Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
What would you do if you lost the love of your life? Many of us believe we wouldn’t be able to go on and for some, that’s true. What of those who continue to live? L.L. Collins’ Living Again is a poignant story about one woman’s journey to find the meaning of life after death
As for characterization, we have rich characters. We spend a good amount of time with Kayley and it makes sense since this is her journey. Kayley is a strong character and you will sympathize with her especially when it comes to Alex. We’re not given many scenes with Alex or spend a lot of time remembering him. I questioned why Collins didn’t give us more scenes with him, but in the end, I liked not having him there. It made it easier for us to like Ben and give him a chance. That’s important because if we had spent a lot of time with Alex then it would have been difficult to accept Ben. As you can surmise Ben is Kayley’s love interest. I really liked his demeanor and how open and accepting he was of Kayley and her past. We have several secondary characters who are important. Kayley’s best friend, Emily is the one who encourages her to accept a date with Dr. Yummy, aka Ben. Then we Kayley’s co-worker, Rachel who is there for emotional support. I really liked Rachel and can’t wait to read her story. The one character who stole the show? Kayley and Alex’s daughter, Alexis. The moment she utters the word “daddy,” your heart will melt.
Narration is third person, set in the present along with the use of flashbacks. I liked the mixing of both, but at times a few flashbacks weren’t necessary and were just drawn out. I was ready to move onto the next scene and a flashback would slow down the narrative. That being said, I really did enjoy how Collins incorporated the use. As for the initial conflict, I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to ruin the story, but I think Collins could have played it up a little more. Although there’s a particular scene when Ben and Kayley are not together that was heart wrenching to read.
I debated with the rating between a three and four. I kept leaning towards a three because this is a plot I’ve read before and there’s only one way it can end. I decided on a four because of the journey Kayley and Ben both take. This wasn’t a simple instant love type of relationship, but one where two people had insecurities that had to be faced before moving on. I really liked that Kayley and Ben were upfront and talked. If I have one small complaint about the book, it’s that we don’t get much of Alex’s family in the story. I understand they live in a different state, but I would have liked more interaction with them and Alexis. They sort of felt detached to the story. In many ways, I suppose that mirrors real life. The reason for them connecting is no longer there. I just wish there would have been more between them and Alexis especially since Alexis is their bond. I loved that they were so open with Kayley and Ben’s relationship and that they were comfortable with Alexis calling Ben “dad.” More importantly, I adored how comfortable Ben was with Alex and his legacy and at no point does he act jealous or insecure about him.
L.L. Collins’ Living Again is an emotional tale that make you believe in love again and that a person can have more than one soul mate. Just make sure you have some tissues at hand because you’re going to need it!