Saturday, August 10, 2013

THE BEST BOOKS YOU'RE NOT READING.




The title of this post says it all.


I'm not going to post the synopses or summaries for these books and you'll understand why once you read my review. My review covers the ENTIRE series.

MY REVIEW:

It all comes back to Book Bash. I've never been so excited to attend an event in my life. There were so many great authors appearing; most of them I had read their work or heard of them. I had a blast meeting and chatting with a good number of them and thought I had met all that I cared about. At the time, I was correct. My biggest regret is not discovering the Emi Lost and Found series before my Florida trip.
Through many contests and friends who like author pages, I had managed to like Lori Otto's author page. However, I hadn't a clue what she had written. My book twin (an online friend who shares the love for the exact same books as me) had told me prior to Book Bash that I should read the Emi series. With a TBR list as long as mine is (over 800 books now), I said I would eventually. She urged me to do so before the event but I didn't listen. So, after returning, I came across a FB post by Lori Otto and it was titled, "Book Bash - Lessons Learned". I automatically assumed that it could only be a happy article considering the success of the event. 
I started reading it and instantly my heart broke for this woman. The guilt kicked in as well. I'm sure I walked past her table and never glanced over. I was on a mission to see about 20 authors and sadly, she wasn't on my list. I have never felt more horrible in my entire life. Read the blog post here: http://bit.ly/15kINA6
I shared this post with my aforementioned book twin and she immediately made fun of me for skipping Lori's table which only made me feel worse. She once again stressed that I needed to read this series ASAP. And as before, I told her I would at some point. A few weeks later, I saw another post from Lori that asked if any bloggers would like to review the Emi Lost & Found series. I should add here that I had absolutely NO IDEA what these books were even about. I hadn't read the synopses or any reviews, but figured, "Why not?" My book twin swore I'd love them, so I sent Lori a message. Shortly thereafter the series bundle was in my email. By now I had been warned that I'd need a lot of tissues to get through them. Things were backed up on the blog, so it took a few weeks before I began this venture.
A few things about me before I start my thoughts on Emi:
1.) I've been reading since I was 4 years old. I can count on one hand the number of times I've bawled my eyes out while reading. The very first was Charlotte's Web and I never was able to forget it. I'm not a crier whatsoever. It takes extreme sadness before I'll get upset enough to form actual tears. 
2.) I do tear up in books. When something is sweet, I will get a welling up in my eyes, but nothing more.
3.) I've read hundreds of books and can easily choose a top 5 of all-time. I pretty much thought this list was permanent and impossible for anything newer to break into.
In this day and age, technology allows us to do nearly everything. Before, authors had limited options - if you didn't get a publishing deal, there were no alternatives. Nowadays, many choose to self-publish and I actually have found I enjoy indies more than big house published works. But there's also a downside to self-publishing and that's advertising and getting your name and books out there. In the grand scheme of things, not many people have discovered Emi yet. This series feels like a secret that I've been let in on. And as much as I usually love to keep things I love to myself, I feel the need to share this one. 
I'm not much of a note taker or highlighter when reading. I'll typically highlight a couple quotes, if any, in an entire book. The Emi Lost and Found series changed that for me. My Notes app on my iPhone got more use in the past week than ever before. You're probably thinking, "A week? I thought you loved this series. Why did it take you so long to finish?" The answer: emotional devastation. Yep. I can't think of any other way to describe what took place while I participated in my favorite hobby. I'd been warned but didn't take said warning seriously enough. I went in blind and got the full experience. I wouldn't change a thing in the way I went about it. My recommendation for future readers is to avoid spoilers as much as possible. Don't even read the book summary on Goodreads. Trust me, you'll appreciate everything much more this way.
I'm not even going to post a summary here. All I want to do is post some of my thoughts and emotions that I experienced throughout. From the title, you realize it's most likely the story of a woman named Emi - and it is. But it's A LOT more as well. This series runs the gamut of emotions. I felt everything from pure joy and happiness to absolute devastation. All of that just in the very first book, Lost and Found. It's written from a male point of view (which I absolutely adore) and it was wonderful to get to know the girl from how HE saw her. It's so easy to fall in love with EVERY character in these books. Every. Single. One. 


