Review: Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions.

For once, I wish I was seeing Mama's teary golden eyes instead of Kaiden Monroe. I wish I was listening to Lo's playful laughter instead of Kaiden's husky words. Wishes don't come true through, because this isn't some fairytale. 
It's reality. 
And reality is a mean bitch.

B. Celeste's first two novels made me take notice, but it looks like the adage of the third time being the charm stands true because her latest book has left me at a loss for words, choosing instead to bask in how wondrous this heartrending read was. Underneath the Sycamore Tree is the story of an eighteen-year-old named Emery Matterson. Where girls her age usually begin to contemplate their lives beyond high school and head into adulthood with dreams and hopes just waiting to come true, Emery is facing her own reality. As children, Emery's twin sister, Logan, was diagnosed with lupus and died in her sleep. Nine years later, Emery is carrying the same diagnosis, and after losing one child, her mother doesn't seem able to go through the heartbreak all over again. Emery moves into her father's home--a home he shares with his wife and his stepson. Kaiden Monroe is the same age as Emery, and he was the first person to make her feel like she wasn't a patient. He doesn't hold back, making it known when he can't stand her or when he can't stand to be away from her, and soon, they end up falling in love. But not all love stories have a happy ending, and no matter how much they wish it wasn't so, it simply...was.

A quick piece of advice from moi: make sure to have tissues on-hand because you're going to need them. Emery's story felt real and honest--you get the good and the bad and everything in between. What I loved, however, was the fact that Emery may have been diagnosed with lupus--the very same autoimmune disease her twin died of--but she was NOT her diagnosis. I also adored how Kaiden pushed and prodded and served as a reminder for Emery to live the life that she had, for however long it may be. This gave me pause because shouldn't that be how each one of us should be living our lives? We have no clue what could happen tomorrow or when our time may be up, so why not simply live each day to the fullest? There's a reason that saying is as popular as it is. Emery and Kaiden were not perfect people, but again, it's that honesty about who they are and what they share that makes them such standout main characters. I know that there are some readers who require happily-ever-afters to their romance reads, but see, this book isn't "just" about romance. This was a life story as well as a love story and while it doesn't have the typical happy ending, there's nothing typical about this book. This was extraordinary and it's a reminder that the best stories aren't merely about the ending--it's about the journey that the characters take and that we, as readers, take alongside them, which is why Underneath the Sycamore Tree is a must-read and one of my absolute favorites for 2019. I highly recommend you all make time for this five-plus-starred inspiring love story. ♥

Release Date: 01 November 2019

Date Read: 01 November 2019

Learn more about B. Celeste.

Purchase Underneath the Sycamore Tree on Amazon.

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