“I knew before I met you —”
“— that I was meant to be yours.”
HOLY WOW. *wipes tears* I mean, really. WOW. WOW. WOW.
I can say with full certainty that this was one of THE BEST BOOKS I have ever read in my whole life, and it is easily one of the Top 10 most emotional ones too. I ugly cried. Tears pouring down my face. Crying with noise. Crying so hard I couldn’t even see the page. But, don’t be scared. This isn’t a tragic story and it’s not depressing (I’m going to come right out and say that it’s a happy ending because I don’t want to scare you away). It’s just POWERFUL beyond words. Deeply powerful. As I read, I’d get these full body CHILLS (then tears) over and over and over again. The pure, raw intensity and depth of the emotions it evoked were overpowering. I absolutely LOVED it. For the first time this year, I’m giving 6 STARS !!
Have you ever had a dream so vivid that, for a little while, you weren’t sure if maybe it was reality? Where you were aware it was a dream but it felt like the most real thing in the world? And maybe sometimes, you chose to stay there just a little bit longer instead of waking up?
If you’ve ever experienced that, then this synopsis should intrigue you…
After her beloved husband Patrick’s sudden death over ten years ago, Kate never expected to find love again. But now she’s planning her second walk down the aisle. So why isn’t she more excited? … When she starts seeing her late husband in her dreams, she begins to wonder if he’s trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, she must uncover her husband’s hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.
That immediately intrigued me so I tried the first few pages of the book and was HOOKED. Instantly drawn into the story. The more I read, the more invested I became. And when she had the first dream, I got chills!!!! — Holy freaking wow — IT. FELT. REAL. I literally had goosebumps from head to toe, my eyes were filled with tears, and I was just overflowing with these intense FEELINGS for this story.
Just like Kate, my mind was spinning with questions and theories. What was going on in her dreams? How were they possible? How could they be happening? What was Patrick trying to tell her? Was it really him? Was it just her subconscious desperately clinging to the memory of the only man who she’d ever truly given her heart to? Was it just pre-wedding nerves? Was there a greater purpose to it all?
What was happening?!
I really felt Patrick’s loss so strongly even though it happened in the first chapter and then we moved forward a decade to the present day. They’d had the kind of epic love that didn’t let go no matter how much time had passed and even though they both were not still living. Regardless of that reality, Kate did have to go on with her life but sadly it left her feeling empty. Her soul mate had been stolen away and she was left feeling like she was settling for a life she wasn’t intended for. Twelve years later and, even though she rationally knew she had to move on, it was a pain that would never truly heal.
So when she saw Patrick again in her dreams, she found herself torn — that life she felt she was intended to live had been ripped away from her. She was very aware that her dreams of Patrick were not reality — and that was made very clear in the story — but between her dreams and reality, the dream life she caught only glimpses of was the life she wished she was living, the life she felt she was supposed to have lived.
I have to you… with each dream scene, I had the same reaction. It was just instant.
My most favorite books are the ones that can produce (even once!!!) the level of emotion that this book pulled out of me over and over again. I was absolutely blown away by the writing. I think it takes incredible talent to make a reader feel that depth of emotion without directly using a tragedy to trigger it. So basically, even just in the middle of the story, a random scene could make tears cascade down my face only because I felt that deeply connected to the story. The emotions were literally just a direct result of the incredible reading experience itself. It is such a special talent to be able to create that.
There’s a point in the story (maybe around the 70%-ish mark) where you might feel it gets a little bit slow, but just trust in the story. It’s part of the journey. I’ll admit that with as epic a build-up as this book had, I did honestly worry a little that the ending might not be able to deliver. But THIS ONE DELIVERED. Holy wow, did it ever deliver everything I could have hoped for and more. I was beyond impressed with how POWERFUL it turned out to be. Everything that happened in the entire story — and I really, truly mean e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g — happened for a reason. Everything she went through led her to the ending which I honestly did not see coming but loved SO much that at one point, I just stopped reading and sat there SOBBING my heart out. The tears wouldn’t stop. It was pure UGLY CRYING. Such a BEAUTIFUL story. Gah, I just teared up now thinking back to it. It was one of the most impactful endings I’ve read.
And I want to reassure you again: it is uplifting, not tragic. I promise.
I feel like I didn’t just read this book, I lived it along with Kate. Shock, happiness, confusion, elation, hope, despair, understanding, joy… I felt everything. Honestly, right now, I just want to go read it again!
While this is not specifically a romance, if I had to pick ONE word to tell you what this story was about, that word would be LOVE. Because Patrick literally dies in the first chapter of the book, it’s clearly not set up to be a “traditional romance” but I promise you, there is a love story, a VERY strong one, that is the central component. I don’t know how to explain it further without totally giving it away. The love they have is just EPIC and it is the core driving factor behind the story even though it’s not “specifically” a romance. As a hard-core romance reader myself, I’d say this is a book I loved beyond words.
