What You Leave Behind is one hell of an intense read. The opening scene is heartbreaking and even though I knew what was coming, I found myself holding my breath for the duration.
The book's title couldn't be more perfect as you read on and become witness to the devastation caused by one person's selfish decision. Katoff does such an amazing job of penning her characters' emotions that she sweeps you up into the all-consuming nature of the situation, while the story flows in such an effortless manner that I actually felt I was watching a film. Harper's turmoil is palpable at times and as she begins to get closer to Liam's best friend, you hope she's doing it for the right reasons. I had a particular soft spot for Austin, although his depth of feeling is actually painful and made for difficult reading at points, not in a bad way but because you really feel for him. He possesses a rare form of true love that means he always puts Harper's needs in front of his own.
I read this in almost one sitting and cried big fat lip wobbling tears as I came to the final pages. If I'm honest, I don't think it's the ending readers will be rooting for but Katoff doesn't take the easy route and I understood why. This is a book that deserves to be sitting on Amazon's best sellers list and should be read by anyone looking for a story with some real depth.
Reviewed by Charlotte Foreman on behalf of BestChickLit.com.