Wednesday, December 16, 2015

REVIEW - Sweet Soul by Tillie Cole

Title - Sweet Soul
Author - Tillie Cole


One shy lost soul.
One silent lonely heart.
One love to save them both.
Life has never been easy for twenty-year-old Levi Carillo. The youngest of the Carillo boys, Levi is nothing like his older brothers. He isn’t dark in looks or intimidating to everyone he meets. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. Haunted by a crippling shyness and the tragic events of his past, Levi spends his days with his head buried in his books, or training hard for his college football team. Too timid to talk to girls, Levi stays as far away as possible and completely on his own… until he saves the life of a troubled pretty blonde, a troubled pretty blonde that might just be the exception to his rule.

Elsie Hall is homeless. Or at least that’s all anyone ever sees. Everyday is a fight for survival on the cold streets of Seattle, everyday a struggle to find food and keep warm. Alone in life—a life that’s dangerous and cruel—her will to keep going is an ever-losing battle. In her world of silence, Elsie has given up hope that her life will contain anything but constant struggle and pain… until the beautiful boy she has severely wronged comes to her rescue at precisely the right time.

What I Thought

Oh, she mashed it again. Sweet Soul broke in the best possible way, then it put me back together.
" 'I was praying mia luna' she said after minutes of saying nothing. 'I was praying to the lord, to Mother Mary, to help us' "
Levi Carillo, the youngest of the Carillo boys is the polar opposite of his brothers. He isn't hard, he isn't confident and he isn't expecting his life to be turned on it's head by Elsie.
Elsie, Jeez Tillie. You really know how to write a broken woman. She steals his wallet and in doing so she started stealing my heart.

Conditioned by a childhood of trauma, violence and loss. Levi lives his young adult life on the peripheral. Study & sport and nothing else for this college boy.
In finding Elsie homeless and caring for when she's in most desperate need of tlc, Levi finds a voice he never knew had.

Like all Tillie books, Sweet Soul is heavy on the emotion but these two characters wear it well. Life is a battle for everyone in one way or another. And these two are no different.
There is bullying, drama, angst and sooo many tears (I think probably more from me than from the characters) but more than anything there is beauty. So much beauty. Beautiful people with beautiful hearts who truly deserve what they find with each other.
" Elsie's breathing hitched. She then breathed out eight times until she raised her head - I counted. Tears were tracking down her face, but she ignored the dampness on her skin to question, 'your... g-girl?' "
This is a fantastic end to a fantastic series so it was fitting to see other characters we love. When i finished (after wiping my eyes) i pictured my stack of Sweet Home Series paperbacks all stacked together, wrapped in a nice neat, lovingly tied bow.
"She the silent girl, bereft and alone. He the silent boy, who through love, brought her home"

Star Ratings:

Plot = 5/5
Characters = 5/5
Heat = 3/5
Writing Style = 5/5
Overall Rating = 4/5


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