
Avery and Angel’s stories are put together masterfully and in accordance with the grab-you-by-the-throat plot twist towards the end. Without revealing spoilers, there isn’t much more that I can say on the matter (except that you should read it and see what I mean), so once again, I applaud Rivera. I had suspicion of the plot twist in question, but the way it was presented with all of its complexity astounded me. Upon further reflection, I found it nearly flawless and had to leave the book on my bed and pace around my room to calm down. It got me. Rarely does a twist hit me like this one did.
I only have two complaints—the first of which is grammar. The language throughout the novel was beautiful, but the selection is overridden with more than just typos—full on mechanic errors were hard to overlook as I cruised through my reading. Some words were switched out of place to the point the sentence didn’t make sense, and in many other places, there were things like obvious comma splices and incorrect use of quotes—things of that nature. I feel that it could have benefitted from another copyedit (Although, I fully understand that after reading through your own words so many times, your eyes start to play tricks on you and you don’t see anything wrong at all.).
My second complaint is lesser: Jake. Perfect jawline. Good hair. Perfect singer. Talent beyond words. Smooth. Hot. Very cliché, I feel. Extremely overused. Even if I did enjoy his character while reading, his character has become overused. He could have benefitted from a startling fatal flaw, or a giant mess up. But he didn’t, and it felt very unrealistic, in my opinion. All of the spotlight and expectations left a wide room for messing up. But Jake is the human embodiment of perfection.
In the first half to three quarters of the book, I honestly didn’t know where it was headed. It was completely focused in on Jake and Angel being lovey-dovey, and I was afraid that the turnout would disappoint me. But I stuck with it, and now I marvel here at one-in-the-morning at the genius of this work. I understand that writing a novel is a huge ordeal, as I have done it many times myself, but I cannot comprehend how much work Rivera must have put into this, despite its minor flaws. Again, applause for Rivera. I honestly don’t know how you did it.
I would recommend this book for older teens and new adult readers who like contemporary romance with a twist. If you are looking to become sleep-deprived and giddy, read September Rains for sure! It’s an incredible read and well worth your time.
I give September Rain 4 out of 4 stars for the cohesive display of complex plot.
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