This review (modified) is also posted on Swoony Boys Podcast
Right off the bat, I want to say that I don't consider this book to be New Adult. Both of the MCs are college graduates--he's a major league baseball player and she runs his foundation (after getting her MBA). There are a few high school and college flash backs that I guess could make this New Adult in theory, but characters acting
like they're in college doesn't qualify a book for a certain genre. IMHO, this is just a book trying to ride the New Adult wave. But what do I know?
When major league baseball player Jason Kincaid wakes up from a month-long coma, he can't remember the last fifteen years of his life, including falling in love with (and marrying, divorcing, and rekindling) Megan Williams. The doctors tell her not to give him too many details about things he can't remember. Megan goes along with this because she doesn't want to feel like an obligation to Jason. As they try to sort through what they mean to each other, they have to come to terms with the fact that nothing will ever be the same again. The only thing that Jason is sure of is the fact that there's something about Megan and he doesn't want to be apart from her.
"The only time I feel like I'm not split in two is with you. When I'm with you, it's easy to forget I lost anything at all."
Realizing nothing will ever be the same, Jason makes the decision to move forward with his life.
"I'm sick of it. Sick of being frustrated. Sick of this dark, depressing feeling that comes over me at times. sick of wondering and waiting. I'm sick of waiting, Megan."
He nodded. "For my memories to come back." He drew in a deep breath. "So I'm gonna do something about it. I'm gonna get those memories back."
..."Jason, what if you can't remember?"
"Then I won't be any worse off than I am now," he said softly. "I've lost 15 years. I'm not about to lose another second. So starting right now, I'm on a quest. I'm gonna get my life back. And since my life was evidently with you before the accident happened, that's where I'm going to start."
I liked this story and thought the plot was pretty original. How would you feel if the person you'd loved since you were sixteen years old woke up and didn't remember you?
I just...I don't understand how he can remember his childhood but not..." Again she faltered. She didn't want to sound selfish, but the question remained. How could he not remember her? Them?
Megan and Jason's history is revealed to us in bits and pieces of their lives through flashbacks and memories, and I really enjoyed that. Overall, I liked the characters, too, especially Jason, in spite of him being a brat sometimes. He was a stand-up guy.
"I'm not gonna pretend that I haven't wanted to kiss you. I'm attracted to you. I think that's pretty clear, but we should take it a little slower. I don't want to jump into anything because I don't want to miss out on anything else."
His step-brother (and Megan's BFF), Tyler, was pretty awesome, and I feel like Lee left the door open for a companion book about him.
What didn't I like? While I understand that the doctors advised Megan against telling Jason about their past, I had a real problem with her basically lying to him.
"If I asked you something, would you tell me the truth?"
"Of course!" She sounded indignant that he was implying otherwise. "I've never lied to you, Jason."
"Right," he said, looking at her challengingly. "Then answer this question for me. What exactly was our relationship?"
"We were friends. We are friends." Her answer was too nice, too neat. As if she were reciting a pre-written script.
"That's it?" he challenged. "Nothing else? At no point were we more than friends?" There was that telltale pause from her. "Yes or no? It's a pretty straightforward question."
She also makes some decisions that I just didn't understand and at times she came off as a selfish brat to me. With that being said, I didn't totally hate her and want to give her the benefit of the doubt since she suffered through the traumatic experience of almost losing the love of her life and then not having him remember her.
This book contained a lot of repetition and some unorganized plot points that I believe a good editor would have caught. The ending was pretty abrupt and there were definitely some things that were left too open-ended for me.
With its original plot and likable characters who never forget how much they mean to each other, What Endures
is a story that reminds us to try to make the best with what life throws our way.