I truly live for hidden indie gems! A friend on Goodreads recommended this book to me and just based on its cover, I already knew that even though it does have a rather sucky cover, the story would more than likely make up for it and I was right.
I just really wish that these indie novels get the attention it deserves because I can literally name a number of indie novels that are so much better than mainstream-released ones. So back to Under the Orange Moon, I highly recommend this one as well because of the depth and substance within this story.
Ben McKenna has not been home in five years. Phoenix, Arizona is a place that represents everything in his life that he would rather avoid. His neglected mother is depressed and has a certain way of taking it out on him. His father is absent but dominating, nonetheless. His only solace in a city that he hates are the Mathews, a loving family that Ben has found refuge in since he was a small child.
Dylan Mathews, the only girl in a family full of overbearing brothers, has had an easy life since her childhood crush, Ben McKenna, has been away. But when he arrives with her twin brother, Jonah, she is only reminded of the frustrations that come along with his presence. This time he stares at her differently, but his tormenting banter has remained the same.
Despite their misgivings, it seems impossible to stay away from one another. And just when they may be on the verge of something good, tragedy strikes down on one of them, awakening a rage inside that has stayed dormant for years…
Overall Rating: 5/5 — Definite must-read indie gem!
So. Much. Heart. I can’t even begin to describe how I much adore these hidden indie gems. Somehow, even in its simplicity, the story turned out to have so much more heart than my other mainstream reads. This was such a heartwarming story centered on the strength of love among friends and family.
I have a not-so-hidden weakness for childhood love stories, so when I got wind that this would have revolve around that kind of romance then I knew I had to read it right away. Thank heavens it didn’t disappoint me because it had one helluva epic love story that was rooted since childhood. I got attached right away to the characters from the prologue and I just fell in-love more with them as the story progressed. So we meet the Mathews family, which included four brothers and their baby sister Dylan. We also meet Ben McKenna, who’s like the adopted fifth brother to the Mathews family. I can’t help my goofy grin the moment Ben smiled at Dylan after she hit him hard with a football.
The premise of this story was pretty simple and easy to grasp but the way it was narrated and how things unfolded, made it a very meaningful and beautiful story. There were just no words to describe how much I adored the relationship and dynamics of the Mathews family. They were just so perfect when it comes to supporting each other through thick and thin that even I wanted to become part of their family as well. And then there’s Ben McKenna, possibly one of the angriest lead characters I’ve ever met. I honestly didn’t get at first where he was coming from and I do think that we should’ve been given more insight to what he went through, but then again, his blossoming relationship with Dylan as well as his ties to the Mathews family overshadowed that need in the story.
SPOILERS COMING UP….
Dylan and Ben were just meant to be. Plain and simple. But it was quite a long and tough road in getting themselves to admit and show that to one another but once it happened, it was just so perfect. But then life has a way of throwing shit at you to test your strength and when that kind of dilemma came upon Ben, he took the easy way out instead of facing the pain head on. Man I was quite shocked that it happened halfway and not somewhere in the end but I guess it makes the pain more tangible and real as well. I cried so much, especially those flashbacks with Dylan’s dad and the way Ben pushed Dylan away in a very harsh way. Even with that kind of pain, I appreciated the fact that the author really took some time in writing the aftermath of their broken relationship. Gawd it was so painful and I did want to crawl inside my Kindle and punch the living daylights out of Ben but what they had to go through in finding their way back to each other, made their reunion so much more beautiful and well… tears-inducing.
This story gives me 500 Days of Summer vibes. It’s a quiet love story but it touches your heart in a very deep way. And again, this was not just a love story alone. It was also an amazing story of having the love of a family as well. Definite must-read for romance story lovers!