– A.L. Brooks
Just read Angela Brooks‘ latest, “Up On The Roof” & it was a doozy! It’s a slightly different take in telling a love story. And it works – at least for me!
At a glance, it’s quirky, what with a prickly protagonist with OCD, anxiety & an all-around social ineptness, whilst the other one is also with atypical characteristics in the romance genre. But underneath all the funny dialogue, hilarious mishaps, quirks, hopeless situations that these 2 characters unwittingly put themselves in, we discover what’s really important at the end of the story – being, loving & accepting who we are, our true normal.
Many a times, we take for granted that what we think are easy to do or say apply to everyone without realising that it may be very hard for some people. So when they don’t act/react the “normal” way or within a given time-frame, we immediately dismiss them as being difficult. But from experience with people like Lena, it’s so far from the truth. People like Lena do live inside their heads, over-analysing, mulling over every single thing before acting/reacting to a situation, hence taking a longer time. So they often come off as aloof, insensitive, uncaring. But if we take the time to be patient, understanding, they do emerge from their shells in the end. It just takes a longer time for them to do so. They also benefit from being assured that there are people out there who love & embrace them for who they are without feeling guilty or misunderstood.
Brooks really got the intricacies & nuances right on. Well done!
The slow-burn between Lena & Megan is well-developed so you experience the organic progress of their relationship – from their initial dislike/discomfort with each other, slowly elevating to friendship, to their eventual romance. Both characters have their own emotional baggage, more so for Lena, who also has the unfortunate luck of having to deal with her blood ties, which is told so poignantly, it’s utterly heartbreaking.
But by the end of the book, we get to see our heroines come out as victors in their own right, embracing themselves and their love for each other, just as they are! We also are reminded about another very important matter that Brooks so aptly highlighted in this story:
Family doesn’t mean purely blood ties. Family comes in many different forms. The TRUE meaning of family is about unconditional love. Nothing to do with biology. It’s essentially a state of mind. The sooner we accept this, the better off we are in living our lives openly, truthfully & honestly. Just being ourselves, surrounding ourselves with people who love us & care about us & vice versa!
This one is well-worth a read!
Oh, I must give a heartfelt shout-out to….DOROTHY!!!! YOU ARE MY HERO!!!
(You’ll know what I mean when you read the book! )
Thank you, Angela Brooks for writing this very satisfying (for me) story with these characters not commonly found in the romance genre.
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