Lives Collide - Kristina Beck
You can plan your life, but sometimes life has a mind of its own…
Following Lisa’s near-death experience as a teenager, she is haunted by the emerald-green eyes of the stranger who saved her life. Her only connection to him is the leather jacket he left behind. Years later, she’s still reeling from the aftereffects of her injuries, convinced that no man will love her once he uncovers her secret. She lives a life of solitude and hides behind her days of monotony. And then James storms into her life.
After James helps a young girl in a car accident, he sets his life course—determined that nothing will stand in his way. Once he accomplishes his dreams, one unforeseen event changes his orderly existence into one of chaos. He spirals downward and can’t summon the strength to pull himself from the edge of despair. Until Lisa becomes a beautiful distraction.
Familiarity and a sense of peace draw them to one another. They soon discover they lived parallel lives that intertwined at the most crucial points. Can their revelations help them face their fears and move forward, or will history repeat itself
4 out of 5
What a read! I loved that the author introduced the reader to the characters and their world through tragedy straight away.
I could tell the two main characters would meet at some point but really enjoyed reading about the years in-between, I found this to be a refreshing break from the usual wishy-washy romance novels.
Writing chapters from both Lisa and James' perspective really helped the reader understand the different emotional challenges they were facing, I also cannot recall reading another novel where the time frame moves so fast and so frequently, it definitely worked though.
What really struck me about this novels wasn't actually the characters or format but the issues the author highlighted and tackled. There were several moments in the plot where the genre seemed to change from a romance novel to something eye-opening and heartbreaking.
From the start we learn that death has impacted Lisa, the author is not afraid to let us know that sometimes Lisa and her father wonder why they didn't die instead, highlighting that often surviving loved ones feel guilty for remaining alive.
Then shock spoiler James loses the love of his life, it's interesting to read about how losing someone so young at such a young age and so unexpectedly affects a person.
I loved trying to work out if James would ever be able to allow himself happiness, again the novel dealt with a different kind of death and if it is ever okay for a person to move on.
This was a brave subject to address, Lisa is unable to have children and although in the beginning we don't even know if Lisa wants children we know that to her the ability to be a mother is something she believes makes a person more of a woman.
We read as Lisa battles with her identity, the way she feels it means she cannot ever give a man what he desires.
In a day and age where whether women should all be mothers is controversial it was important for Bryant to leave her because he felt that children were a pivotal part of a relationship but also for James to be willing to love her regardless of the fact she could not have a child.
I thought the ending was a little bit cliche.
The only reason I gave it a four instead of a five star rating was I found the dialogue cringe-worthy every time and the way these young adults talked quite cliche.
I also found that every negative point of the novel was counteracted by something positive lessening the impacting of the negative parts.
I would recommend reading it purely because it is so different to most other novels however I would brace yourself for some very mush and unrealistic dialogue.