Review: Rage to Live (Finding the Strength #1) by Shirley Anne Edwards

Can a young woman reveal her traumatic past to the woman who wants her to release the bubbling rage inside… her rage to live?

An act of violence tore Charlie’s existence, and her family, apart. In an effort to reclaim something like the life she enjoyed before, Charlie moves in with relatives in a different state. Charlie might be damaged, but she isn’t going down without a fight. With the help of her cousins, who attend the local college, she steels herself to repeat her final year of high school. On the university campus, she meets Arielle Forest, president of a popular sorority, daughter of the dean, and bisexual. Charlie is drawn to Arielle’s sunny outlook, but she can’t banish her doubts as romance blossoms. Does Arielle know what she’s getting into with Charlie and her unhealed wounds? Will she want to deal with the complications?

When Charlie’s past catches up to her, will she find the strength to keep fighting… or succumb to the call to escape all her pain for good?

I struggled a bit in this story because Charlie was going through some really dark trauma and thoughts. Her thoughts were painful and angry, and that came across to me loud and clear.

A credit to the author for making me feel during the development of the storyline, for capturing my attention and immersing me in Charlie’s pain. It was difficult for me to divorce myself and my own past from what was happening inside Charlie and this is why I struggled with this story, but also why I will pick up another book by this author.

Thankfully Charlie has some really positive people around her, and although she was unable to fully engage with them, she tried, and it came out more once she started interacting with Arielle.

This story captured the mood of the subject matter and thoughtfully delivered someone recovering from a deeply traumatic experience and trying to learn how to trust herself and others around her, again.

Charlie also has the pain of the disconnection between herself and her father as a result of her trauma, and her anger about his inadequacy in dealing appropriately in the aftermath. As a parent and a once scarred teen with oblivious parents, I can completely relate to both sides of this coin. It was really tough to read how they struggled to even talk about normal things in the beginning and I completely understood Charlie’s inability to bridge that gap while she dealt with her hurt.

The romance in this was slow build, rightly so, but really sweet. Arielle provided great support and understanding. I felt the author represented teenagers and a deeper level of young adult concepts that plague many but are dismissed as melodramatic in real life. Some content is difficult and I’m going to put content warnings at the end as some of them are spoilers, but I won’t review without including them.

I’d recommend this for readers who enjoy YA contemporary literature with a splash of slow burn romance and some more difficult subject matters.

Content Warnings (skip if you don’t want even small spoilers)

Triggers for suicidal ideations, survivor of attempted suicide and discussions of suicide. Triggers for historical offpage rape (minor description). Episodes of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and some on-page bullying. Discussions of secondary character historical child sexual abuse (minor description).


You found the final $20 NineStar Press credit giveaway today! Shhh! It's a secret!

Enter in this week long giveaway today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (EST) 11/30/18. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner!

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/18!

1 comment: