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The Twenty-One (Emerald Cove Book 2) Kindle Edition
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That's when we meet Joel Henley, Ellie's high school boyfriend. He left her suddenly when she was 16, and within the blink of an eye manages to again sweep her off her feet, dragging her along with him as he works through a bucket list of twenty-one things he wants to do before he turns twenty-one. Everything seems to be going swimmingly till maybe halfway through the book ... and that's when (as is traditional in these sorts of books, I guess?) the wheels come off.
From that point on, everything gets harder on all fronts -- but there are sweet moments too, bright spots in the gloom like stars in the night sky. That comparison isn't just me being poetic; stars are a theme throughout the book, one I like to think McKellar put there deliberately for that exact reason.
I really liked Joel. I especially liked the way that he helps Ellie to stand on her own two feet, take (reasonable) risks and discover the spine that she forgot she had all along. Her character growth as a result of his influence is wonderful to watch, and those moments where she put her foot down and said no to others were simply glorious.
If you're a fan of heart-wrenching stories then pretty much anything by McKellar is worth a look. Most of her books largely stand alone, so you don't need to read How to Save a Life to be able to follow this one, but I loved that book too, so you definitely should.
Joel and Ellie's story is beautiful and I couldn't help but fall in love with these characters. Jolie has been watching out for her mom and sister since her father died and asked her to watch over them. Helping make sure they are OK is a full time job in of itself for Jolie, but she does it because she made a promise. She's just floating through life and not really living, until she runs into Joel. Joel, the one who left her three years ago without a word, and the man she is still quite in love with.
Watching Joel and Ellie reconnect was beautiful. Joel showed Ellie how to live and pushed her outside of her comfort zone many times. It took Ellie a while to see what Joel was showing her, but once she saw that there was more to life than what she was doing, she embraced it by the end.
This book is definitely one that you will need tissues for. As the story progresses you see how things are going to end, but you hope and pray things to be different for these two. As much as I hated what happened, I think it showed a log of strength in that character and helped with how the story would go on. This book definitely gave me the feels, and had me laughing, swooning, and balling my eyes out. I adored Ellie and Joel's love story, and am happy to see how things ended up for Ellie. I hope to see more of her in future books in this stand-alone series as I think her story isn't over yet, but with that said, the epilogue was beautiful and perfect for this book!
I highly recommend The Twenty-One if you are looking for an amazing stand alone that will take your breath away! Lauren K. McKellar wrote a beautiful story that will definitely take you on an emotional ride!
I can't express the things I want to without spoiling the book but keep the tissues handy. Joel will make you see the world through a new set of eyes.
Lauren McKellar wrote this book with such grace. Just a warning do not read this in public. I made that mistake today.
For a heart felt read dive into this today.
The Twenty One is the story of Ellie. While dealing with a death of someone close to her, Ellie takes on the responsibility of taking care of her family and making sure they are okay. Her world is shaken up again when Joel, the first boy she ever loved comes back into her life.
Joel, who has his own story, comes back to Emerald Cove with a purpose. He didn't expect to fall for Ellie all over again.
What will happen with these two? Will they finally get a happy ending or is history about to repeat itself?
One click this beauty and find out!
**WARNING** Make sure to have tissues, comfort food, vodka, Valium and maybe even a shoulder to cry on. You ARE going to need it.
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