A Cross to Bear
by Julieanne Lynch
In his darkest hour, hope leads him to glory.
Focus and determination are all that Logan Belanger lives by. Brought up single-handedly by his mother, he moves to Columbus, Ohio to begin the next phase of his life as a competitive swimmer with Ohio State University. All that changes when he meets Bree, the troubled young woman who hides a dark secret that has all the possibility of destroying his faith in love.
New friendships are forged and bonds created that send his life into a spiral. Not being able to handle the pressures of college life, Logan soon finds himself walking down the dark and lonely path to self destruction–losing those he loves along the way.
Can Logan break the cycle or will his actions be his cross to bear?
This book was unexpected.
It’s a dark, raw and at times compelling real story that managed to surprise me completely.
I wasn’t expecting a happy go lucky college romance, but the twists and turns took much darker paths than I was expecting.
The blurb leads us to believe that this book is about Logan, but personally I don’t think it is. Logan is a small player in a much bigger stage and although at times he takes centre stage, for me I found him the least interesting character.
This book deals with some themes that are harsh and a little more real than I usually choose to read about.
In fact this whole story was dark and a little depressed.
During the course of this book we see amongst others things, life, death, family, betrayal, depression, peer pressure, manipulation, obsession and sex.
That’s a hell of a lot to throw into one book!
Some of the themes are dealt with beautifully and I loved the raw emotion and depth of feeling they provoked. Unfortunately some themes were thrown in there and just didn’t reach their full potential.
Personally I didn’t relate to any of the characters, I don’t think I was meant to. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters; again I’m not sure I was meant to. Bree is odd, she has a very masculine quality to her and at times I just wanted to punch her in the face. The whole situation with Jack intrigued me and honestly I was a little disappointed when it ended how it did. I don’t feel like I understand Bree, but I wanted to. I struggled to engage with her because she was a little random, her behaviour was erratic and like all of the characters in this book she could seriously benefit from some counselling. The religious elements seemed a little out of place even though it was one of her only actions that I could completely understand her motivation for.
Logan is a douche bag. That’s not a description I use often but on this occasion it feels apt. He appears in the first chapter a very young, naïve, sanctimonious asshole. I instantly hated him and it never really got any better. He pretended to have a backbone but never followed through, and oh my god who his father was WTF how random was that. His thoughts were loud but his actions never matched up, I get that we all think a big game in our head. Logan was a sheep and that’s a massive shame.
Personally I found Jet, Drake and Spence much more interesting characters, we barely get to know them but honestly if their books get written id totally read them.
What this author does do is write a great asshole!! Wow Jack, Ethan and Tommy were brilliant characters. They made my skin crawl; many won’t agree that Tommy is a villain but he so was! These male characters were gloriously chilling, and so horrible, I just wish they had got some comeuppance.
Depression is a big theme in this book and poor Drake, god my heart went out to him. I wanted to reach in and help him, I wanted them to stand up for him more. I wanted to get into his head and give him strength. His letter at the end absolutely broke my heart and I cried, big fat ugly tears.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style of this author, the jump from alternating POV to third person and back gave me whiplash and on many occasions I had to go back and reread sections to make sense of them.
The dialogue was formal and I missed that conversational edge that makes a book really flow. This might have been a deliberate thing to coincide with the theme of the book but personally it made me feel a little disconnected. I still have absolutely no idea what the characters look like because I don’t remember them ever being described. I’m a very visual reader and I like to be able to picture the people and the scene in my head as I read, this story was told to me instead of shown to me.
I didn’t hate this book, but I’m left feeling a little dissatisfied by it. There were glimpses of emotional genius that had me in tears but they were too few and far between. I wanted to get into these characters heads and truly understand their fears, joy and pain but I only scratched the surface.
A Cross to Bear gets 3 stars from me.