Nov 18

Reclaim by Aly Martinez Review


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Choices. Everyone makes them. From mundane to unimaginable, one choice can change the trajectory of your entire life.

My mother’s choice was to abandon us with our abusive father. My brother’s choice was to go to prison for killing the boy who assaulted his soulmate. Camden Cole’s choice was to fall in love with a shattered girl who had absolutely nothing to offer him but heartbreak.

It was one summer beneath the trees, but with Camden, I had a place where I belonged. A friend who was always waiting for me. A boy who I caught staring at me more often than not.

He was mine, but when the world closed in and secrets exploded all around us, it was my choice to let him go.

Choices. Everyone makes them. But mine would ruin us all.

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Aly Martinez is a gifted storyteller, no doubt about that, and she completely shattered me with Reclaim, an intense coming-of-age love story. A childhood friends-to-lovers slow burn romance, Nora and Camden’s story spanned many years, and it was moving, poignant and, at times, painful. But as devastating as Nora’s history was, her soul-enrichening love story provided a much needed splash of beauty to intermingle with all of her pain.

Martinez starts this story at the very beginning, where the pre-adolescent versions of Nora and Camden meet as children, and although through most of their relationship they only get summers together, they knew that they’d found something special in each other. In Cam, Nora finds safety, comfort and an escape from the turmoil of her young life. Cam was such an incredible character, seemingly born as a naturally swoon-worthy hero. He knew she was it for him pretty early on, and he was not only prepared to wait for Nora, he actually did. He recognized that he had fallen for someone who didn’t know how to accept love, and his patience and support of Nora as she healed was one of the most beautiful and moving examples of love being patient and kind that I’ve ever read.

Full of trauma, trying circumstances and turbulent emotion, Reclaim was a moving and memorable story of love and healing. Martinez’s captivating portrayal of Cam and Nora’s young friendship catching fire and slowly-burning over time into love demanded all of my attention from start to finish. I devoured this story, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, and I didn’t want to put it down. Aly ran my poor heart through the wringer as it ached and raced with all this couple went through, but every single word, moment and scene of this wonderfully bittersweet yet tender love story was worth the emotional toll. Five smooches from me for Reclaim by Aly Martinez!

~Danielle Palumbo



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