Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas

Title: Throwing My Life Away
Author: Liz Czukas
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Source: ARC from Author
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo
7 photographs, 2 weeks, an entire life to get back. No problem, right?

After her stepfather accidentally throws away her high school mementos, sentimental Mariska is pretty sure the world is over. That is, until she comes up with a plan. She’s going to recreate her past, with a little help from her friends.

It’s not easy to rally everyone into helping, especially Caine, who couldn’t be less sentimental about anything if he were a park bench. But from a guerrilla kite festival to convincing her ex-boyfriend to recreate her lost prom picture, Mariska is willing to do what it takes.

With a little nudging from Caine, Mariska starts to realize she can’t actually get her past back. And maybe that’s okay. Because while she’s so focused on the past, she’s missing out on the present, where her friends are busy having the summer of their lives. And where funny, quiet Cain might just be the future she never knew she wanted.

As someone who reads a lot I know that there are some books that will stick with me more than others, it's just what happens. But those books that stick with me, they do so for a reason. Sometimes it's because they resonated with me in a particular way, in other cases it's because it was a particularly good story. I don't know exactly what it was about Liz Czukas's Throwing My Life Away, but I know that also two months later, I'm still thinking about it.

Despite having her books on my shelves, I haven't actually read any of Liz Czukas's books. Well, that's not entirely true; I've read the New Adult titles she's written as Ellie Cahill and I absolutely loved them. So when she approached me to see if I would be interested in reading Throwing My Life Away I jumped at the opportunity. And I'm glad I did because I loved reading this story. Right from the start, it made me nostalgic for that time between high school and college where I was ready to move forward and see what the future had to offer while also wanting to hold on to all the memories of the past (granted I'm someone who actually liked high school and have lots of good memories from it). While reading, I could understand Mariska's sadness and anger at losing all her pictures because it felt like she was losing all her memories. But as much as it sucked, if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't have had a story to read and that would have sucked just as much. 

As much as I enjoyed reading all about Mariska and her friends recreating her memories (or at least doing their best to recreate something close to her memories), my favourite part of the story was Mariska's relationship with Caine. At first, I honestly didn't think their relationship would be anything beyond friendship and that it would just be some side plot that wouldn't really get explored. And I was immediately disappointed because there was something about the way they interacted with each other that made me want to know and see more. And then Caine started popping up all the time and before long I was rooting for Mariska and Caine. They so clearly made sense together even if it took forever for the both of them to figure it out. And even when they figured it out, I still wasn't quite sure they were going to happen. But they did and it was perfect. 

There's a lot about Liz Czukas's Throwing My Life Away: the nostalgia it brought on, the photo quest, the yearbook battle, the slow build of the romance. It was so many things I love all in one book. To make a long story short, this is a story you definitely don't want to miss.

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