Book Review : By My Side – Alice Peterson

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One step can change everything…

Cass Brooks wishes she could turn back time. She’d go back to that morning and retrace her steps. Her boyfriend, Sean, would still be with her. Her mother wouldn’t be nagging her to plan a new future when all she wants is her old life back.

But when Ticket, the most loyal golden Labrador, bursts into Cass’s life, she dares to dream that she can be happy again, that maybe she has a future after all?

Charlie Bell is single. Why can’t he commit? Following his latest break up, he finds himself sitting next to a young woman called Cass on a flight to Colorado.

She is unlike any woman he’s met before…

Would you please take a look at the cover first? What do you think? Well, to be totally honest, the cover didn’t draw me in. It’s just like some chick-lit books, which I usually couldn’t even finish. But the 4.4/5 stars got my attention and I have never read any of Alice Peterson’s book, so I decided to give it a go. The next thing I knew, I shed my ugly tears over this book.

Screenshot_2014-12-24-22-23-22The former life of an amazingly beautiful girl, Cassandra Brooks was beyond perfect. she was studying to be a doctor, had a perfect loving family, was in love, and her life was heading exactly at the direction she’d always hoped it would. But on one morning, she was distracted and hungover, she stepped into the path of a truck. The next thing she knew, she woke up with a cord spinal injury. And then there’s this douchebag she dated for years named Sean, leaving a letter on her hospital desk. He bailed just like that. Cass had so much to take in. She barely existed. She thought her life was over: unable to walk, lost her boyfriend, lost her job and her life as she knew it. All her friends and family worried about how they could help her rebuild her future but Cass felt that there was nothing anyone could do. But then fate intervened again. Cass met Ticket, a loyal golden Labrador who refused to leave her side. And on a flight to Colorado, she sat next to Charlie, who led her believe that he could show her a life full of possibilities, if only she would let him. Cass wanted her old life back. Charlie knew this couldn’t be. Yet a future beckoned all the same.

This book actually blew me away. Alice Peterson really managed to engage the Screenshot_2014-12-24-22-24-40reader in the storyline. It was so detailed and realistic that it could almost have been someone’s diary I was reading. The author has quite clearly spent a lot of time doing her research for this book, nothing is briefly skimmed over everything is delivered in great details.

I love all the characters. It feels like they’re all real. I love Charlie, he wasn’t just some hero character who loved a disabled heroine like they were perfect, because Cass wasn’t. He couldn’t deny that it would be easier if he could love a normal girl. But the problem was, he couldn’t even feel anything for the girls other than Cass. In the other side Cass felt so inadequate, she thought why would Charlie choose her over any normal girl. It’s not logical. But that’s love. You can’t help whom you’re in love with.

Screenshot_2014-12-24-22-25-22Disabilities are usually seen as a taboo subject in fiction, usually if there is a character with a disability they are only briefly mentioned in books where as this book is unique in the fact that the whole book is based around Cass and her new friends with disabilities.

The book has the right mix of compassion, humor and seriousness. It was a great, positive book to read. I couldn’t put it down.This was my first Alice Peterson book, but it certainly won’t be the last I would read of hers. 5 stars for this book.

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