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    Unquiet will leave a mark

    I delayed starting this audiobook for a bit. My hesitation wasn’t due to disinterest, but because I knew it would likely be an emotionally taxing story. I’m a big fan of this author and she’s one of those who can regularly deliver highly emotional stories that shred me. So I wasn’t all that surprised when, after just the first couple chapters, I saw the impending signs that Unquiet would make my heart clench. Unquiet is the third book in the Resilient Love series and features Loren, the best friend of Kai- one of the heroes from the second book of the series. Although there is a small amount of overlap with storylines and characters, it’s minimal and Unquiet easily works as a standalone. The reader first meets Eliot and Loren as young boys and the first few chapters follow their friendship through high school, including when they realize there’s more to those deep feelings than an unwavering friendship. The pacing in the first part was brisk, but still included all the details to really flush out the boys’ personalities, their bond, and what ultimately ended up driving them apart. The book then jumps to the present nine years later when Eliot and Loren reunite. Unquiet was so much more than a second chance romance between two friends who had once been inseparable. It’s also an honest examination of mental illness, including the viewpoint from Eliot, who is living with bipolar disorder, as well as from Loren, the person who loves Eliot the most. The author pulls the reader into Eliot and Loren’s story and I became increasingly wrapped up in the characters. The emotions are all so palpable, particularly that building sense of uncertainty and almost dread as the reader waits for the tipping point. I could feel my insides churning leaning up to the main climax and it was draining, but also incredibly gripping. The good part of Miss Hansen’s stories is that despite the emotional upheaval, I know a resolution will come. There’s not unnecessary drama or heartache for the sake of an angst label. That said, this author is always honest in her portrayals, so if happy-for-now endings aren’t your thing, consider yourself warned. The love between Eliot and Loren is not a magic balm that will heal Eliot’s bipolar disorder. Instead, Unquiet shows that true love and devotion is always worth fighting for and showcases the very definition of unconditional love. If you’re a fan of stories that leave a mark and examine both the beautiful and difficult sides of love and life, Unquiet is a must read. *Reviewed audiobook for Alpha Book Club*
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