REVIEW: Storm Shells by GJ Walker-Smith (Book 3 in The Wishes Series)

Published: November 10 2013

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 434 Pages

Format: ebook (Paperback available through Amazon)

RRP: $3.99

5/5 Stars

The only way to move forward was to go back to the very beginning….
After three miserable weeks without Charli, Adam makes the decision to follow her, desperately hoping to find a way of following through on his promise of a happy ending.
He finds her back in Pipers Cove, healing her broken heart by spending time with the one person who never lets her down.
Both know nothing has changed. They’re desperately in love, hopelessly stuck in limbo, and unable to find common ground.
When fate offers them a chance at a different kind of ending, it’s a one-shot deal. Running with it means changing their plans – something neither of them has ever been willing to do before, even for each other.
Just as one begins to find their way, the other completely loses direction – and neither of them realise that time is running out.

Storm Shells picks up from where Second Hearts left off. Charli  has left Adam and New York and returned home to Pipers Cove nursing a broken heart and seeking out comfort from the one person she knows will always be there for her, Alex Blake.

“I’ve jumped out of a tall tree this time, Alex,” I muttered.

He finally smiled, though it had a rueful tinge. “I’m standing at the bottom of it, Charli. You’ll be fine.”

Adam can’t stay away though and follows Charli home for Christmas desperate to be around the one person who gets him and who he truly deeply loves. But what happens after their little Christmas break? Adam is still planning to return to New York and Charli won’t make the same mistake twice….so where does that leave them?

“I want to tell you why I’m here,” I murmured.

“You chased me,” she said smugly. “That’s why you’re here.”

I needed to set the record straight. She needed to know that nothing had changed. I hadn’t figured a way out of the mess we were in. We Were still stuck in limbo and I was still a selfish ass. I was just a selfish ass who couldn’t stay away from her.

Storm Shells is the pivotal novel in the Wishes Series, and potentially GJ Walker-Smith’s biggest challenge yet. With this narrative, Walker-Smith moves the series away from the I-love-you-I hate-you-I-love-you circle of the naive and younger Young Adult novels and makes the characters choose what it is they want more from life; whether they be each other or their careers and pre-determined futures only the characters themselves know. Its a book where everything is thrown on the line and thus the consequences are huge… but can the pair work it out, or are they destined to be star struck lovers living only in memory and worlds apart from each other?

 “True love is still true, even if you can’t live it the way you want to,” I told her.

What I particularly loved about this book was the way GJ Walker-Smith has presented it. Each chapter is told by alternative perspectives of Charli and Adam for the majority of the book, however Ryan does feature heavily within this book. As well as differing in perspective, we also get to see how the two characters are living worlds apart at the same time, as while Charli and Ryan are in Pipers Cover, Adam is dealing with the stress and pressure of New York on his own, unaware of what’s happening back home. Using this dual narrative focus, Walker-Smith was able to control the pacing of the novel to ensure that the reader never got bored, and the chapter dates made sure we were never confused as to what was going on and where for that matter.

The character growth in this novel is huge. Having been just seventeen in the first book, Charli is older and wiser now and more sure of who she is and where her place is in the world. Which is just as well after everything Adam put her through in Second Hearts and is about to put her through in this book. Charli knows she loves Adam without a doubt and wants nothing more than to be able to live the rest of her life with him, but she can’t live her life the way it was back in New York, not with his family breathing down her neck and no support from anyone she knows. The decisions Charli makes in this novel are HUGE, and her sacrifices are even bigger, but its the mentality of this young character that blows me away. To be in that kind of limbo situation and know what she knows takes a lot of strength and courage that was lacking in other books. She is afterall known for acting first and thinking later (and thus running when things get too scary) but in this narrative she makes the decision to stop running and it’s end result is astounding.

“Everything ended today,” she whispered. “You’re never going to change, Adam. You’re never going to be able to give me what I want, no matter how much you love me.”

I wanted to throttle Adam in the first half of this book. Seriously, I did. He’s a selfish ass who is still only thinking of himself. He lied to Charli in Second Hearts and while he acknowledges it, he still doesn’t necessarily see that he needs to make sacrifices or compromises in the marriage as well. He just expects Charli to make them instead. That said, if Adam wasn’t such an ass, we wouldn’t have had the chance to spend half a book with his man-whore of a brother, Ryan Decarie who is the polar opposite of Adam.

Ryan Decarie is a smooth talking business man, with a side of commitment phobia. He runs a tight ship when it comes to his business dealings, so you imagine just how unimpressed he was when Adam signed over his share of their restaurant Billet-doux to Charli back in Second Hearts. Even more so when Charli jumps ships and goes home to Piper’s Cove.

Tinker Bell,

For the most part, your defection has improves our business relationship considerably. Unfortunately, as co-owner, I still require your signature on certain documentation. Sign these papers and return them to me at your earliest convenience. That means today. Pretty Please.

Ryan.

Ryan’s strength of character really comes to life when he turns up in Pipers Cove to buy Charli out of Billet-Doux. Of course for Ryan the trip was purely straight forward business and meant to be easy, but as he quickly learns nothing in Charli’s life is as straightforward as it should be. And so Ryan stays in Pipers Cove learning to surf and the sense of joy that comes from taking an axe to a tree with Alex. I just loved the glimpses of his character that we get to see here when he is out of his comfort zone and the city. What’s more the way he stays to take care of Charli when he knows she really needs his brother is not only adorable and honourable, but it made me fall head over heels in love with him.

I’m trying really had not to give away some of the big twists here, but you ALL really really NEED to READ THIS BOOK! Preferably in order with the rest of the series; I don’t think it would make much sense otherwise and not to mention the spoilers it would contain for books One and Two. And for the record, Adam grows up in this book EVENTUALLY, and you’ll be pleased to see what exactly he does when faced with the unknown. Trust me the tears and frustration are well worth it.

All in all Storm Shells is an amazing book, and potentially my favourite in the Wishes Series so far. It’s the type of book I screamed at, cried with and never wanted to end. Charli and Adam may have found a place in my heart in book one, but they really shine as characters in this book and you can’t help but hope that they get their happy ever after that we all so desperately want to have.

WISHES BANNER

If you’d live to purchase a copy of this novel, head to the following retailers:

iBooks | Amazon AU | Amazon US Smashwords |

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