Hundred Oaks (no particular order)
“Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.”
This was an all around good book. It was so lovely to see Annie moving on from the guilt of Kyle’s death. She learns to let it all go and just ‘breathe’. The title was actually a common phrase repeated in the book and I really liked that. After something particularly hard, she would think to herself ‘Breathe, Annie, Breathe’. It just had a powerful effect on me.
Another element that really showed Annie’s journey is the running log that she kept. The whole thing was reprinted on the page after every weekend run. You could look back on previous entries and see how far she’s come. That helped the story so much that I can’t even express it!
The characters in general were great. I especially loved Matt and Jeremiah. They were so funny together and I couldn’t help but laugh at a couple passages (the Vaseline!!). Annie’s other friends’ banter was also very funny and helped to break up the dark scenes in the book.
One thing I didn’t particularly like was the flashbacks. I’m not sure that they were really placed at optimal intervals and they often felt like they were interrupting the story. I appreciated the information that they provided, they could have had better placement though.
The Final Verdict:
This is such a great book about the journey after a loved one’s death. The devices used to show Annie’s journey were on point and the characters were all fabulous. I did think that the flashbacks could have had a more optimal placement.
“We stick together, and it makes me feel a little better knowing that, even at thirty-two, Liza hasn’t figured her life out yet.”
“I saw hum run for thr first time at Wednesday’s trining session. Until then, I wasn’t aware Usain Bolt was my running coach”
“You make me feel three times the rush of skydiving or bungee jumping… I felt the biggest rush of my life when you said you love me.”
“If you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t take risks, you can’t truly feel.”
“I figured you’d prefer that to skydiving or Sumo Wrestling Sunday.”
“What is Sumo Wrestling Sunday?”
“We’d dress up in those sumo wrestling suits that would make us look real fat. And then we’d wrestle.”
“Oh god lord,” I mutter. ” Shuffleboard Sunday sounds just fine.”
“Good. I had no idea where I was gonna get sumo wrestling suits.” I give him a look.”
“A boy should fit into your life-not become it. High school is when you start to define yourself. Don’t define yourself as the girl who has a boyfriemd and nothing else.”
“All decisions are different in hindsight. Maybe all we can do is make the best decisions we can in the moment, using the best information we have right then.”
“Maybe you don’t have to figure life out at all.
Maybe it just is.”