Reviews tagging Grief

The Last Train to Key West, by Chanel Cleeton

2 reviews

in_love_with_bookish's review

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emotional hopeful sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes


A Buddy-Read with Warda

Chanel Cleeton never disappoints.

The day we stop fighting for others is the day we might as well pack it all up and go home.

The Last Train to Key West is such a vivid great story, equally plot, and character-driven with a very suspenseful tone and personal writing. I was hooked right from the start.

The story revolves around three women; Helen, Mirta, and Elizabeth, and how their lives are going to intertwine and change forever as one of the most dangerous hurricanes barrels towards the Florida Keys.

The author is brilliant at writing great, complex, and honest characters and makes them feel so close to readers. It was easy for me to really connect to the characters and understand them from the inside out. Chanel Cleeton doesn’t waste time and right from the start, she creates this powerful link between character and reader by allowing us to glimpse the characters in their most intimate, vulnerable, and naked moments.

People ask how you’re doing, but they don’t really want to know if you’re struggling or not; they want the answer that enables them to go about their day without feeling guilty.

I completely fell in love with the characters, their journeys, and how resilient, strong, and brave they were. Their stories are different, their voices distinct which is proof of how great the author at creating complex characters that don’t resemble each other yet you feel how connected they are either by intertwining their stories together in the most surprising and unpredictable ways or by making them open up and share some of their selves with each other.

The plot is also addictive and so fast-paced, it’s hard to put the book down because things are happening in a suspenseful way and you just want to know what happens next. Also, the hurricane element of the story adds a sense of dread and menace to the story where the stakes are already high.

It’s strange how quickly everything can change. How your life can be on one path, and suddenly, you’re on a completely different one with little to no warning at all, ill-prepared for the challenges ahead

The only criticism that I have is about the romances. The story follows three women and it invites us to live their romances with them but the book takes place in the span of few days so the romances felt underdeveloped for me, They just happened too fast to really appreciate them. There were a lot of things happening in the book, between the personal journeys of our three characters, the danger of the hurricane and its aftermath, the portrayal of trauma and the treatment of veterans after the war as well as talking about the great depression, we didn’t have enough space for the romances to grow and develop naturally.

But the author managed to make me believe in the connection behind the love story, the chemistry was palpable and it helped me to really feel the love. Also, the communication between the couples, the deep understanding, and the depth of their connection managed to convince me and make me root for the three couples.

There’s so much broken around us; maybe all we can do is try to fix each other, do what we can to preserve these precious moments in a world where there is so much sadness and loss.

Helen and Jhon are my favorites; I just loved them so much. I was so glad about the conclusion as a whole but their ending was really beautiful and peaceful and exactly what they deserve.

This is such a wonderful story filled with tenderness, beauty, and resilience. The characters were great and even though the story was mostly heartbreaking and sad, There were also moments of hope and peace which brought a well-needed balance in the end. I highly recommend this one.

After all, what more do we want than for someone to see us as we are, to acknowledge our pain, and to offer a moment of relief?

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scallopbunny's review

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emotional tense fast-paced
  • Loveable characters? Yes


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