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Title: A Little Bit of Everything Lost
Author: Stephanie Elliot
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Stephanie Elliot
Publication Date: April 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Ebook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first need to say that I am SO glad I decided to grab this novel when it came out! This is the first of Elliot’s works that I’ve read, but I’ll be reading the others now – I’m a fan.
Jumping between Marnie’s, the main character, summer love and her current day life, Elliot tells the story of a fierce first love and whirlwind summer romance. One that sets things in motion for Marnie that affect her all the way into adulthood. When life gets a little stagnant, though she’s currently married to a man she believes is a wonderful husband and has two healthy children, Marnie’s left wondering what might have been between herself and Joe.
Elliot’s writing of the whirlwind romance is amazing – I loved those chapters. Reading about Marnie and Joe and all their escapades, both in and out of the bedroom, was exciting and nostalgic. It seemed to transport me back to my own college summers. Likewise, the authenticity of the chapters about Marnie’s current life pulled me in – I ached for her. I desperately wanted Marnie to find her answers and to find solace. And in those chapters what Elliot did was create a character that we, as the readers, know has lots of great things going in her life. Yet she’s still unhappy for many reasons (all get revealed in due time). It is easy to get tired of a character like that – easy to dislike, but Elliot’s prose ensures that doesn’t happen. She’s balanced Marnie’s secrets, unhappiness, and unrest about the past with a strong, well-developed character who doesn’t simply wallow in negativity and never grow or learn. Marnie never comes off as simply whiny or entitled. Quite simply I loved Marnie and I sympathized. I loved living her story for a few days.
As mentioned above, there are secrets throughout this novel. Some are Marnie’s while others belong to the supporting cast. Props again to Elliot’s writing style as she wove answers into the details all throughout the story. Once I picked up the book and started reading, a single moment didn’t go by where I wasn’t wondering what was next or how a situation would be resolved. I even caught myself thinking of the characters as if they were real people in my life; wondering what they were doing while I wasn’t with them.
A little bit about young, first love, a little bit about the disappointment sometimes experienced in adulthood, a little bit about friendship, a little bit about forgiveness (both of ourselves and others), a little bit about mistakes, and a whole lot about the people and things in life that we gain and sometimes lose, this book is one to pick up.
*NOTE: when proofing and reviewing my review I noticed the “little bit” usage in my final paragraph and realized that I had unintentionally included quite the pun. When writing it I didn’t even recognize what I was doing!
**EDIT: I had to come back today because after talking with a couple friends about the book, I remembered one key element I didn’t mention - Elliot’s sexy scenes. I’ll preface with this: I don’t generally love sexy scenes. I’m sure they are hard to write, and quite often they are hard to read, but there are several in this story that made me weak in the knees!! I loved every word of them - EVERY.WORD. And I will never be able to be in the presence of a lemon and not have my mind wandering off into exciting places ;-)