The Placeholder

Rating 5 out of 5

"My desire to be someone's chosen consumes me. Every. Single. Time. It doesn't matter who I am with, that person becomes my world, and that becomes the new me."
"I need approval. I need to be wanted. I need love. And I'll conform to whoever gives it to me."

Potential Triggers: Infertility, Infidelity, Death of Parent, Death of Child, Death of Spouse, Divorce, Miscarriage, Cancer, Date Rape, Abusive Relationship, Caregiver

Fresh out of a divorce and some not so stellar dating relationships Serenade, a middle aged lawyer who is inhaling self-help books, enlists the assistance of Zac, also fresh out of a divorce. The two engage in a sex only relationship, suggested by Serenade's friends as a way to help with her loneliness. It's all fun and games until Sera realizes she is in love with Zac. After falling ill she discovers that Zac is married and refuses to be the other woman. Carolyn, Sera's friend and boss, takes matters into her own hands to discover that things aren't exactly as they appear. This book is an unconventional story of love and loss perfect for fans of Thelma and Louise, Eat, Love, Pray, and Me Before You.

What can I even say about this book. It started out in one direction and ended somewhere else entirely. AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF THE RIDE! Sera is an easily relatable character which is great. She has terrible taste in men, and a bad habit of changing herself to be what she thinks men want. However, she knows this about herself. She also yearns to be loved by someone, and I think everyone can relate to that. The book starts out showing the train wreck that is Sera's life, other than her friend Carolyn (we all need one of her seriously).

Throughout Sera has a variety of bad encounters which really make her question her lifestyle. She starts to adopt the lessons from her self-help books and wants to become a better person. All of this while maintaining her relationship with Zac, who she has developed feelings for. Sera's life is a series of ups and downs and she gets hit with a major whammy when she finds out she is sick. Sera really begins to evaluate the relationships that she has, and learns that her friendships have filled a void, even if she didn't see it at the time.

In a dramatic and emotional turn the last half of the book gets extremely serious and gut wrenching. It becomes a testament to the importance of friendship and the different kinds of love that exist. It is a lovely portrayal of love, loss, grief and sickness. Sera is a formidable character throughout and Carolyn is a fierce protector in her own right. The story becomes centered on the epic journey these two undertake together and the lasting impact Sera can have on the world. Be prepared to laugh and cry with this one.

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