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5.0

I Love You To Death is a story about Ash who has been dealt a terrible hand where seemingly everyone who matters to her dies.  She blames herself and therefore remains disconnected from people and life.  She is lonely and overwhelmed with guilt.

I loved this quote – “Can good things really last forever or is it all just destined to end? … I’ve lived my life in a constant state of fear. That time is running out, that anything good is going to be taken away from me.”

Natalie Ward, in this book, has written a wonderful, heart wrenching, endearing, painful, emotional story which takes us along for Ash’s journey of rediscovering life and love.  The characters are exceptionally well developed and I liked that Ash’s story unfolded  throughout the novel instead of it being told right up front.  This was an important part of the journey.  The different experiences and history of Ash’s story unfolded wonderfully and brought the whole story together.  The author writes this story from Ash’s perspective and we walk along with her through her memories and experience each loss, each sorrow, heartbreak and all the grief she has suffered.  We can relate to her fears, hopes and we become connected to her life.  I found myself feeling all these emotions throughout this beautifully crafted story.

The musical references and playlists put together for each chapter were amazing and a character unto themselves.  This was a nice touch to connect on a different level and give another, unique perspective to the book.

Luke becomes a presence in Ash’s life, but is he worth the risk?  Well, he’s sexy, hot, a musician, and thoughtful, patient….so if it were me – YES!  He will make you melt!!  Luke sees her pain and struggle and gives Ash plenty of room as he patiently endears himself to her and inserts himself into Ash’s life.  I loved that he slowly became part of her life and gives hope.  This wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t too much.  The timing (and Luke) are perfect! 

Natalie Ward’s writing is poignant. Her talent is expressive and heartrending.  These were not just words on a page this was an experience to be felt.  We hear the intimate thoughts of Ash and are transported directly into her raw place where she is most vulnerable.  We encountered each memory and occurrence as they took place instead of reading them, they were felt.

I Love You To Death is an original, well-crafted, magnificent debut novel by a talented new author.  With impressive story telling this is an author who goes straight to my favorites.  I look forward to experiencing more and have Natalie feed my reading addiction.