Title: The Reality of Everything
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Flight & Glory #5 (Standalone)
"I can't even suggest that it will be easy, because that's a huge lie, but I swear
that I will always make the shitty lows pale in comparison the to incredible highs."
Wow. Just. Wow. I actually wasn't aware that this was book five of a series. Luckily, it can be read as a standalone and still be fully enjoyed without any confusion. Evidence #1: I LOVED IT. The Reality of Everything was so raw and heart breaking, yet so beautifully hopeful. I'm eager to jump into the first four books now to learn more about the other couples' backstories. I'm desperately wishing that two side characters will receive their own HEA too (Please, Rebecca Yarros hear my prayer). Not only did I love Morgan and Jackson—and Fin, I also loved the entire Cape Hatteras friendship circle. The Reality of Everything shines a light on grief, loss and healing. Witnessing Morgan's pain and struggles felt like being stabbed in the heart, but it made the moments of genuine joy that much sweeter.
Allow me to begin my gushing with how much The Reality of Everything hit all my happy reader buttons. First, we have a second chance romance story. Second, our hero is a single dad [Be still my heart!]. Third, the friendship dynamics are absolutely wonderful. And lastly, we have men-in-uniform which I am a weakling for. Turns out I actually read book one of this Flight & Glory series six years ago, but don't remember squat about details or why I never continued. I am very happy and willing to jump back on the Rebecca Yarros train though.
As mentioned, a huge part of The Reality of Everything highlights grief and loss of a loved one. Morgan's to be exact. She has escaped her hometown to start anew in Cape Hatteras, hoping the remodeling of an old beach house will take her mind off of well... everything. Morgan's character development was a rollercoaster of emotions. You learn her history and experience her ways of coping with anxiety. I felt drawn to protect her and wanted nothing but her happiness.
Enter Jackson, who quickly skyrocketed up the book boyfriends list. A loving father of one adorable five-year-old daughter. How Morgan and Jackson meet was memorable and cute (with a touch of secondhand embarrassment). Where can I find a partner like Jackson?? He had such a big heart, patient and empathetic. Aside from one blip, his communication skills *chef's kiss*. I love that he never pushed Morgan into starting a relationship with him but he also never failed to tell her how he felt about her. Jackson's relationship with Finley was pure sweet. I swooned and melted a many times when he appeared.
Morgan and Jackson's relationship was a glorious slow burn. My hopeless romantic self was satisfied. Morgan's relationship with Finley was also very wholesome. Last note: the ending was INTENSE. My heart was on a rampage and I shed a few tears. If all that wasn't enough to convince you to give The Reality of Everything a try, you are missing out! Beautiful story and lovely characters. Friendship dynamics on point. Morgan's friend Sam was such a pillar of support through the entire book. I thought the depiction of grief and the mending of relationships was very realistic. I can't wait to delve into reading the first few books of the series just to learn more about her story and the others. Jackson's friends also left great lasting impressions. This is a book I will be rereading multiple times and pushing on all romance lovers.
**ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review (thank you, Entangled!)