It’s rare for me to get so lost in a book that I feel compelled to stay up past midnight just to finish it. But that’s exactly what happened here. This Close to Okay is uniquely written, has a powerful storyline, and leaves you wanting just a little bit more.
I’ve loved reading since I was a child. Back then, I enjoyed the escape to other worlds in A Wrinkle in Time, the magic of Harry Potter, the choose-your-own endings in Goosebumps. As an adult, I reach for the books that let me escape for a bit, forget the bad things in the news, unwind after a bad day. My first inclination is to select a thriller because it’s so easy to get lost in the drama, the mystery, the edge of your seat cliffhangers. But sometimes I enjoy the not so subtle life lessons that only Contemporary Fiction can provide.
Title: This Close to Okay
Author: Leesa Cross-Smith
Rating: A Story of Hope
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Page Count: 320
Published: (February) 2021
The majority of the book takes place over a long weekend and follows the story of two troubled adults – Tallie and Emmett. As the first chapter unfolds, Tallie finds Emmett standing on a bridge in the pouring rain, ready to jump. She coaxes him down and into her car and takes him home for a hot meal and some dry clothes. A million things could probably go wrong here – he could have a gun in his backpack, he could have robbed her blind. At least those are the things that spring to my mind.
As a woman in her thirties who lives alone, I can’t say that I would have made the same choices as Tallie. But, fortunately for her, a beautiful friendship begins to blossom over the weekend. Emmett stays with her from Thursday to Sunday, cooks her a wonderful meal, meets her family, and shares bits and pieces of his life and background. But everyone has secrets, and once Emmett is exposed for who he really is and what he’s done, things will change forever.
This Close to Okay is a wonderful story of love, friendship, and the power of grief. It’s about two people who need each other more than they’d want to admit. It’s the book you need to add to your 2021 reading list.
This is the book you need when when you’ve lost all hope in the world. It’s a beautiful story of love and friendship that will keep you reading well into the twilight. A perfect read for 2021.
If you liked this book, you might enjoy: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. The writing style is vastly different, but it has the same strangers coming together vibe that will leave you feeling fulfilled.