ARC REVIEW: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (May 2018)

When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for someone else.

My synopsis: Straight out of business school, Margaret is right on track to her perfect life: a charming soon-to-be pilot boyfriend who she thinks is about to propose to her, an ideal condo, an interview to her dream job. On Valentine’s Day, Chip popped the question. Then something went awry and their plane comes crashing down – along with all her hopes and dreams, and the only life she’s ever known. With all the odds stacked against her, can Margaret recover and learn how to walk away from this tragedy?

To be published May 15, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Printed ARC provided by publisher through BookishFirst, in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction

Themes: tragedy, accident, recovery, hope, family, physical therapy, reconciliation, silver linings, life, love, happiness, happy endings

Amazon* / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price if you buy the book through my link. Thank you!

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That’s the thing you don’t know – that you can’t know until life has beaten the crap out of you: I am better for it all. I am better for being broken.

How to Walk Away greatly surpassed my expectations – it was unexpectedly inspiring. Told in Margaret’s dynamic and friendly first-person narrative, it is very easy to be engrossed in Margaret’s world. It starts out really pleasant, but I figured it will be a pretty average read.

It’s not till a few chapters in when Margaret goes through her recovery process that I start to realize how realistic it is, but also somehow encouraging and inspiring. At the end of it, I just couldn’t believe I read a fictional account. There weren’t any surprises beyond that which falls into the life is full of surprises category. But I reached this point in the novel when I just couldn’t stop reading anymore because I was so emotionally invested!

If you think of human emotions as music, then mine were like an orchestra with no conductor. I felt a lot of different sounds, but I didn’t quite know how to read them or combine them in ways I understood. And yet there was no doubt that the instruments of my body were playing – my skin under the wind, my lungs drawing in crisp breaths, my eyes taking in the vast and brilliant sky. There was music – good music – even if it wasn’t a melody I recognized.

Margaret is one of those go-getters who seems to have it all together, but she isn’t overly confident nor excessively mopey. Throughout it all, I rooted out for her, and admired her resilience, but also her vulnerability. I loved how easy she was to relate to. She’s the woman who has lost almost everything – and her narrative so accurately reflected what would have been the state of mind of someone in that situation. 

Letting go of my past and my future at the same time felt like more than I could bear.

I also enjoyed how we got to know a lot about all the secondary characters, even if only from Margaret’s point-of-view: the controlling and perfectionist mother, the slightly reticent but extremely devoted father, the rebellious but warm and dependable sister, the vengeful and bitter Myles, the grouchy and seemingly dismissive and uncaring Scottish Ian, and the cowardly and guilt-driven Chip.

Bare minimum struck me as deeply insulting. Spoken like a person who had no idea what it was like for the bare minimum to be your own personal ultimate maximum.

The romance, of course, is so gratifying! I don’t want to say too much and spoil it, but it was slow-burning, and so good, and just perfect!

For a women’s fiction/contemporary romance, Katherine Center’s How to Walk Away is extremely quotable and realistic novel filled with both lovable and love-to-hate characters – and the ending is so rewarding! So, if you’re looking for a nice, inspiring contemporary read, I would highly recommend this one! 

7 reasons why you shouldn’t walk away before adding this to your TBR: 

  • So many life quotes

  • Slow-burning and ultimately gratifying romance

  • A new worthy book boyfriend (I’m already prepping my next #SwoonySaturdate entry!)

  • Fun and dynamic narrator

  • Perfect for those who are going through something – it’s slightly lighthearted but doesn’t avoid the unpleasant facts!

  • VERY realistic

***Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my review copy!

And thank YOU for reading my review! ❤

If you liked How to Walk Away: 

The Upside of Falling Down —>>>>>>>my review HERE!

Are there any contemporary reads that pleasantly surprised you?

Have you or a person close to you experienced a tragic accident and how did you/him/her/they cope with it? 

Sincerely Peachy (1)


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