Updated: Jul 20
Photos of You
by Tammy Robinson
Published by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Standalone novel, book preview
When Ava Green turns twenty-eight, she discovers this will be her last birthday.
The cancer she thought she’d beaten three years ago is back, only now it’s terminal and she’s not going to waste any of the time she has left. All she truly wants is the one thing she’s been dreaming of since she was a little girl: a wedding. There’s only one problem. She doesn’t have a groom. Ava’s friends and family rally around her to help throw the wedding of her dreams — without the husband-to-be. As word spreads on social media, the bridal planning goes viral, attracting the attention of a prominent women’s magazine. And when a photographer volunteers to help document the whole event, it becomes heartbreakingly clear that it’s never too late to discover the love of your life.
On top of posting my thoughts on books on my ever expanding to read list, I recently signed up for NetGalley. A website where publishers and authors post book previews for people to review. I automatically went and found a publisher I have enjoyed other books, Forever, and found this extended book preview, Photos of You.
Its not typically the type a book I go for, but the cover is beautiful, and I was immediately drawn in to the description. I have distant family who has suffered from cancer. Some who have died. A friend who lost her beautiful daughter at two years old. People I went to school with, the same age as me, who have passed on because of the beast that is cancer. Its scary. Its everywhere. So I was surprised to be drawn to a book that reminds me that we are mortal.
In this preview, Forever released the first 10 chapters. It starts right off with Ava finding out her cancer is back, and it's terminal. In shock, she leaves and while breaking down on a bench outside the hospital, has a conversation with a terminal patient, who tells her to not be one of those people who gives up on living life, just because they know they are dying. It sticks with her. So many things she knows she will probably not be able to do before she goes. The one thing that she truly wants, is to have a wedding.
In the first ten chapters, it spans a few months after finding out she is dying, and its rough. Tammy Robinson's use of imagery is flawless, and it fully immerses you into the story. It's beautiful and tragic. It made me feel for Ava, and had me ugly crying from the first chapter to the tenth. The chapters cover her twenty-eighth birthday party (the same day she finds out her terminal diagnosis), telling her parents their only, miracle child is dying, and her two best friends. In the span of a few months, she goes into a deep depression. She relents to her mothers demand to try treatment, but refuses to do the same treatment as before. She is tired, and weak, and sad. Bitter. Which, lets be honest, who wouldn't be? I know I would be mad as hell if my life was being cut short.
By the end of the preview, Ava finds out that the treatment she was taking didn't help at all, and her cancer has spread farther. At that point, she is done. She wants the one thing she can manage before she dies: a wedding. With no groom, and not being able to have a classic wedding, she decides to make it a celebration of her life. A place where she can say goodbye to her family and her friends. She doesn't want a funeral. Its kind of beautiful.
Photos of You by Tammy Robinson will be released February 18th, 2020. I totally plan on buying a box of tissues, a bottle of wine, and finishing what is sure to be an amazing, touching, thoughtful story, that I am sure will have me an emotional mess for days.