Within These Walls by J. L. Berg
“The truth is, you are far from normal. You are light-years away from the word. You are exceptional. The word normal would be an insult to your very nature.”
Another sweet new adult romance! I decided to read this book after seeing multiple friends giving 4 star ratings so I gave it a chance. While it’s not the most original book around, and I predicted the majority of the plot, this was still an incredibly fun read.
Lailah Buchanan has a congenital heart disease, her heart is too large for her body. Lailah has spent a lifetime in hospitals and longs for a more normal life outside the constricting medical walls. Jude is a CNA, he took the job at the hospital after a tragic accident three years ago in which his fiance was killed. Jude is a shadow of his formal self and lives day to day. Upon being switched to the cardiac wing, Jude meets Lailah and the two become fast friends. Over time, the two begin to develop stronger feelings.
It’s funny that I enjoyed this book so much, I actually can’t wrap my mind around it. It has a bunch of aspects in it that I don’t normally like.
-cheesiness (but not a lot)–> check
-recycled plot–> check
…and yet, this was so good! All of these aspects were easy to ignore, the book as a whole being delightful. I honestly think this is a testament to J. L. Berg as an author, because I fell in love with both Jude and Lailah and was rooting for them as a couple the entire book! This is very much a feel good romance for those of you out there looking for a lighter book to brighten up your day.
Lailah as a main character was perfect; she had been dealt a shit hand in life, and yet she still wanted to live it to it’s fullest. Things that we all take for granted everyday, like the ability to walk through sand or go to a school dance, these are all things that Lailah strived for because her condition took away these small pleasures from her. And Jude was the perfect man to help her find a way to live her life.
Fans of sweet romantic new adult reads, this is the book for you! Everyone else, give it a try!