Reading Jay's stories is like coming home after a really hard day of listening to people bicker and argue, of asking questions you don't know how to answer. You sit down in the quiet and just breath, you bask in the comfort of the things that make you feel safe and supported and nessesary. At peace. She has this phenomenal ability of drawing you into something so you can just.... breath. A beautiful story that I'll re-read again and again. A story of hopes and dreams, wishes and love, loss and heartache. Of Magic.
This story is consuming! The raw and very real pain in Ava’s circumstances, and Conners strength and determination despite the mountains they’re facing just makes my heart swell. I read this book with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and hope in my heart. Jay McLeans writing is consuming, and once again full of hope. It hurts, witnessing these kids go through what they have to and struggle to deal with it on top of normal teenage stuff, but the writing is threaded with love and something magical that keeps you on that brink, turning page after page to see what happens next. I can’t wait for book two! Which is so close but still so many days away.
Jay McLean has done it again, her words are magic. The characters in this book (and every book of hers) are so real they jump off the pages and drag you into the book. Her writing has you smiling, laughing and crying. She is hands down the best writer I have ever read. Heartache and Hope is a must read!
With every word, every sentence, every paragraph... Jay McLean steals your heart. So aptly named, this book was filled with so much heartache and so much hope, along with a lot of MAGIC. Jay’s writing reels you in and before you realise it, it’s now 2am and you’re crying or laughing into your cold tea and refusing to put this book down. Her characters are real. They feel real things, go through real things and Jay writes them in a way that is relatable, consuming and at many stages, hilarious. Connor and Ava both have such amazing qualities but they are flawed. I love my characters with real life flaws and real world problems. The ability to make me feel and feel real, tangible things is something Jay McLean has mastered. Her secondary characters are just a perfectly real as her mains and they don’t get lost in the background. You meet the crew, focus on the couple but that crew is still going strong in the background and making you feel ALL the feels too. I cannot fault her writing style, her wit or her ability to connect with her readers through these books that she puts her heart and soul into. Jay McLean ladies and gentlemen! Connor & Ava 💙🏀💜
You know that Eminem song Without Me - it has the line "Guess Who's Back, Back Again".. well that's how I'm feeling right now. It's been a long time since I got to enjoy new words from Jay McLean and what does she do - she storms back into my life with a story that puts me on my ass.
It's not like the usual NA reads of late where everything is over the top angst. Trying to be all gangster about everything. Nope. This one is smooth. It's subtle and it sucker punches you right in the heart. Jay has the ability to capture the true emotions and dialogue of NA characters that have you nodding your head, holding your chest & shaking your first - remembering those first kisses, first heartbreaks and all the bad decisions in between.
Ava is an extraordinary young lady - doing the very best she can in an awful situation. Her young life was turned upside down by some very adult circumstances and she's had to learn to function regardless. But that's all she's doing - functioning. Ava herself is a shell. Connor blows into town and he's everything she shouldn't want. Everything needed to fill her up! If we're being honest she's everything he should avoid too - his scholarship is all that matters.
So of course they're drawn to each other - I mean come on we'd have no book if they weren't. But it's the reasons they're drawn to each other, what they see in each other and the relationship they develop that drew me in. These characters are young but their love story is very genuine and completely hooked me. I cried A LOT in this one. Like piles of tissues kind of a lot but it was so worth it. I love a book that can break my heart like this.
The cliffhanger is brutal and I might have called Jay some colourful names when I tried to flick on and there were no more pages but I wholeheartedly recommend this one and will be waiting impatiently for book two.
So, this old bird rarely reads YA these days (I am soooo far away from their ages that it is often hard for me to connect with the characters), however the minute that Jay McLean announces she is releasing a new book, I am counting down the seconds until it arrives on my Kindle.
This book has it all in the title - it is full of heartache and hope. You can't help but fall in love with Ava and Connor and all the complexities of their lives
Gah, there is so much I want to tell you about this book, however I can't as you need to devour this one and all it's emotions, going in blind to get the full effect.
I have had a run of meh and good books lately, and it was great to get into a story that just just had that extra "wow" factor.
I mean, being a duet, we know there is gonna be a cliffy of some sort, and as soon as I finished reading, I was looking at my Kindle for the second part of the duet.
I know it is only a couple of weeks away, but if Ms McLean could see fit to release it earlier, I won't complain. ThxnOK
Heartache and Hope is the first title in the Heartache Duet.
Jay McLean has yet to write a book that I haven't loved, and she crafts characters that are so realistic yet flawed. Ava and Connor's story is a raw, angsty and emotional slow burn romance. It will make you feel, it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking and made me cry at the injustices of the world.
Life isn't fair, bad things happen to good people, and it's how we deal with it that defines us as human beings. Ava Diaz gave up life as she knew it in the name of love. She's stong, resiliant and has a huge giving heart.
Connor is an athelete, the new guy who has skills on the basketball court, but has a lot less than most of his wealthy peers. He's a fighter, determined and driven to succeed and his sole focus was on getting to the NBA until he saw Ava.
As much as this title wrenched my heart out, I cannot wait for more of this pair and will be eagerly awaiting the release of First and Forever.
Oh Lord, I do NOT know how I feel about this book! I was SO torn throughout it. I kind of hated that Ava never really let Connor in. Then I felt bad because she’s been through so much and couldn’t let him in! Then I felt Connor was selfish but really he just wanted Ava to love him as much as he loves her! I think the word for this is heart wrenching, absolutely heart wrenching! There’s so many conflicting emotions in this book and I just don’t know what to feel! This is the ultimate example of right place, wrong time. Bring on book 2!
I CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH THIS BOOK. Heartache and Hope. Sums this up perfectly. I never have the words to do Jay’s stories justice. This book killed me, absolutely destroyed me. IN THE BEST WAY. Every single character was brilliantly developed, every bit of hope was magically crafted, every piece of heartache was perfectly devastating, every last word was breathtakingly glorious. I couldn’t get enough. This book had it all, family, friendship, love, hope, happiness, angst, tragedy, hopelessness... it was worth every single moment we waited for it.
Wow just wow. That heart wrenching story was amazing. Connor and Ava are amazing! Ava is one strong girl, how lucky her mum is to have her. I’m so sad for a teenager to go through that. Angry at Connor for putting more pressure on her but also sympathetic for him to not fully grasp what she goes through. He shouldnt have to feel second best and yes he was a lot. But man Ava broke my heart.
Lots of funny bits in the story that made me laugh out loud, but the last chapter made me cry. I felt all the heartache and emotions. Look forward to reading the last book.