What I wanted: An emotional story like The Cabin to wreck me
What I got: Teenage sex ed class and sugary sweet love at first sight
Those are two very different things, and I definitely had to recalibrate my expectations once I got a feel for the vibe. Unfortunately, I felt a little pervy reading about a 19-year-old discovering how male body parts work (it squirts!) and a 21-year-old celebrity falling for an emaciated teenager at first sight. Literally. Our heroine spends the entire book in bed – she’s either sick or fooling around on pretty much every page, so that didn’t leave a lot of time to develop an emotional connection or *actually* fall in love. At a certain point, I ended up skimming through a lot of the steam and sickness, and there wasn’t much else to it, let me say that. As someone who absolutely adored The Cabin, I struggle to believe that this was written by the same person.
The story follows Jolene, a young woman who has been fighting for her life for years. She has stage four cancer and her life could end any time now, but there’s still so much she wants to experience – including love and sex. There’s one guy who has gotten her through years in the hospital, and that’s YouTube star turned singer and actor, Westley. Jolene has watched his rise to stardom from afar, and she’s definitely smitten. When Jolene puts out a video of her own – asking Westley to marry her – she never expects anyone to see it. But the video soon goes viral, and it reaches the man himself. Something about Jolene draws Westley to her, and he finds himself wanting to say yes. It’s crazy, they both know it, but it feels a lot like love. As the two get closer, Westley and Jolene experience the highs and lows of love.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Jolene is dying. Yes, she is. So is this a romance? Yes, it is. You’re going to need to suspend your disbelief A LOT throughout the entire book, that’s all I’ll say about that. Obviously, this didn’t end up being a great read for me, so I’m probably not the best person to go there, lol. I will say that The Cabin devastated me and then put me back together, but I didn’t even come close to tearing up while reading this. Not once. And that’s what ultimately dropped the rating for me. I felt zero connection to the characters because we don’t actually witness them fall in love. They meet, they’re together, they bang. That’s it. I wanted to see how it would all work out, that’s why I stuck around – that and because I know Wilder has the talent to pull this kind of story off. This one though? Total miss for me, unfortunately. But Westley was super sweet.
Grandma always said dying is the the easy part; it’s the living that’s hard. I’ve been fighting to live since I was seven years old, and now the doctors say I’m gonna lose that battle soon. I’ve crossed off just about everything on my bucket list—I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum and I’ve been swimming in the Caribbean; I’ve lived like I’m dying, because I am.
There’s just one thing left on my list: I want to be a bride. I want to wear white and have my dad walk me down the aisle. I want a first dance and cake and a night to feel like a princess…and I want it with Westley Britton.
The perfect guy. Musician, actor, and every girl’s dream man. My dream man. Only, he doesn’t even know I exist.
It’s the start of a strange, improbable fairy tale. When you’re talking about terminal leukemia, happily ever after seems impossible, but when your celebrity crush and the man of your dreams shows up out of the blue and proposes to you, it makes you feel like anything is possible. Even that hardest thing: living.
So, what’s The Cabin?
While I didn’t love Wish Upon a Star, The Cabin was one of my FAVORITE romances of the 2020 – it was on my Best of the Year list. It was just so unexpected; powerful, heartbreaking, and unique. You can check out my full review here if you haven’t yet. You’re going to need to bring out the tissues for this slow burn romance, because it is gut-wrenching. But so worth it!
One year, 365 days—and then one knock at my door changes everything.
The Cabin, an all-new beautifully written, emotion filled romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is available now!
One year ago, I buried my husband.
One year ago, I held his hand and said goodbye.
Now I spend most of my days lost somewhere between trying to remember every smallest detail of our lives, and trying to forget it all. I fill my hours with work until I’m too exhausted to remember him, to feel anything at all.
One year, 365 days—and then one knock at my door changes everything. A letter from him, a last request, a secret will:
My dearest Nadia,
Trust me, my love. One last time, trust me. Sometimes the epilogue to one story is the beginning of another.
About the Author:
NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, WALL STREET JOURNAL and international bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. Her bestselling titles include ALPHA, STRIPPED, WOUNDED, and the #1 Amazon and international bestseller FALLING INTO YOU. You can find her on her farm in Northern Michigan with her husband, author Jack Wilder, her six children and menagerie of animals.
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