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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Two Things That Make Us Whole by J.J. Coby, Jaylee Brianna Hastings was once a vivacious woman who tackled any negative situation in her stride. But having suffered the loss of another baby, whom she named Jenna, her life seems one huge uphill struggle. She has tossed her best friend out of her life, along with anyone that tries to come close, and now her marriage to Jared is also taking a downhill turn. To make matters worse, Jared's estranged father, Kevin, is about to descend on them. When Kevin arrives, he turns Jaylee's life upside down. His brash, brutal sense of humor irritates her and Jared seems to be spending most of his day trying to avoid her. But when Kevin receives some devastating news, Jaylee realizes that he is the emotional rock she needs. As their relationship deepens, Kevin suggests how Jaylee can step out of the dark clouds that loom over her and maybe learn how to love and trust again. With time running out, can Jaylee accept his advice and realize happiness has always been within her grasp?
Two Things That Make Us Whole by J.J. Coby is a beautifully written novel that will draw you into the world of the characters almost immediately. The twists and turns in the plot were amazing and are a great example of what can happen when people draw into themselves and stop communicating with those closest to them. I really resounded with Jaylee as a character, her pain and feeling isolated was relayed with utmost perfection; the subject of miscarriage and stillbirth was obviously researched well. Jared's emotional exhaustion and feeling helpless was heartbreaking. My favorite character had to be Kevin. His political incorrectness and straight talking combined with a brilliant sarcastic wit were hilarious. The author cleverly showed another side to his personality too; a caring individual who has a sixth sense for knowing exactly how to lift people's spirits. His banter with Jaylee was hysterical. I think they both met their match with one another. The sub-plots were many and as strong as the main storyline. This novel is far more than a romantic comedy; the plot covers many sensitive issues and will have you reaching for a box of tissues by the end of the story.