Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ripple by L.D. Cedergreen

Kendall Brooks has an impossible decision: Tell the truth or protect the lie?

She has buried herself in years of undergrad, medical school, and now her residency–hoping to leave behind what she is unable to face.

Her world is rocked to the core when she returns to her small hometown and runs smack dab into her first love, Adam McCoy.

Adam is the key. He stirs up old emotions that send Kendall spiraling back in time, remembering all the moments that led them to her ultimate deception.

Will revealing the truth of what transpired all those years ago provide her the self-forgiveness that she desperately craves or will her devastating secret destroy the only man she has ever truly loved, shattering her heart in its wake?

My emotions were all over the place as I was reading this book. At times, I felt detached from the story, but then I would get so invested I couldn’t put it down. How is it possible for a character to be so selfish and selfless at the same time over the same decision? I’m not really sure, but to me that is how both Kendi and Adam were.

The actual storytelling and writing is really great. It is written in both the past and present. I loved witnessing Adam and Kendi’s relationship in the beginning and them falling in love as high school kids. They experience first love together. With the inexperience of 1st love and the unconditional trust they have of each other, they fall hard and deep. They believe that armed with their love, they can take on the world and forever. Little did they know that life was about to intervene and prove them wrong. The heartbreak they experience together really touched me. It is such a hard journey for them.

For the most part, I really liked Kendi. I thought she was a great character, and I saw bits of my high school self in her. My heart absolutely broke for her. She is made to grow up too quickly and suddenly because of a tragic event. I love how Adam was right by her side to help pick her up. But, he then quickly messes up big time and I wanted to punch him in the face. This was the turning point of the story for me.

A person is defined by how they act in tough situations. As I continued with this story I kept thinking how Kendi and Adam became self-absorbed. They thought they had everything figured out, but they didn’t. The choices and decisions they made certainly had a ripple effect. They cause a lot of heartache for those around them, but mostly hurt themselves and each other. However, thinking back to when I was their age, I get it. I remember thinking I was on top of the world and had everything figured out at 18. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I certainly agree. When the author is telling the story in the present, the characters reflect a lot, and through hindsight, they wish they could change certain things. The author switches between past and present wonderfully. Never did I feel bogged down and it didn’t feel repetitive.

Though I was angry at times with the characters, and actually appalled at a huge decision that Kendi makes, I think that Ripple is a really good story. Once you read it, you fully grasp the title. In the first few pages, the author goes on to describe how decisions ripple like a rock ripples the water when tossed in. This story shows just how true that really is. This story also shows that you can’t go back and change the decisions you have made, but you can try to right your wrongs by your present actions.

I stood at the cold dark water’s edge, my reflection staring back at me from the glasslike surface. The reflection of a girl that I no longer knew. I breathed in the overwhelming scent of pine and recognized the tranquility that surrounded me. The soft hum of the city in the distance, the echo of an eagle’s cry overhead, the steady drum of my heart—the only sounds that could be heard in the quiet serenity that was present all around me.

Inside an entirely different scene existed. Whirling thoughts, like hurricane-force winds, blew through my mind while a dark, thunderous storm was raging inside my soul, cutting the power to the central organ of my existence—my heart. I was destined to weather this storm on my own. After all, like Mother Nature, I was the controlling force behind these conditions.

I threw a stone into the mirrored surface of the water before me and watched the small circular wave expand from the point where it broke through the stillness.

It was hard not to think of the stone as the choice I had made, the choice that inevitably created waves in the smooth waters of my life. The first lie, like the first ripple in the water, seemed so small but quickly became more significant. Each wave growing in size and depth, impossible to stop. The effect from that one choice spread through my life like the ripple moving across the surface of the water.

I longed for the stillness.

L.D. Cedergreen has always enjoyed writing.  It started as short stories, and later developed into poetry–some of which has been published–and now her first full-length novel.  She’s a vivid day dreamer, a passionate reader, and a fan of all music.

She is a small town girl at heart.  Originally from Washington State, she now resides in Southern California with her husband and two little ones. As much as she would like to call herself a beach girl, she is–without a doubt– grounded by her small town roots.

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