Estelle Laure’s But Then I Came Back
5 out of 5 stars
“We’re a thousand. We’re a million. We’re facets. Starshine.”
If there is one thing I am certain of when participating in a book blog tour, it’s that I’m going in blind. I’m either going to love the book – or not.
I love this book.
Eden Jones, 17 years old (but turns 18 in the novel), falls into a coma after smashing her head off a rocky riverbed. She can see everything that happens in purgatory, what she calls “In Between”. She can see her mother crying in her bed, she can see her best friend holding her limp hand, but she also sees something rather peculiar.
While in “In Between,” Eden speaks to a girl, Jasmine. But she is not just any girl.
She’s in the hospital too.
One room over.
Laying in a coma.
Waking up from her coma, Eden is met by loving family and friends but adapts a pessimistic outlook on life. She hates everyone. She hates everything. No longer can she perform ballet due to physical therapy, no longer does she feel included in her circle of friends. To her, those few months seemed like an eternity she missed out on.
A lot of us don’t believe in it, but fate plays a big role in the events of Eden’s life.
Joe is a friend of Jasmine’s and frequently visits her. Joe meets Eden and what soon becomes friendship transitions into a relationship.
She gives him strength and he helps her see the positive aspects life has to offer.
If Eden never slipped she never would have ended up in the hospital and she never would have met Joe.
Or something like that.
Estelle Laure has a way with words and writing that instantaneously makes the reader fall in love.
The novel is seen through Eden’s perspective with a sense of sarcasm that makes for humorous yet meaningful moments. I laughed with every chapter.
The writing was simple yet impactful. The words Laure uses and their brevity make the sentences bold and powerful. When taking notes I jotted down many outstanding quotes.
No one knows whether the reality we are experiencing is reality reality or if we’re just making it up.
Hands down my favourite character is Eden. I admire her personality and everything she stands for. She’s a hardass and bullheaded. She doesn’t take shit from people and stands her ground. I like that.
In the first stages of recovery Eden is stubborn. She doesn’t want any of the help or support that is offered. She wants to be alone, except with Joe of course. She tells people off when they say something she does not like or when they patronize her for her negativity.
What I admire most though is Eden’s ability to rediscover herself. Though the accident changes Eden, she admits to herself that it is for the better. Though she has to work harder than ever at ballet, regain muscle mass and must rekindle relationships she overcomes her pride and becomes a better person.
A unique layout characteristic that made this book original is that Laure divided the book into three sections: Before, During and After. Before the accident happened, during the recovery period, and after everything works itself out.
On top of being sent an advanced reader’s copy, I was also able to ask Laure a question. So I asked: How did you become an author and what made you want to become one?
“I have always loved books and paper and pens. I have always filtered my reality through words, whether lyrics, poetry, or quotes. My room all the way through college was plastered in words. I have words tattooed on my back. So I think it’s always been there, I just didn’t have a particular story to tell. And I always wanted to be a writer but felt I wasn’t special so why even bother? I found it easier to act and say words other people gave me. I didn’t realize you have to write badly first, totally release your ego, and get down with all your fears. I started writing in earnest with the intent of completing a novel about ten years ago. I literally had a dream that turned into a story I couldn’t shake. I wrote during my baby’s naps. They say you have to want to be a writer more than sleep. I guess I did. I always want it more than anything.”
I recommend this book for any gender ages 12 and up. With romance, humour, sarcasm and drama, this is a book that will satisfy the interests of all.
I have a list. A list of favourite authors. This list is small and well thought out.
Congratulations Estelle Laure.
You made the list.