4 PUDDING STARS! ★★★★
"Two broken hearts - we would destroy each other before we even had a chance to begin."Well if you're a hopeless romantic like me and enjoy a sweet heart-melting read, then this book will be right up your alley :)
Within These Walls is the story of 22-year old Lailah Buchanan, who was born with an enlarged heart and all her life, she has been in and out of the hospital; often craving for normalcy and dreaming of life outside the hospital's walls.
25-year old Jude Cavanaugh has been roaming the halls of the same hospital ever since a tragic accident stole the love of his life 3 years ago. Alone and completely broken inside, he left everything behind to stay close to the last place he lost his first love, including working as a CNA at the hospital.
Their paths crossed one day when Jude was transferred from the ER to the cardiology department and first meets Lailah. Watching her from afar indulging in the simple pleasures of life, an unknown feeling sparks alive & for the first time in 3 years, he begins to feel something more than the emptiness in his heart. Determined to give Lailah the happiness & the life she craved for, their relationship blossomed from friends to even more as Jude vowed to help Lailah cross out as many things as he can on her "someday" list.
Well I truly enjoyed this read as it kinda reminded me of A Walk to Remember, which BTW was one of the first few romance books I've picked up back when I was 15 (and I LOVED IT). It probably also played a part in making me a hopeless romantic *le sigh*
That aside, Within This Walls has got me grinning like a fool, caused some occasional giggling and of course, it had me teary-eyed every now and then. Their first encounter was adorable & just watching Jude fulfilling Lailah's bucket list had got me all:
"Every time you share another wish or dream from it is like unravelling another layer of you. It helps me to get to know the woman I've fallen - come to care about so much".Needless to say, my heart melted into a puddle and my feels were all over the place ♥♥♥
But why not 5-stars?
Well yeah, even a hopeless romantic like me has some standards (don't judge me!) and while I really do love all the sweetness in this book, it still kinda bordered on insta-love for me. I found myself struggling a little to believe that Jude could have fall in love so soon with Lailah. I mean, he technically spent 3 whole years harbouring on all that guilt and sadness and well...I guessed I would have loved it better if the internal struggle/conflict that Jude had was made more prominent.
But that's just probably me being a picky
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this one ♥♥. A really beautiful heart-warming read that teaches you to appreciate life & to cherish every single moment. It brings you on an emotional journey as you watch two broken-hearted souls find love in each other when they thought loving was impossible.
Being my first read from J.L. Berg, I truly enjoyed her writing and definitely looking forward to read more from her.