** This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.**
Title: The Journey (The Crowd, #2)
Author: Alleece Balts
Published By: CreateSpace (2017)
Synopsis: How do you keep moving forward when the path you’re on comes to an end?
At nineteen years old, Ella Parker is a star on the rise. With her vocal training at Juilliard underway, she’s more than prepared for a glittering performance career with the rock band Wicked Youth, and anticipating the prospect of becoming engaged to her billionaire boyfriend… Someday. But when she collapses on stage during a summer concert and receives a chilling diagnosis, the promise of someday suddenly slips away.
Forced to confront her darkest fears, Ella must not only find the courage to go on after her once certain future has disappeared, but also to track down her runaway friend, Lucas, before time runs out. (Taken from Goodreads.)
Are there words to describe how much love I have for this book? I’m not sure, but I’ll definitely try in this review.
Picking up where the first book left off, The Journey continues to follow Ella and (aaah!) Jack through life as new problems suddenly begin to arise. Character-driven yet strongly plotted, this book ended way too soon. I laughed and cried my way through this amazing novel.
I liked Ella better than I did in the first book, but she also stayed true to her character. Maybe she’s just grown on me. I loved Logan’s side plot and how cleverly it was worked in. Ella, while not maybe extremely likeable, was still very real and relatable. Her responses and emotional reactions to events and bad news in her life seemed round and full, relatable and realistic.
The one thing I was confused about was the whole school situaiton—like, is she in school or not? Is she graduated? It seemed a little hazy. Ultimately, it didn’t negatively impact the story, though. I thought this was perfectly paced, and in fact ended too soon for my taste, though I did squeal at the announcement at the end of a 3rd book! I really liked how different this one was from its predecessor plot-wise, yet both still flowed together and made sense. I also liked the Christian aspect that didn’t predominate, nor control, but simply slipped in, which I felt was true to many real lives and would be very powerful and relatable.
Ella and Jack are very romantically involved and are indeed working toward marriage—Jack actually talks about his intention to propose. They kiss an awful lot, though not always detailed. What I wanted to note was how Jack mentioned a lot of times how “temptin” Ella was, followed by sly implications of going further, including hints at taking off clothes. When questioned, Jack boldly responds that “we aren’t harvesting the corn before it’s planted, sir”, implying that they will not sleep together before marriage. Still, the innuendos are there and did bother me to an extent, considering this is Christian fiction and I do expect a little more from such books. Still, I did not feel uncomfortable with any parts of this book and I do hold fast to my opinion that it was all presented in an overall wholesome light, not glorifying the wrong things but, in my opinion, just simply written for a more mature audience.
Overall: I LOVED IT I LOVED IT AAAAAH (very rarely do I get this excited about a book….)
Recommended to: Due to the few sexual innuendos and content I would say probably ages 14/15+.