And… for the love of all movie gods, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let this book get a movie deal. It would honestly make an absolutely amazing film. I could picture the whole story unfolding before my eyes as I read. It had this rich, vivid quality to it and a story I know would translate wonderfully to the big screen.
This is one of the very best books I’ve ever read in my whole life, and one of the most profoundly beautiful stories I’ve ever experienced. It’s the kind of powerful, captivating story you read even once and then never forget. I recommend it for everyone. And, for the first time this year, I’m rating a book 6 STARS!!
“Tell me you love me, Patrick,” I whisper urgently, because I need to hear him say it before reality comes crashing back in.
Patrick pulls back a little to look me in the eye. “More than you could ever imagine,” he says. “I love you, Kate. I knew before I met you —“
“— that I was meant to be yours,” I murmur.
Rating: 6 STARS! Standalone.
PS: Yes, it is absolutely worth every penny!
6 stars???????? One clicking NOW!
YES!! Happy reading 😀
I’m so glad you read this one. I read it a few months ago and agree with you – its unforgettable. One of my top reads of the year!
Oh, I’m so glad you loved it too!! <3
I’ve been waaaaaiting for an epic read. Thanks for posting this!
This is it!! Very welcome 😀
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!!!!! Sorry, just had to say that lol
It TOTALLY is!! 😀 😀
Stunning review Aestas!
Thank you so much, Nina!! <3
Kristin Harmel says
Thanks to all of you — especially Aestas — for the very kind words!
You are so very welcome! Thank you for giving us all such an amazing book!!
Bianca Sanchez says
Well now I’m just gonna go get the paperback. I’m sold 🙂
Awesome!!! I have to admit, after I read the eBook, I ordered the paperback too. Just had to have it on my shelf 😉 Happy reading!
What?? 6 stars from Aestas? one clicking right now!
Heehee!!! It’s been quite a while since I fully rated 6 stars 😉
Robyn B. says
Great review. I bought a copy awhile ago and have yet to read it. But, after reading your review I will bump it up in my tbr.
Wonderful!!! I hope you fall in love with it too 🙂
I read this right after you posted it and FELL IN LOVE! What an incredible book! THANK YOU for posting about it. I would never have found it otherwise. I LOVED IT!
WOW!!! YAY!! I am so glad to hear that, Mikaela!! *happy dance*
What an AMAZING book! Read it in one day! I hope they make this book into a movie. You did a Fabulous review, spot on. 🙂
I read this book last week thanks to your glowing recommendation, and it was amazing. I absolutely loved it! Thank you for sharing this. I’m off to check out more of your recommendations asap!
Elizabeth Swain says
I finished this book yesterday. I couldn’t put it down. Wow! This is truly an eye opening book. This is a book that can change your outlook on life.
Loved this book ! Couldn’t put it down and definitely one of my favourite of the year too ! Thank you so much for the recommandation !
I’ve never read a better review to something! Usually i don’t read this kind of books but I’ll give it a try because of your review, sometime in the future 😀
Harper Kincaid says
Alright, I’m trying this one, based on your glowing review. Btw, I’m a longtime stalker, er, I mean, reader of your blog, but am finally commenting!
Can’t wait to read!! Thanks for the suggestion!
Glad that you commented!! I hope you love this book, too!! Honestly, I think it’s actually my favorite of the year. At the very least, it’s in my Top 5. Happy reading 🙂
Hailey Fish says
The Life Intended was one of the best books I read in 2015! I have always loved Kristin’s novels but this one was by far the best! I won’t give too much but I felt as if I knew Kate Waithman for years and years. I thought Kate was a very strong woman but never really let her emotions bottle up as tight as she could until it exploded.
Sarah Cookley says
I want to read this so bad!!!
Bambi Marasigan says
I implore you, please read this. I so much recommend this.
Anne Marie says
Who doesn’t love a sale? Especially an Aestas-approved one?? Bought and in the TBR. 🙂
Woohoo!! Happy reading, Anne Marie!
Bambi Marasigan says
Yes, I absolutely agree with you. Just reading your review I had these goosebumps on my nape and face. I was also so hooked with the book that I finished it before I put it down. Kate’s and Patrick’s connection is way beyond this life. Yes, I also believe in the messages of our dreams. Thank you for giving this review. I hope all the book lovers out there get a copy of this book and start to experience Kate’s journey to love and life’s gift.
I also agree with you that this book is a great source for a great movie.
Diana from the Netherlands says
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I really loved it! I wanna thank you for sharing your review(s) with us. This book is for example not translated in Dutch and without your blog I wouldn’t have found it. Your blog is my guideline for looking for “new” books to read! The last months I’ve only read books in English, because of your recommendations.
Thank you, Diana
You’re so welcome!! I’m really happy that you’re finding good books to read on here. This was probably my favorite book in the year I read it. So many feels!