02 November 2013

Title: A Risk Worth Taking
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Publisher: Accendo Press (October 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Order Heather's books online here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: When 22-year-old Summer Stafford’s parents split halfway through her senior year at college, Summer’s world is rocked. Everything she thought she knew—heck, everything she thought she wanted for her own life—feels like a lie. The truth is love is a risk. And the true kind, the kind that lasts, might even be a fairy tale.

Reeling from the divorce, Summer derails her own future by breaking up with her parent-approved boyfriend and giving up her lifelong plans for a big-city career. She moves back home, business degree in hand. Dad needs her to fill the gaps her mother left behind; Summer needs to find who she is outside of the cookie-cutter life that failed so miserably for her parents.

Ford O’Neal’s future involves one person: himself. He doesn’t have a permanent address and he definitely doesn’t commit. To a place or a person. Raised by hippies, he plans just far enough ahead to secure his next stop, this one landing him at a work-study program at Heritage Plantation where he can grow his own herbal and medicinal creations.

Summer is gorgeous and smart and fun to be with, the perfect way to pass five months. It won’t be love—Ford’s got too many things to accomplish, too many places to go, before he settles down. Yet Summer pulls him in, challenging him to rethink his own philosophy.

When Ford’s five months are up, each of them must decide if love is really worth the risk.

Review: 4.5 Stars - Heather Hildenbrand’s A Risk Worth Taking is a fantastic story written in dual points of view, between the two main characters Summer and Ford. Both in their early twenties they each believe they know what they want in their lives, but how things change when the other offers a different point of view.

Summer and Ford… where do I even begin? At the start of the book Summer’s numb and let me say that Hildenbrand did a fantastic job writing her. I could feel how numb she was while reading, so that’s the first thing I must commend the author on. Summer’s trying to come to terms with the separation of her parents. She doesn’t understand it and is more than scarred from how everything came about. After college she’s moved back home to her family’s farm to help her dad in the office to take over all the books. Slowly we see Summer and her emotions start to crack from behind that wall of numb she’s got surrounding her.

And then we have Ford. He’s somewhat nomadic and is doing a work-study program on the farm working on combining various herbs and plants for medical purposes. He’s easy going, fun loving and has plans for his future… well it’s more of an idea of how he wants to see his life go. He’s more of a “go with the flow, spontaneous kind of guy”. He wants to live his life to the fullest, not miss out on a thing and not look back on his life as if he missed something.

The two characters are both trying to navigate their lives living within the shadow of their parent’s lives and relationships. The parallels are amazingly well written as well. I loved how Summer and Ford had a chance to have their side of the story heard with this dual POV. It was such an amazing chance to watch them work through their issues and seeing just how they helped to change each other.

Another thing I have to more than commend Hildenbrand on is how emotional this novel was. I found myself crying more than once and at a couple of points I was sobbing so hard that I had to stop reading and try to catch my breath. It’s not often while reading that I find myself so emotional about a book or characters and this one really hit me hard.

All in all I loved this story and these characters and thought the writing was done amazingly well. On one hand I wanted to devour the book, which I did because it’s just so easy to read and the words just flow, yet I didn’t want it to end either! I highly recommend this title to anyone looking to read a great contemporary story with characters that’ll be very hard to forget and a story that’ll leave its mark. I would love to see more from these characters or other characters within this world which I hope Hildenbrand has plans of in the future. Either way I’m looking forward to more from her and I’ll be rereading this one over and over again. Enjoy!

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