Author: Danielle Allen
Date of Publication: July 31, 2013
Formats Available: E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: Sahara Lee has spent the last ten years living with the guilt of a tragic accident and its aftermath. That night irrevocably changed the outgoing, fun-loving college freshman into an introverted, workaholic with no social life. Sahara isolates herself from everyone and everything that reminds her of home in an effort to forget what happened. Using art as a substitute for love, Sahara throws herself into music and art as a way to feel something other than the guilt that haunts her. She accepts her lonely existence as penance for the role she played in the accident. That is, until she meets Tyree Barker, the good looking entrepreneur with baggage of his own.
Blindsided by a legal loophole, Sahara is suddenly forced to confront the past she’s been running from. Juggling the guilty feelings of her past and the unexpected feelings of her present, Sahara’s future becomes complicated as she heads down a path of forgiveness, love, and heartbreak…and not in that particular order.
Back to Life reminds you that living and existing are two completely different ways to go through life. Grief will break you but guilt, guilt will destroy you. And once that happens, what can bring you back to life?
Back to Life is one of those books that while there's nothing bad about it, there's nothing really memorable either. While the novel was well written and put together I just found myself a little bit bored with a story that I've read so many times already. Though this novel had a lot of good things going for it, such as the good writing and fleshed out characters, it didn't change the fact that I just wasn't all that impressed by the story itself.
Right off the bat I really liked Sahara, even though she was still hurting from what happened to her in the past I could tell that she was going to be a strong character and push through what happened to her, no matter how hard it may be. Sometimes indie novels have a little bit of a problem with flat characters but Sahara had a well rounded personality. I could relate to her a lot in that she really loved music and art and, though I knew where it was going, I did enjoy how Allen slowly revealed parts of her story, instead of dumping it on me all at once.
The romance between Sahara and Ty moved quickly, super quickly, but it worked well enough for the story. There were some moments where I wish things had been a little slower to give Sahara and Ty a chance to really get to know each other before things between them got so intense, but the quick speed helped the story move along. They both had interesting stories and I liked watching how they intertwined and overlapped. Ty was also a well written character and didn't suffer from the lackluster personality some male love interests suffer from.
Even though I really liked the characters it didn't change the fact that the plot was nothing special. It wasn't bad, but I've read the same thing plenty of times before so I just couldn't get into the story the same way I might have if it had been a bit more original. I could see everything coming a mile away and the only thing that ended up throwing me for a loop was the ending. The cliffhanger Allen throws us at the end was the most exciting and unexpected part of the whole novel and while it did make up for a lot of the predictability in the beginning it didn't completely erase it.
Overall Back To Life wasn't a bad book, just a little on the forgettable side. Allen does have talent as a writer and with a more original plot she definitely has the potential to write something really good.