Review: Coffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter @Nayes1982

      Coffee at Little Angels
Nadine Rose Larter; Kindle Edition
Published May 26th 2011 by The Katalina Playroom
What do you do when you lose a childhood friend? What do you do when you know everyone is expecting you to come home? What do you do if you don’t want to?
Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh grew up in a small town where they spent their high school years together as an inseparable clique. But high school has ended, and they are all living their own “grown up” lives, each under the impression that their group has basically come to an end. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, Kaitlyn summons the others to all come back home, forcing a reunion that no one is particularly interested in partaking in.
Coffee at Little Angels follows how each character deals with the death of a childhood friend while at the same time dealing with their own ignored demons after years of separation. Events unfold as the group tries to rekindle the friendship they once shared to honour the memory of a friend they will never see again.

I had no idea…this book was silently, graciously waiting for me to finally make my wayward way to it, sitting there all nice, humble and unassuming. And I had no idea of this simple, breathtakingly elegant beauty that was just waiting for me to discover and acknowledge it. Sometimes I think that’s the only real kind of beauty there is, the simple, understated, soul-altering humble beauty. To me, Coffee at Little Angels was just that.

It starts off incredibly beautiful, Phil’s Thursday, the first chapter, is my absolute favorite, followed closely by the book’s last chapter. Phil is amazing, I loved him instantly. The way he talks about Sarah…I just can’t find words worthy of describing the incredible beauty of this first chapter. It completely swept me off my feet, entirely; when I was done reading this particular chapter I wanted to hate it, for some reason, it was just too touching, I needed to create some distance from it but I couldn’t. I loved it too much to take that small but major step from it that would keep me away from emotional turmoil.

The book was a beautiful read, though I personally never feel at ease with these subjects that it gives insight to. Of course, that’s a big part of why books exploring it have so much crush-potential for me, you know? I see this book as centering on life and love, on the great beauty of savage, unfair, downright horrible life and twisted, warped, mind-discombobulating love. The short and sweet review for this book would be two words: almost perfect. And before you puff up your foliage and start thinking it means it’s not quite perfect, let me enlighten you on what I mean. There is no such thing as perfect; the best of us, the best of what we do, the best of the best is almost perfect, and in that tiny little bit that is missing from perfection, in that tiny crumb of sans perfection resides its entire beauty. This books is just that good, yes.

The characters are superb, broken, hurt, afraid, disoriented…brave. Unsettlingly real. My absolute favorite is Phil, as I think you guys got already, and Sarah comes in almost second, more like 1,5 or something. But I almost loved them all, I just couldn’t help it. Even Kaitlyn, and she would have been the easiest for me to dislike – for the why, you’ll just have to read the book, sorry 😛
The plot is the sort of thing that I tend to love like crazy; long, sinuous stories are good, but dramatic events, intense, mind-altering zoom in is my personal favorite. So this book is one of those things that just feel like they were made for me, just for me, you know? And I’m sure each and every one of us feels like that when we’re reading it, it’s so totally personal, almost intimate somehow.

If there’s anything I could say I wasn’t necessarily crazy about it would have to be the change of POV’s. By large, I don’t like it much, but in this instance it fit perfectly. I believe a lot of its beauty would have been lost if the story would have been delivered by an omniscient narrator, for instance.
I made it through the entire book without crying, though I knew by the end of chapter 1 that I would cry at any given moment. But I did it, I almost did it, and then came Phil again and off the tears went. But the ultimate and unrepentant beauty of it all was that the tears were cathartic, not bitter or sad. This is a supremely cathartic read, human and overwhelming and completely gorgeous.

My honest advice is read it; this one makes it on my top favorites of the year, definitely. There’s all kinds of beauties in the world, and this book is one of them.

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