My best friend was dying and I was in love with his girl.
Andy and I had been best friends since we were eight-years old. Watching him slowly fade away, ever closer to his final breath, made me so incredibly angry. I knew there was nothing I could do to change it--I had given in to despair, but Andy had not. He had one last hand to play.
He wasn't going to simply sit back and wait for Death to claim him--not Andy. He was going to live life until he couldn't hold his eyes open any longer.
Andy didn't want to die in some sterile hospital and asked me to take him and Emily to the beach. It would be our last road trip together.
Emily. Emily was a problem for me.
I harbored a secret that would have torn our friendship apart. I was in love with Andy's girl, and had been since she'd walked into our sixth grade class, so many years ago.
So what kind of person am I? My best friend is dying, and it's awful--but my heart still aches for his girl. I hate myself for thinking beyond Andy's death and whether there could ever be a future for Emily and I, but I can't help it.
I'm in love with her.
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When she's not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.
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Review by Michelle:
After reading the synopsis for Out of Reach by Missy Johnson, I just knew I had to read this book. The concept was so compelling and sounded so fascinating, how could I not? That is exactly what I find so irresistible about a Missy Johnson book; she often explores uncharted territory and examines the taboo. This story is just as intriguing as so many of her others while also exceptionally poignant and thoroughly captivating.
Out of Reach is a heartbreaking and brutally honest portrayal of facing death and dying, losing someone you love, dealing with the aftermath, attempting to heal and coming to terms with moving forward. The majority of the book is seen from the perspective of Emily and Seth, the two people closest to Andy, who is dying a slow and agonizing death. If that's not enough, Seth just so happens to have been in love with Emily, Andy's girlfriend, for years. Experiencing the steady decline of a loved one while dealing with the myriad of thoughts and feelings that result is excruciating to say the least while seeing things from Andy's two best friends' viewpoint in a completely up front and honest way was eye-opening and made this story extremely real and genuine. The anger, the sorrow, the guilt, and even the selfish and self-pitying tendencies these two experience is entirely understandable and relatable. It really immerses you in the story, draws you in to the characters, and keeps you connected.
Not to be outdone simply because the point of view of much of the book is from Seth and Em's perspective, Andy was an incredible, courageous, awe-inspiring character and we should all be so lucky to have a chance to know someone like him. Andy, believe it or not, provides his fair share of fun, adventure, and comedy. If you are easily scared off by a depressing or heavy situation, fear not, there is plenty of light along the way.
The evolution of the love Seth has for Emily is so upstanding, so respectful, and so admirable that, despite the circumstances, you just can't help but hope that someday, some way, he will get the happy ending that he truly deserves.
There was so much buildup, there were so many conflicting emotions, there was so much turmoil around that love and I appreciated every minute of it. Unfortunately I just thought that the ending was rushed and that certain important events and timeframes were quickly skimmed over which I couldn't help but find horribly disappointing after all the anticipation. Maybe I'm greedy when it comes to this emotional story but I wanted more of the last quarter of the book to really delve into what is next for these two characters and not getting that just left me feeling a bit unfulfilled.
Out of Reach is a beautiful, touching, and emotive story. Missy Johnson has a way of catching your attention before even opening a book and keeping you hooked until the very end. If you are in need of a good cry and some inspiration, you will certainly want to read this one.
Rating: 4.5 Stars