Tattoos: A Novel by Denise Mathew
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Marilee had a perfect life. Everything was going her way until the day she was diagnosed with cancer. After losing not only her health but the emotional support from her family and friends, she turns to Jax, a hospital volunteer. Jax was everything Marilee would have stayed away from Before Cancer – he had the bad boy looks and the bad boy attitude. Together they work to try to make a difference in their small corner of the world.
So this book was pretty much awesome. I liked Marilee, though I suspect if I would have met her Before Cancer I might not have. She had the kind of perfect life everyone dreams of. She never gave a thought to anyone else. Not to say she was a bad person – I really can't say since we really didn't get to see her before – but she seemed like your typical teenage girl, worrying about clothes, parties, boys, etc. Along with her diagnosis Marilee's life was changed in the way that only cancer can. Her future became murky, her priorities shifted, and she began to wonder what she would be leaving behind should she not make it through the treatments.
Jax was a nobody in Marilee's world – a hospital orderly sent in to clean up the mess left behind. However, when she took a good look at him he became so much more. I loved that they met when Marilee was at her worst. It is in this that we realize how wonderful he truly is. I do wish we would have gotten more of them together in the hospital. All of Marilee's treatment/sickness and their reactions to such were glossed over. It felt to me as part of their relationship was missing that I would have loved to see.
While I loved the romance in this story, there is so much to it than that. We see both Marilee and Jax grow as individuals as they try to use the resources at their disposal to help others. The emotions the author was able to put into these pages was amazing – I laughed, I cried (consider this a warning if you are reading in public or just applied mascara), and at one memorable moment I wanted to stop reading altogether because I knew what was coming and I wanted to stop it. I couldn't stop it and I didn't stop reading, and the ending made it all worth it.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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