“All I want is to be swallowed into darkness, so I step inside and wait for the darkness to hold me down. Life was so much easier, more conquerable, and more moving in the right direction just a month ago.”
OMG… this book was really good, like, really good. I love it when you pick up book from an author that you’ve never discovered before and it’s so good. Well, I can safely say that this book was better than I ever expected. This poignant story of grief, strength, courage, family, love and the power of forgiveness has really resonated with me to the point I am still thinking about it long after I read the last word. If you have ever lost anyone near and dear to you, you’ll know what I mean when I say, grief can utterly consume you. Before you know it, you are on a downward spiral and can’t possibly find your way out of the darkness that clouds you.
Standing Sideways is a vivid, raw and gut wrenching retelling of the horrific aftermath of losing someone close to you and trying to cope with the deep pain you’re feeling every day. Livia has recently lost her twin brother Jasper and the grief she is baring is indescribable; she has lost the best person in her life, the other half to her heart and soul.
The only way Livia knows how to survive is to self-destruct, act out and do things she may not necessarily want to do. It seems to be her coping mechanism in order for her just to wake up every day, look at herself in the mirror and breathe.
“I wonder if Daniel would have liked the old me. The less haunted one, less sad, the better decision-maker. I wonder what he’d think of me if he knew what I did in my spare time to meet the needs of my grief.
And poor Daniel, the boy who met me as a single, not a double. The boy who met me as Livia, not Livia and Jasper. The boy who met me after the sadness and not a minute before.”
When Livia was at her lowest ebb, Daniel comes into her life; it is a time when she needs that special someone more than ever and he is it. Daniel unfortunately has his own demons to battle and is he is enough to save Livia from her path of self-destruction before it’s too late?
Standing Sideways was a thought provoking coming of age story that J Lynn Bailey should be very proud of bringing into this world. It was a hard story to read at times, purely due to the nature of the plot and characterization, but this made it even more astounding in my opinion, as Bailey competently tackled very tough themes with sincerity, care, grace and realism.
If you are looking for your next read to be an impeccably written, deep and poignant YA story about life, love, immense loss, courage, addiction, depression and forgiveness which also includes amazingly flawed characters that will touch your soul, then you should check this one out. I honestly can’t recall the last time I connected so intimately with a story. Highly recommend.
About the Author:
Lynn Bailey has loved to write since she learned to read, around the second grade. When she isn’t running after her children, watching COPS, or on the hunt for her next Laffy Taffy joke, you can probably find her holed up in her writing room feverishly working on her next book. She lives in Northern California with her family.