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Faithful by Alice Hoffman | Rating: ★★★★☆

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

In true Alice Hoffman fashion, Faithful is one of the most buzzed about releases this year. If you're as big of a fan as I am, you'll know what to expect from Hoffman's words: an emotional roller coaster that will leave a world of thoughts at your fingertips. As poignant as it is warm, and breathtaking, Faithful paints the image of a life still learning and defining itself.

Filled with elegant, thoughtful, soul-filled prose, you find yourself sucked in from the very start. If you're reading Faithful and are yet to feel a deep settling love for the characters, you will. They worm their way into your thoughts and it provokes a great many emotions within readers of all ages. Faithful is not for the faint of heart--it focuses on life and its many complexities, it will tug on your heart strings and comes with more than a few of its fair share in trigger warnings. Please, look into the story a bit to get an understanding of what to look for: don't put yourself in any situation that could be triggering to you.

That being said. I connected a lot with the story for one reason or another. I am talking the kind of emotional connection you'll get chills from. I've spent days in a haze trying to weigh out my options in explaining it but it's one of those things you just can't explain. You wouldn't expect anything less than this when it comes to Hoffman. I think that the biggest underlying theme of Faithful is the sense of guilt and picking up the pieces. There's a lot of tragedy that took place and left damage to one of our characters, Shelby.

Hoffman puts it to us frankly: Shelby is scarred, mentally, and has spent a great deal of her live struggling to comes to terms with an accident that happened. It is a bit like survivors guilt because she barely made it out alive--in a very hurtful twist of fate, no less--while her best friend doesn't walk away from it and instead is plugged into life. Life support. Coma. This is something that is hard to digest and the biggest theme in this is coping with that and the mental illness that unfortunately comes to play.

It's a very dark place. Through life and its ups and downs, and her decisions that follow, and how her mental health have been affected, the story itself isn't an easy one. Faithful is about picking up the pieces and struggling in a way that is truthful and well processed. Full of real life topics and traumas, coping done realistically, and paths of flaws and strides, it is one of the best releases this year. Unforgettable. Haunting. I'm truly in awe.

Although there are some things I would have approached differently, Alice Hoffman brings us a tale of truths and pain and moving forward. Not a dry eye to be seen throughout its short pages. Prepare for an emotional novel and a mark to be left on your heart. I loved it. I hope you do, too.

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