Publication Date: JULY 8, 2021
Rating: 5/5


Twelve minutes to live.

Twelve minutes to die.

My best friend became the love of my life. Like all couples, we had our good times and our bad. Endured through sickness and health. Worked as a team to navigate through richer and poorer. The life we built was a good one…then tragedy struck.

If humans were meant to love and be loved, how do I move on when I’m standing at the grave of my soulmate? Can the heart ever heal when all it beat for is torn away? I have to persevere. To live in loving memory. All the while wondering if the sun will ever shine through the storm clouds of grief…

One word to describe this book: pain.

All I feel is pain while reading this book and after finishing it. I knew from the synopsis it was going to be a sad book that would make me cry but still when the emotional parts came in, I wasn’t prepared for it. It has been a long time since I last cried so hard reading a book. My eyes hurt for 3 days straight, I’m not even kidding. It was really hard for me to open my eyes.

This is a story of two friends who’d known each other since high school and later became lovers then got married the moment they reached adulthood together. Their married life was beautiful but a tragedy happened and everything started to become bleak for one of them.

Jake and Jayden’s story is definitely a tough one to read the moment those heartbreaking parts started to appear in the story. At first, it was just an easygoing kind of story but then things started to become more depressing as the story went on.

The story started with how these two met and then everything continues from there, and that’s when I knew reading this book would be a depressing ride. The whole thing shows how they met, how they stayed as friends, their high school journey, what are they like in their senior year, what obstacles they had to face after they graduated from high school, their wedding, what jobs are they taking, the tragedy, the moving on part etc. This is a big journey, and reading the whole thing helps me see the clear picture which is how they fell in love and what happened after the tragedy.

Jake and Jayden bumped into each other when she first transferred to his high school and they hit it off as friends first. When things got hard for Jayden, he was always there for her to support her. He was also the one who suggested the idea of being together because why wait for the right time while both of them have feelings for each other. Waiting for the right time is just a waste of time because things—good or bad—can happen any time and then they would miss out on their chance to be together. In the end, they would feel the regret.

Sometimes I wanted to shake Jayden for not recognizing the right guy in front of her which is literally Jake. She dated many guys in high school but the relationship that she had only lasts a few months, and then she moved on to a new guy again. Jake only watched and witnessed the whole thing, and he was always the one she called when she needed a shoulder to cry on after her every breakups. I was happy to see them getting into a romantic relationship after they graduated from high school, even though Jayden wasn’t sure it would work at first but thankfully she took the chance and her life was happy from then onwards.

Seeing these two grow up and watching what their journey was like made me happy that I get to witnessed it all but also at the same time sad because I knew something would eventually happen later on. Honestly, I didn’t expect the twist with who passed away in the story. I expected it to be Jake since his job is in the military, but I didn’t expect it to be Jayden instead. She’s a writer and she mostly work from home but the accident was shocking to me. This is a definition of ‘anything could happen.’ Seeing Jake’s reaction was heartbreaking. That man is always strong not just in terms of physical, and the death of his wife is what wrecked him and that broke my heart.

I was so used to seeing both of them happy in their life back then when they are still in their teens and then seeing them happy being married was a joy. At least they get to stay married for years before the tragedy strikes. The moment Jayden hugged him before he had to go for his last deployment and told him that she had a feeling it would be the last time they see each other, I knew right away that something would happen soon. I thought it was Jake but then the twist happened and it shocked me knowing it was Jayden. I’m still not over it, every time I remember what happened in the book, I cried.

Jake was there helping Jayden and her father when she lost her mother, he witnessed it all. And then, when he lost Jayden, her father was there to help him out. I’m glad he had his father-in-law with him. Every time he mentioned Jayden’s name whenever he did or saw something that remind him of her, I broke down in tears. I was a mess, and emotionally wrecked by this book.

It was also good for the author to include a whole chapter that focus on Jake’s therapy progress, and what did he do to cope with losing his soulmate and how his life was like moving forward after what he experienced. When he was willing to go to a therapy, I knew he would be just fine even though it would take him some time to be wholly fine.

His therapist did a great job with helping him out too but the one thing she said that still stuck with me is how she explains the whole thing regarding ‘moving on’ to Jake when he expressed his feelings of being afraid he would forget Jayden. Honestly, he won’t forget her just like his therapist said, because there will always be things that would remind him of Jayden even when he move on with his life. That was a great explanation about the whole ‘moving on’ thing after you lost your loved ones.

“Because, Jake, in situations like these, it is not only the surviving spouse who needs to let their loved one go, but the deceased needs to move on too. The days you forget are the days Jayden is moving on too. When our loved ones die, especially unexpectedly, they have unfinished business here on earth. They make sure those who are left behind are healing. Jayden had so much love in her heart, she wants to be there for you in your darkest hours. Now, she is seeing you heal. You get better and better every day, and so she can ‘go on’ knowing you are well.”

Before this, I never thought about ‘moving on’ after your loved ones died this way. What Jake’s therapist said, I can see it clearly and I admit that I agreed with what she said because it make a lot of sense. Jayden’s death was so unexpected, and she couldn’t say her proper goodbye to Jake so it made sense for her spirit to be there making sure he was healing and doing better every day. When Jake felt lighter and lighter after her death, and started to do so much better than when he first lost her, that means her job of making him feel better is done, and she left him to move forward with his life while she move forward with hers in the spirit realm. It was like making him better after her death is Jayden’s way of giving him a proper goodbye because she never had that chance.

I was stunned when I read that part. Jake’s therapist knew what to say and props to the author for explaining it that way in this book. Really made me open my eyes to better understand the whole ‘moving on’ part. That was by far my most favorite moment in this entire book. Also, Jake’s life after that gets better and better, and seeing him find love again was truly a delightful part. Jayden would be so proud of him for being able to move forward and find happiness again. Surely she wouldn’t want him to suffer because it would make her suffer too even though she wasn’t alive anymore. Her spirit seeing him suffer would be sad but seeing him happy would make her happy too knowing that she can leave him to someone who can take care of him.

Despite how painful this book is, I can’t deny that there are so many things that I learned from it especially learning about the new meaning of moving forward. This isn’t just a tale of a beautiful and heartbreaking love story between two people who are meant to be together, but it is also a tale of two men (Jake and Jayden’s father) moving forward with their lives after losing the women they loved. There was a beauty in this story despite how bleak it was the moment the tragedy strike the main characters. This book was a soul-searching journey and it felt very therapeutic. I highly recommend it.

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