August 26, 2014

Within These Walls Review

Within These Walls

J.L. Berg
5 Stars!

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Within these walls, he became my solace, my sanctuary and my strength. 

I am not strong. I am just a survivor of circumstance.
Isn’t that what we all do? Survive?

Each of us has our own set of circumstances to muddle through. Mine are just more…complicated. 

Born with a severe heart defect, I’ve seen the inside of a hospital room more than my own bedroom. 

I was drowning, a prisoner to the illness that owned me, until he appeared. He thinks he’s blocked out the world with his tattoos and hard exterior, but I see the real Jude, the one he so desperately wants to forget. 

But is he the answer to my prayers or will he break my already damaged heart forever?

My name is Lailah Buchanan, and this is our story of hope, redemption and sacrificing it all for the one you love.

“Within these walls, I gave myself to a man who said he would always fight for me and love me until the end of time.
            But sometimes, not even love was enough when life got in the way.”

J.L. Berg is a fairly knew author to me. I have heard of the Ready Series but I have not read any of them but I have heard great things. That is why I chose to jump at the chance to read Within These Walls. J.L. Berg had me from the prologue. It was love at first line with me. I ended up staying up until 4:30 the next morning to finish it and I don’t regret a single minute.

“Remember when I said you were Rapunzel, sitting up in tower, just waiting for your prince? Well, he’s your Flynn,” she with a grin. “And he found you.”

Lailah Buchanan was born with a heart defect. She has been in and out of the hospital her entire life but this hospital stay will be different. She has officially gone into congestive heart failure and she has also met the love of her life. Lailah’s character was so well written. She was strong for her mom and Jude when she needed to be but she was also funny, light hearted, and caring. She taught people that life needs to be lived and not just walked through.

"It was as if I'd been underground for years, locked away in a dungeon of my own making and unable to break free. After meeting Laihla, I felt as if my chains had melted away, and I had finally crawled up to the surface to catch my first blinding glimpse of the sun."

Jude has been wondering the halls of the hospital his fiancĂ©e died in for three years now. He does nothing but work and sleep. He’s a loner that doesn’t let anyone in. He is still punishing himself in the only place he can still feel Megan. Until one night he sees Lailah eating chocolate pudding with her finger. Jude was such a troubled character but he was also one that had hope, even if he didn’t want to acknowledge that hope. I had some reservations about him at first but J.L. Berg created another amazing character. There were so many layers to Jude. There was so much he lost but he was able to pull himself out, with the help of Lailah, and become the sexy, funny, caring guy I added to by book boyfriend list.

“Never forget the never-ending ways in which I love you and know that I will never stop fighting for you, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I’ll always keep your wings in flight.”

The romance was through the roof. It was sweet and innocent. The romance grew as each character grew and learned who they were supposed to be. They each helped gave themselves to each other equally. Lailah helped Jude become human again and Jude helped Lailah feel human and normal even if it was only for a few hours.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. I loved every minute of it. There was a low-key angst that followed you throughout the book. Lailah talked about it being the elephant in the room and you could feel it as a reader through the book. Her illness. It was always there and J.L. Berg is a genius to be able to make you feel it subconsciously. The writing was done beautifully. She was able to fill the book was so much intense, real, and raw emotion. The flow didn’t feel rushed or slow it was perfect for what the story needed.

“As long as we were able to love and be loved in this world, no heart would ever be beyond repair. Love had brought me to her and there, it had given me a reason to live again. She was my angel, my Lailah, my love.”

Overall this book was just amazing. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy books about hope, redemption, and finding a love that you are willing to sacrifice anything and everything for. I couldn’t have enjoyed this book anymore! Well done J.L. Berg I will be reading more!

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