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the bridge from me to you The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder | Rating: ★★★★☆

"I’ve always thought a bridge is like a good friend, holding a hand out to help you along on the more difficult parts of your journey."

In Lisa Schroeder’s latest release, out July 29th 2014, we find the voices of two very different — yet very similar — teenagers meshing together as they meet one another during just the right moments of their lives. And in truth, both characters are likeable and realistic to a degree that most authors fail to reach.

My review will be spoiler free and to the point. I’d like to acknowledge, as well, that I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, effects my thoughts on this heartwarming story of first loves, the struggles of life and all that may fall into place during life’s ups and downs.

We first meet Lauren, who’s part of the story is told primarily in free verse — very simple and settled. Although her narrations are the shortest of the two, it is her story and background that feels the most real. It takes quite a bit of talent in writing, and knowledge of your characters, to manage to bring us into their mind through something as simple as free verse. And Lisa does just that — Lauren remains real and mysterious.

Most importantly, she is a fascinating mind to step into. And you love her instantly. You grow to feel strongly for her — for all that she has gone through in life. Lauren is the new girl in a small town, having been sent to live with her aunt and uncle under mysterious circumstances. In her narration we’re shown how lonely and out of place she feels in this new location and are left wondering what has happened to her in the past.

Especially as the nightmares come.

Watching her grow and open up is a very important part to this story and seeing all her flaws and quirks out in the open is important to the core of this story. And the turning point comes in the moments she meets Colby, our other narrator — who is equally as charming and lovely to read.

Both characters have a heart of gold and mold together really well as they share certain experiences with one another. Through the ups and downs in life, they’ve found something solid and common in each other that only comes about rarely in our lives. And I’m not saying there’s no romance between the two, because their is, but the thing I need to express first and foremost is that this isn’t a gushy romance.

This isn’t an “I need you and no one else and will die without you” sort of deal. They need each other, but there’s something to be told in the fact that they are friends first. Romance is there, but — oh, you’ll see what I mean. The bottom line is they are both really, really good for one another and remain a positive influence in each others lives.

Colby is a long time resident of the town and is the star of the football team who doesn’t belong in that world of sports anymore. He has big dreams and a father who doesn’t listen to that. It all sounds rather cliche, but the way that Lisa molds his mind and the varied sides of him is anything but. He is a strong voice, charming and exceptionally warm hearted.

He cares deeply for his grandparents and wants nothing more than to have his fathers approval, without the chains of football.

The things that tie the two together are more than just a typical opposites attract or silly little crush. Real life, and the chaos and pain it may cause at times, is what builds the bridge between these two fascinating and complex characters.

We watch the two navigate separate problems and work together to open up and grow as individuals. We long for them to connect with their respective families and to overcome their struggles as well as reach for the future.

The Bridge from Me to You is the perfect coming of age story that will leave you moved and give you a smile. It will have you saying “I believe!” and cheering for these two, as well as others in this football obsessed small town. It’s an optimistic story that doesn’t shy away from the way that, sometimes, we all feel alone but we have to believe in something at the end of the day.

Trust me, it’s just the right book to put yourself in a good mindset.

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