The Art of Us by K.L. Hughes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was blown away by this book. I knew nothing when I went into it, only that it is constantly listed as a recommendation by others.
This entire book had my emotions high-strung the whole way through. I fell in love with the two main characters. They were fun and quirky but serious adults at the appropriate times. I am such a sucker for the soul mates concept in this story. This book didn’t follow the very common steps you see in most other lesfics. It was refreshing. I found myself crying more often than I expected too, more often than any other book that I can remember.
This book has very easily made it to my top favorites list.
Full Review with Spoilers
There are books I’ve read that hit me deep in an emotional way, but none have hit me as hard as this one. This is the story of soulmates that I always wanted to read.
I had next to no idea what I would find when I started this book. It starts with Charlee and Alex having been broken up and seperated for a few years. At first I thought jumping into the middle of the story like that would make it hard for me to truly develop an attachment to these characters, but I was very wrong. Hughes tells the story of these two through flashbacks that are set up with relevent current events, conversations or even items in their lives. The book is equal parts flashback and current story progression. Getting to know the characters in this way really adds depth I didn’t expect going into it.
I enjoyed seeing how their lives were intertwined from early on and everything they experienced together. Meeting by accident in college, the death of Charlee’s father, living together, Alex’s once-in-a-life-time career opportunity that changed everything for them. All the while the passion, lust and love they shared from day one is so evidently still strong it hurts.
The side characters were a little under-developed, but I can understand that need considering the entire focus was the pull between the two main characters. Alex moves back to Boston with her current girlfriend and Charlee is in a relationship with her current boyfriend at the beginning of the book. Both are likable and in no way treated like an antogonist to the rekindled love of the main characters. They are sadly victims caught in the crossfire. I felt genuinely sorry for them and in a way I wish we would have gotten a bit more closure with them.
The author does a terrific job of showing us the intensity of the bond between Alex and Charlee. It makes it that much more meaningful once you start seeing how they met and got together in small chunks sprinkled throughout the book. It was intense, it was emotional and I’m not ashamed to admit I shed tears over it more than once.