Late in the summer of 2005, starkly independent Jake Thornton was on the verge of turning 16, expecting little more than his driver’s license in the fall, and the continuance of the quiet life shared with his father. So when 14-almost-15 year old Sara moved in next door and began vying for his father’s attention, Jake wasn’t exactly thrilled, and couldn’t quite understand his father’s motives for allowing it. But certainly he never anticipated the dramatic shift their lives would take as a result.
As the summer fades and autumn takes over, friendship between the two teenagers begins blossoming into a bond, until fate steps in once more, threatening to tear them apart as quickly as they’ve come together. The decisions that follow, and the emotive tale that results, opens Jake’s eyes to the simple yet life altering truth, a truth that Sara has understood all along: that love—not the feeling but the action—is the most powerful force in the world.
I stepped out the side door of the shop with my hands full of gear and my head full of early-morning promise. Then I stopped dead in my tracks. Sara was there. She’d gotten to my old man while I was inside. I hadn’t heard her over the commotion, but there she was, sure as hell, with my father helping her fasten a life vest over a yellow sweatshirt. I watched for a moment, taking slow, deep breaths.
“Hi, Jake,” she said as I neared them, smiling in bright-eyed, tight-lipped triumph. Her hood was up with the strings drawn, and her head was partially immobilized due to the bulky, ugly orange life vest.
I said nothing and dropped the poles and tackle box into the center of the boat. The tackle box gave a semi-satisfying thud against the bottom. Sara jumped slightly.
“Here,” Dad said, ignoring me. Leaning before her, he pulled the hood strings a little snugger. “You don’t want that cold wind in your ears, where you’re not used to it. Once it warms up, you won’t need it anymore.”
“Thanks,” Sara said, smiling very big.
“We don’t have another pole,” I said. “The reel on the spare is broken.”
“She’ll use mine,” Dad said.
I climbed into the bow and took my seat facing forward. At the time I would’ve bet a thousand bucks that she was making faces behind my back. Ha-ha, I won!
When I started reading All Things Different I thought I was getting into an easy contemporary romance and was in no way prepared for the emotional roller coaster this story took me on.
The beginning of the story sets the scene for what life is like for what life is like for Jake and his father at their peaceful lakeside home in New Hampshire. They have a very simple life of routine that involves working, fishing, and nightly swims. When Sara and her mother move into their guest house Sara manages to turn Jake's life upside down. When Sara first arrives Jake has a very obstinate attitude towards her and really wants very little to do with her, but very quickly a strong bond begins to form between the two of them as Jake helps her deal with the demons of her past.
This was a very beautifully written story with great characters that have a lot of depth. It was descriptive and it was easy to get lost in the story and care about the characters. Jake is a very strong character who is eternally loyal to his father and Sara. He has a calm demeanor about him. Sara is a damaged young girl with an unstable family life. By far my favorite character in the story would have to be Jake's father "the old man." He's a caring and strong man and I think part of the reason I liked him so much was parts of his personality reminded me quite a bit of my own father.
All Things Different is a thought provoking coming of age novel that evokes a lot of emotions and had me in tears by the end. The story will stick with you long after you finish.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*