Review: After We Break by Katy Regnery

The moment I stepped into the world that Katy Regnery created, I was instantly transported to the beauty and warmth of it. I always find her stories tender and heartwarming.

After We Break is a romantic story about Violet and Zach. Violet was a free-spirited girl who loves poetry and made Zach felt alive. Zach was an awkward, quiet guy who brought out the best in her. His music inspired her to write beautiful poetry and her poems inspired Zach to be the best in his music. But in one warm perfect day, something happened and everything changed. They lost each other for 9 years since that day, until fate brought them together again at Deep Haven.

I loved Z. I loved the little boy who hadn’t known love. I loved the awkward teenager who  was told he was loved but didn’t know what to do about it. Most especially I loved the man who will do everything to love and be loved again in return. And while Violet found it too difficult to say the words he long to hear, it seemed to be easy for Zach to show his feelings for her (I wanted to smack her head a couple of times by the way!).

I didn’t know how to express my feelings about this book in the exact way it made me feel. I searched the right word for the word “kilig” (it’s a Filipino word used to describe a feeling of romantic excitement). I googled but there is no english word that equally give the same weight or meaning. So I’m going to use this word for the first time in years being a book reviewer. For those non-Filipino readers who are not familiar with the word, I even copy here the meaning of “kilig” taken from the article I read that also corresponds to what Oxford Dictionary says:

Kilig, when used as an adjective, refers to what a person feels when exhilarated by an exciting or romantic experience; thrilled, elated, gratified. When used as a noun, kilig means exhilaration or elation caused by an exciting or romantic experience; an instance of this, a thrill.

This book. This book made me kilig, but not the kind that made me shout or giggle loudly. It was the kind that  tugs at your heart, something that you can feel up to the bones and make you happy while at the same time you feel a dull ache in your heart. The kilig kind that makes you secretly smile because you know and feel something that only you can understand.

I was surprised to see that this book has gotten reviews that is less than what it truly deserve. After We Break is a beautiful story and the words flow smoothly and effortlessly. This book is definitely one of Katy’s bests.

This is a story of heartbreak, mistakes, regrets, and how love can make it right again. Most of all it’s a story of unexpected friendship that turned into something more and real but somehow needs to be tested by years of separation and longing. I watched how these two people love each other but somehow find it so desperately hard to be together. I listened to the song “Morning Has Broken” over and over again while reading this book, replaying the scenes in my head. Until now, I still feel the ache in my chest whenever I hear the song. The story still tugs at my heartstrings. I loved Vile and Z and their love story. It can make you believe in second chances and in the reality that sometimes you just can’t un-love a person. Sometimes there is no such thing as “I will love you until I don’t anymore,” because sometimes you just can’t really stop.

5 Stars

(First published as Playing For Love At Deep Haven)

Summary:

She was the girl.

The only girl.

The only girl I ever wanted.

The only girl I ever loved.

The only girl I could ever love.

And I killed it.

I destroyed it.

I threw her love away.

For nine years, I’ve kept the memory of her locked in the deepest corner of my heart…all the while hating myself for what I did to her.

To us.

Now, without warning, she’s walked back into my life.

I’m covered in tats.

She’s covered in Polo.

I write heavy metal songs.

She writes chick-lit.

My eyes are angry.

Her eyes are sad.

I still long for her with every fiber of my being.

But I have no idea if she feels the same.

I guess it’s time to find out.

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