**Don't worry, there are no spoiler alerts in this post. I mainly want to share the impact this book seemingly has had on me, and I want to share that with you.
Sometimes I have days that just feel like a complete smack in the face with realizations that have the capability of stopping me in my tracks - and today has been one of those days.
As I've mentioned before, I've wanted to prioritize different parts of me that I haven't given space to exist freely recently. Books have always been my escape from physical reality, ever since I was in elementary school. Lately, I've been reading some Colleen Hoover books (first I read It Ends With Us, and then Verity). Both books were vastly different, yet both were so creatively wonderful, it made me feel inspired to write again and, for that, I've developed a respect and utter gratefulness towards Colleen, herself. Though she has no idea who I am, she has, through following her passions and translating relatable emotions through her writing style, she has awoken myself further into something I continue striving to be - myself.
Since I had finished Verity, I decided to "be fair" and read some other books from my shelves and couldn't get into them immediately (which I allow that flexibility for myself and understand I can always try again another time - it probably just wasn't time for me to read that one yet). I continue to be intrigued by watching Colleen on social media, and just continue to grow appreciate for her as a human. For that reason, I decided to pick up Heart Bones and see if I really did need to continue this season of Colleen Hoover books, or maybe I just set it down and try a different one. I first picked it up and was immediately intrigued, but then life happened and I spent time writing, instead of reading. Yesterday I picked it back up again and finished it this afternoon. After I read the last sentence earlier, I knew, down in my heart, it was exactly what I needed to read in this season of my life.
No, my life does not immediately relate to Beyah (main character of the story) and the details of her story, nor does her reality within the pages. The details of the story kept me reading, but the emotional impact of what Beyah went through left me bawling so hard earlier that my eyes are still swollen even though I just took another shower in attempt to wash the salt out and help them deflate quicker. You guys, as someone who has a history of feeling alone or out of place of "unseen," this book unveiled things I have been attempting to stash away and hide and pretend I've moved on in an attempt to convince myself I'm this way to protect myself. However, as I followed Beyah's emotional journey of unpacking years of pain stemming from childhood, I found myself doing the same. It's as if Beyah helped me realize that, yes, it's not ok that people make terrible choices that negatively impact the quality of life for others. Yes, it's never ok to judge someone before you understand the full and honest truth behind who they may look like from the outside. Yes, there are other people who struggle deciphering emotionally strong, and emotionally surviving.
Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover has probably been one of the most unexpectedly helpful books for me in connecting with someone else who also had deeply-rooted trust issues and internally battled how to maneuver life feeling alone, even if, possibly, you placed yourself there in the first place as a defense mechanism so that nobody else had a chance to hurt you like you've been hurt before.
I don't want to ruin the story for anyone reading this that hasn't read it before, or maybe doesn't even know what it's about. And, maybe this is wrong of me to do in a book review, I don't really want to tell you a synopsis of the plot because I enjoy reading books without knowing what they're about, but simply knowing that someone else recommended it. And, my friend, I recommend that you read this book. You're welcome to click here to read the synopsis in the Amazon listing (This is an affiliate link. If you choose to purchase this book after clicking this link, I will receive a portion of the sale which allows me to continue following my dreams and sharing my journey with you. Thank you for supporting me!) if you prefer to do so, but you won't find details of the story in this post. Personally, I love to connect with other humans. I like to learn what's behind the surface, even if it's through reading books that they enjoyed, or inspired them. Being able to connect deeply with someone else feels fulfilling to me, when I allow myself to do so. Heart Bones has further proven to me the importance of letting down walls and reprioritizing old passions while also discovering new ones, and peeling back the layers of your own complexities so that not only others have a chance to love and care for you, but so that you can have the chance to love and care for yourself.
I've been in this pattern before, and just didn't realize I was caught in the loop again until page 269 and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The rest of the novel was spent reading through glossy eyes and taking breaks to blow my nose. Sure, the feelings that woke up today may have been sad, but I am also left with hope and inspiration for continuing my journey of rediscovering myself and a new openness towards reaching out to those who are there for me, following my gut instincts and living my life grateful for the day I am experiencing while living it in a way that allows others to be part of my story in ways that are closer than an arm's reach.
I'm so happy I read this book, specifically during this time in my life. Colleen, thank you for being you and for doing the things that make you happy.