Title: My Lea
Author: E. Mellyberry
When Lea Amelia landed her feet in San Francisco for her overseas study, her idea of freedom was simple, like eating junk food ten times a day, sitting in front of the TV in her PJs, or going out late with her friends without the need to check in with her mother constantly. Then she met Andrew Jaya, her brothers’ best friend. A twenty-two-year-old guy whose physical appearance looked like he was crafted straight from God’s heavenly hands, but possessed a past as bleak as if it was drawn by Evil himself. A conflicted guy who wore sadness like nobody’s business beneath his mask, a perfect-looking mask she slowly peeled away. He was also the guy who hurt her. Suddenly, everything about her was no longer simple. Andrew Jaya had convinced himself that not feeling was good for him. He’d been doing it splendidly for almost his entire life. But that was before his best friend’s sister stepped into his life and ruined it. After weeks of knowing Lea, all of those warm and wonderful feelings he’d long ago denied to himself started to reappear. Problem was, the brighter the light, the bigger the shadows that came with it. His traumatic past refused to let him go. When the unthinkable happened, the easiest thing to do was to run. But life often proves that the easiest way is usually the hardest.
Tragic love stories are always a guilty pleasure for me, but lately I have found that when I pick up a tragic love story, it doesn’t hit me as hard as I would like; however, that was not the case with My Lea. E. Mellyberry knew how to wrap the romance with tragedy and realistic elements perfectly, and I couldn’t put her book down.
Lea, herself, is an intriguing character. The book followers her as she goes to San Francisco for an overseas study, and watching her become a part of American culture was intriguing. I enjoyed her alternative view on America as someone from overseas, and it was heartbreaking to see her falling in love with someone who was so tainted and beaten down by life, just to be torn apart from and by him in the end. Mellyberry did a wonderful job of putting the reader in Lea’s shoes, by portraying to them what it is like to just be getting your life started, only to be hurt by someone who changes you forever. I really connected with Lea in that respect, because sometimes love can be damaging, but it does change you as a person and usually for the better.
Reading Mellyberry’s novel was a roller coaster ride of emotion, and I was crying like a baby by the time the end came around. It is a novel that has pierced my heart, and one that I will never forget and keep going back to, despite the emotional turmoil it brings. I am honestly surprised that this novel hasn’t been published on a a larger scale, and it is truly a hidden gem. If you are looking for a new romance author to send you into a whirlwind of emotion, then look no further than My Lea. The best books are those that tantalize your emotions so much that they change you, and this book is certainly among them.
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