Summary: Destiny doesn t factor into seventeen-year-old adoptee Maddie’s rational world, where numbers and scientific probability have always proven to be the only things she can count on as safe and reliable. Still, Maddie is also an artist who draws on instinct and intuition to create the collages she makes from photographs and the castoff scraps she saves. But when her brother falls in with a Los Angeles street gang, Maddie loses her ability to create art. Then fate deals Maddie a card she can t ignore: Aiden, a young filmmaker she meets when a water main bursts inside a camera store. Aiden is haunted by the death of his younger brother, and a life-changing decision he must now make whether or not to keep his baby daughter. Caught in a whirlpool of love and loss, Maddie and Aiden find that art and numbers, a mission to save endangered whales, and a worn-out copy of Moby Dick all collide to heal and save them both.
My thoughts: Keep Her is an engaging contemporary novel following a girl who adores creating collages while also living her life through her love for numbers. To her, everything has a solution until her brother gets in trouble with the law and she loses her spark of inspiration to create art. One day, through chaotic and unforeseen circumstances, Maddie meets Aiden, a film buff who has struggles of his own with the relationships in his life. This story follows Maddie and Aiden, whose lives intertwine while also sharing Aiden’s past through the letters he sent to his recently deceased brother. This short novel discussing grief, forgiveness, love, and change will grab your heart and your attention until the very last sentence.
I did not expect to like this story as much as I did! It was such a quick read that I dove into one day and finished it in a short amount of time. The metaphors and writing style that was used in this story were so poetic and really set the scenery of California. Maddie’s personality and the discussion of her and her siblings’ adoption were two aspects that I really enjoyed reading. The fact that she was a Latina character also connected with me because diverse ethnic representation is so important to me. The mere fact that her family was such a large presence in her life was refreshing to read about because not many books include a family that plays a major role in a story.
Aiden’s letters scattered throughout the book engaged me completely and taught me so much about his time spent on a boat saving whales from being hunted. As an animal lover, these letters opening up Aiden’s past to the reader were not only educational, but made me enjoy his character even more. His love for movies and Moby Dick, which he shared with Maddie, was another portion of the novel that helped them connect together and developed their sweet and heartwarming relationship. At times I thought their blind faith in fate tying them together made me wary of their love, but, all in all, their love story was cute enough for me to brush off the fact that it sometimes felt too much.
The only part of the novel that I wished had more development was Aiden’s struggle with whether or not he wanted to keep his daughter that he had before the book began. It played a large role in the background of the story, but I wish it were brought into the light more to help pact more emotion into his struggles. I also would have liked to see Maddie and her relationship with her brother more often in the book to make us root for them attempting to patch up what had been shattered in the past.
This story had so many quirky details! From creating collages, loving movies, quoting Moby Dick, and exploring the sights of California, I felt as though I were friends with Maddie and Aiden as they fell in love with each other. This is a contemporary novel that has so many hard hitting aspects intertwined to create a summery tale that will leave you wanting more in the end.
* I was given a physical copy of this novel from the publicist in exchange for an honest review! *