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Monday, October 26, 2015

Cree by LaShawn Vasser

Published: September 2015
Diversity: bw/wm
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Over the past few weeks I've  been fortunate enough to read a couple of pretty amazing books. Cree is one of them. First, can I just say "WOW!" at that cover? I think it's gorgeous and I give the author extreme kudos for not only writing a character with natural hair, but using a model that reflects the character's appearance as well. It's not just the cover that's amazing either. Cree is also a wonderful book. That said, I do want to mention one thing. Without giving anything away I need to add a warning. There is a scene that may be a trigger for some readers, so if you're sensitive to violence proceed with caution. To be clear however, this isn't a book that's steeped in violence at all. Not that kind of book. But, as always, I feel compelled to warn some of you that this scene does exist.
Now that that's out of the way, on to the review...

Cree is about a woman named (surprise!) Cree. She's a small town girl who's struggling to support herself and her husband while he's in New York attending medical school. New York is some 10+ hours away from where Cree lives by train. They were high school sweethearts, but because of his time pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor, they've spent more time separate than together over the six years of their marriage. During a rare weekend visit, Cree's life is turned upside down and the small town girl finds herself moving to New York to be with her husband during his residency at a prestigious hospital. Although she's happy to be with her husband at last, he's changed during their time apart. In essence, Cree is about two people who love each other but are trying to adjust to marriage and changes after years apart.

What I Liked
I have to start this section with the fact that these two were already married at the start of the book. There's no courtship, just a couple in love and trying to make the present work in hopes for a better future for themselves. Their personalities were very defined and although we are very much in Cree's head, I could also understand where her husband Cam was coming from at times.
-The fact that the story was told without manufactured drama worked for me. Yes, there certainly was drama, but these two communicated so it wasn't drama based on misunderstanding.
-I like both Cree and Cam. At first I felt that Cree needed to grow up a bit, but I was thrilled that she figured things out on her own and identified what was the root of both her, and their, problem.
-I also loved the friendships, particularly Cree and Cam's friends from their home town. Although Cam had friends in New York, they didn't feel like the hardcore, stick-with-you-'till-the-end type of friends to me.
-There's so much more to say, but I do want you to read the book so I'll stop right here!

What I Didn't Like
To say that I didn't like any part of this book is harsh. I liked it all. Because I felt it was so well written, I hate to admit that at the end it felt  a bit rushed. I'm also not sure if I'm absolutely buying into the ending. Unfortunately, I can't go into details without revealing too much.

My Final Thoughts
I haven't read much by this author (honestly, this might be my first time reading one of her books), and it won't be my last. I appreciate her writing style and also enjoyed reading a book about an established couple actually working through their problems. I think this is a book that has to be read to be appreciated and I'm definitely recommending it to anyone who's tired of rinse and repeat romances. I'm giving Cree a 4.5 out 5 star rating.

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