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Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez


I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. I've loved the other books in the series, but they deal with some heavy topics. Though they had Happily Ever After kind of endings, I am always a little surprised by people describing these books as light and fluffy or romcom. In particular, one of the final scenes of The Happy Ever After Playlist is one that really sticks with me: a forced separation, everything was beautiful, but not a light read. So going into this book, I was worried that I was going to end up with a similar situation, and it would be just as agonizing under the guise of this being another fluffy novel. I will say, this book was heavy at times, but it didn't have that same sort of "wow this twists the knife and stays in my head, and not in a living rent-free in my head because it's beautiful" kind of way. The idea here is that there's a woman who is a hard-working ER doctor. Her family are all doctors - rich, influential family, with everything carefully done to ensure that they are part of this upper crust. She meets this guy who lives in this small town - and I'll be honest, as a city girl, typically I'm not a gigantic fan of the "city people are evil and all these people in the small town are so down to earth and beautiful," but thankfully I don't think that's what this was saying so I looked past that point. It was more that finding your place in the world is difficult, and she's busy finding her place in the world. And she's finding it with this guy. The way their relationship evolves felt very natural, very organic. He doesn't really understand certain parts of her, but at the same time, he has his own strengths that complement hers, even though they are very much opposites. The rest of this is gonna be probably a little bit spoiler-y so I'll add a line break. Her relationship with her parents, and with most of the other people in the world she is used to inhabiting, felt extremely real. I think a lot of people may not really know how real that feels; as an accomplished, working woman, I felt that character deeply. The pressure and expectations she faces were highly relatable, and the idea of this simpler place where you can just take a deep breath felt very good and tempting, even as a city girl. The hero in this book is so lovely - so clean and clear - and I love that she gets that for herself. I also really loved the ending: I love that she didn't just run away, but instead, she kind of figured out how to manage it all under her own terms. And he really showed up for her. When I started this book, it took me a moment to get into, but I think it was because I was so concerned about getting pulled into an emotionally fraught situation again. By the second half, I was really drawn in. After I finished the book, I found it stuck in my brain - I was thinking about the characters again, I was thinking about their dynamics again, and I was thinking about how it reflects on society, and what it was saying about society. Some authors, I really love the way they write; this author, her writing is engaging, but it isn't the kind of beautiful writing where I just want to copy down quote after quote because the writing is just so beautiful, or because that's exactly the way that I want to describe something or say something. Her writing is simpler and more about the story, and this story really stuck with me and struck a cord. And it's still kind of sticking with me, even a week after reading it, and that is the mark of a good book right there.

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