To Whom it May Concern,
It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.
When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss.
When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.
Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.
It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.
It was ours.
And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels.
We burned together.
We burned for fun.
We burned infront of everyone.
We were the stars.
The summary does not make justice to this book, it’s much more than just a romance between a student and a teacher, it is a story about pain, grief and finding happiness even in the darkest of times. If I had to make a comparison I would call it NA romance meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower in this incredible story of loss and love.
The book starts with two deaths, Dan’s mom’s and Gabby’s, Ashlyn’s sister, these two character’s, even though they aren’t physically there they are the driving force all throughout the book. Before dying Gabby writes a list of things Ashlyn should do to live a full life, and she writes a letter for whenever Ashlynn crosses one of the items off.
“If there were a God, which I’m not certain that there is, do you think this night would be a form of apology for him taking away the things we loved?”
Ashlyn Jennings is a huge Shakespeare fan, huge huge, double huge (you would get this if you read the book), everything about it is great for her, actually quoting Shakes is like her biggest turn on. Luckily the same goes for Daniel, their passion for this author is the first thing that makes them bond. And literature plays an important part in the book.
When Ashlyn moves to Wisconsin to live with her father, whom she doesn’t have a good relationship with, while mourning her sister she thinks it’s going to be the worst year of her life but then she meets Daniel, and Hailey and Ryan and suddenly she realizes that she doesn’t need to be alone, that she’s not the only one suffering and that sometimes there’s no need to explain for someone to understand.
“You’re beautiful, Ashlyn. I don’t just mean your looks. I mean your smarts, your tears, your brokeness. I think that’s beautiful.”
Daniel Daniels has had a tough life, and when he finds Ashlyn he thinks the universe is giving something back to him after all the pain, but when she turns out to be his student he loses all faith in destiny.
Although the story is told in Ashlyn and Daniel’s POVs they aren’t the only protagonists, Gabby and her letter’s are essential to the story the same way Hailey and Ryan are. This is a life that Ashlyn has never wanted, but she learns to love it through all the suffering and the pain but also the laughs and and the tears of joy.
“There is a lot to you, isn’t there?”
“I could say the same thing about you.” He paused. “Sometimes I feel like you’re hiding behind your books to avoid reality.”
This is not a love story, but it is a story about love. The point is, sometimes you don’t get to choose what happens to you but it’s in your hand where to go from there. No matter what, you’re doing great, kid.