Thursday 29 January 2015

Review #21 - Withering Hopes ¦ TOUR STOP!

Title: Withering Hope
Author: Layla Hagen
Published: January 19th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance.

 A brief synopsis (Via Goodreads)
Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.
But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.
As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.
Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.
Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

About the Author;

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough.

You can find Layla at her website, Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

My Review;

I must admit, this genre was a first for me!

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I opened the book; romance has never really been something I was interested in, however I'm very glad I decided to sign up for this tour.

Withering Hopes is explosive, from the characters to the setting to the writing. It really was an incredible read, and here's why:

The characters are very raw. Not in the way that they're bad, but in the way that makes them real. If that makes sense. They're definitely not pretentious, you know, which is something you might expect from a ridiculously rich couple; they're down to earth, and Hagen hasn't even made them accidentally snobbish, it's fantastic. 

I didn't feel alien, reading this. It can be easy to imagine (for me, at least) that when reading a romance book, one that takes place literally hundreds of miles of civilisation and with characters on the verge of death's door, it wouldn't -logically- make any sense; it would be too, sort of, ideal. By that, I mean it would be easy to assume that Hagen would make the characters adapt swiftly to the wildlife and both suddenly become experts. Which doesn't happen- except potentially in the case of Tristan. (And the fact that Hagen included what happened when Aimee's period came, that was brilliant, I don't think I've ever before read a book where that subject has even been mentioned in passing.) Just look how real Aimee's line of thinking is:
'As I watch his well-built frame and heavily muscles arms move in the shadows, I can partly understand why he's not afraid. If I were that strong, I'd feel more courageous... or not. Who am I kidding, I've always been a coward. Still, watching him, I fear a little less.'
I like that, because it makes it clear that Aimee is not going to be the hero, you know, she's not suddenly going to grow the courage of a thousand bulls and become the next Ray Mears. But her adaptation to survival is nice.

So, yeah, let's say a little thing about Tristan. This guy takes mysterious to the extreme. I'm not even remotely kidding, the guy's an enigma. I mean, look at this quote from one of the early chapters:
'Here, where our lifeline depends on working and sticking together, where I'm prepared to do just about anything to keep her safe, it will be hard to keep that distance, but I will do my best.'
So many questions. So many things to be inferred. But that's okay, you start to learn in time, and it's lovely to watch. He's easy to start to like, and even better to understand. So whilst I wasn't a fan of the dual-perspective that was going on in the novel, I tried not to let it bother me too much. Though I did think Aimee was slightly better written.

One thing I found humorous was when Aimee noted that the bird's cries sounded like Vivaldi's Four Seasons - it was rather ironic, actually, because I was listening to that at the time I was reading it. 

My favourite quote;
I think he's going to caress the bird or stop it from flying away. Instead, he breaks its neck.
Rating: 4/5


  1. Great review, Paige! I love how well written the characters sounds and how realistic they sound, too! I love survivalist stories so the rainforest aspect sounds right up my alley! Glad you liked it! :)

  2. Thank you for this wonderful review Paige <3 I love how much you connected with Tristan and Aimee :)