Can you get PTSD from reading a book? Because I still haven't recovered from the distress I suffered at the hands of Lori Otto. I absolutely LOVED book one. It is literary perfection. Great love story, great characters, perfect pacing - why would I need Kleenex? Oh. The end of the book makes things clear. I cannot even lie, I needed a break after finishing. You get left hanging and though the direction the story is heading seems clear, you're holding out hope that things will turn out the opposite of what you're fearing. After about a half hour (and a quick chat with the book twin), I started book two. The immediate reaction was relief. Seconds later this was followed by complete heartbreak and heartache. Cue the ugly cries. Instant, complete, and utter devastation at the hands of my iPad. I felt betrayed. How could she (Otto) do this to us?? It wasn't fair! I should mention this was within the first few pages of book two, Time Stands Still. After sobbing for what seemed like an hour (it was probably 15 minutes), I decided I couldn't continue that night. Instead, I took a two day reading break. Yes, this affected me THAT much. I did some more chatting with the book twin and she assured me that I needed to get back to the story. She promised things would get better. So I did it. I went back and tortured myself some more. Intense doesn't begin to cover it. I cried. I sobbed. I bawled. A lot. Constantly. Take my word when I say that you and Emi will become one. I felt every emotion as if I was in the story. I could have been Emi. Eventually, the story got better - by better I mean happier. Things were starting to look up and then I got sucker punched again and again and again. It was starting to feel like this sadness would never end. And I had mixed feelings about how things were playing out. I wanted happiness but it felt like that was a betrayal. But things DO get better. Significantly so. And you finally feel like the devastation is bearable. The end of book two caused my ugly cries once again. Those stuck around for the beginning of book three, Never Look Back. 
Book three is beautiful. The story is ready to conclude, and as much as you want it to end, you also don't. You want it to go in forever. This book is about moving on and it too is filled with some agonizing moments. These characters have come a long way since the first book and it's beautiful to watch them grow. 
This series is phenomenal. There isn't a weak book to be found and that is extremely rare. Each book is written from a different character's point of view and this adds to the magnificence of the overall story. You really get to know the characters and never have reason to question their decisions. I was captivated from the first page and was spellbound until the very last page of book 3. Emi Lost and Found is so real that I felt physically sick and experienced actual pain. I literally had to squeeze my chest because my heart felt broken. And this reaction happened throughout, not just in one instance. Even during my reading breaks, the story stuck with me. I found myself thinking about the story and the characters and wondering how things would end. And of course, frustrated with things they did. Not to mention the fact that I was upset with the author for what SHE did. (Love ya, Lori!)

***Side story*** - I have recently started posting what I call "Daily Fridge Notes" on my Facebook page. It's exactly as it sounds. Just a phrase or something silly with alphabet magnets (it's kind of an inside joke). Anyway, I digress... during the week I was reading Emi, these happened:


To say these books were embedded into my brain, heart, and soul seems a bit obvious, no? Or perhaps an understatement of the highest caliber.

Before you start, make sure to get a reading buddy - a partner to experience it all with. You'll need all the virtual handholding you can get. 
Emi Lost and Found is the diamond in the rough, the needle in the haystack - books like this come along once in a blue moon. Never has a book or series hit me this hard. NEVER. I've never been this emotionally attached either. I have a feeling this one is going to be hard to let go of. It's insanity that more people aren't reading these books. It has to be said: this is the most brilliant, emotional, touching, and captivating series ever written. Emi Lost and Found has taken the top spot on my All-Time Favorite Series List - nothing else comes close. The rating scale doesn't even factor high enough for me to be fair. Just know that it's incomparable in every aspect. 
After finishing, I realized I owed Lori an apology. I was part of the readers who let her down at Book Bash. In turn, I lost out on meeting someone who created the most realistic and unforgettable characters I've ever had the pleasure to discover. So, here is my apology, in the form of my rambling review. And I hope that all bookworms find Emi for themselves.

Also, a special thanks to my book twin for harassing me daily to read this series! You rock!

Rating: Incomparable brilliance. Off the charts perfection. 5+ stars!

And now, my favorite part... a GIVEAWAY!! Lori is offering up a swag pack featuring quotes from the series and postcards of the book covers. Also added in will be an ebook copy of the series (from me, because I LOVED it so much!)







a Rafflecopter giveaway



36 comments:

  1. OMG I am in love with this review! So much so, that I reblogged it! I hope that's okay? It's just so brilliant! And I'm sharing the link to this review EVERYWHERE!

    Thank you for putting words to what we've all felt x

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  2. Your review is Brilliant as always!!! =)

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  3. Loved this post, Kelli! I can't wait to read this series thanks to you.

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  4. That was a wonderful review. I've heard such great things about this series. I thought I bought it when it was on sale the other day but apparently I never one clicked :/

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  5. I am so glad I just read your review! I also saw the post on Facebook, and asked one of the girls that reviews for my blog if she wanted to read this series, I was backed up with reviews and couldn't. She read it, also in a week, and gave it 5 stars. She barely ever gives any books 5 stars, and her review made me want to read it. So I put it on my top TBR list and planned on reading it by the end of the year. Well I will now be picking it up next thanks to your review. Unfortunately, I think I know what happens just from reading the synopsis of the three books, so I agree that you should not read the synopsis prior to reading. And I will be erasing from the old post. Great Review!!!!

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  6. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

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  7. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

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  8. I love your review! I look forward to reading....one more to the TBR list!

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  9. So my very good Book friend, just gifted me this series. I'm beyonf excited to get to know these folks... ;)

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  10. Awesome review !! Thank you for all the reviews and the giveaway :-) !!

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  11. Great review! Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway!

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  12. Great review thanks for the giveaway,

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  13. thank you so much for the give away:)https://www.facebook.com/theloveofagoodbook

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  14. I have heard so many amazing things about this series, I really want to read it!! Thanks so much for this giveaway!

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  15. My favorite series ever! I really want some swag!

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  16. Your review sounded so emotional. I've read other books that made me an emotional wreck. Looks like these will too.

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  17. Thank you for the wonderful giveaways and the chances to win such great prizes. It is great to find a place to see honest reviews and great introductions to new authors.

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  18. Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  19. Another one for my never ending TBR list. Sounds great, looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  20. Wow I'm definitely going to read this now. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

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  21. Great review! Sounds like an awesome book! Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  22. From what I just read this series looks awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  23. Thanks 4 the giveaway I look foward to reading this book.

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  24. Thank you for the awesome giveaway! Good luck to everyone! (:

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  25. ooh, a new book to read, can't wait!

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  26. Great review! Thanks for sharing it with all of us..

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