4.5 passionate Stars
Saving Abel took me off guard. I had expected it to be a good book, but I never in a million years expected it to crawl under my skin the way it did. It stayed with me for days. By book’s end Abel and Gia were living, breathing people that I very much wished to know in real life. The sheer authenticity built into their characters was riveting and refreshing and I loved the honesty Gina Whitney laced through the entire book. That transparency served to bring the whole story into the real world, inject it with huge amounts of tangibility that enabled me to not only relate to the characters, but feel what they were feeling as they were feeling it.
When I opened Forgiving Gia, I expected more of the same. But I never expected it to be multiplied across so many levels to the point where I was breathless, sobbing and laughing out loud. And I was, all of those things. Whitney strips these characters down to the studs and then builds them back up, never once disguising any of the pain, discomfort or awkwardness of the process. We get to walk hand in hand with Abel and Gia as they continually find their way to each other and not only embrace what they find, but integrate it as their own.
This book picks up where Saving Abel left off. Gia and Abel both are trying to process the aftereffects of her lies and his reaction to the truth and neither of them is dealing well. We don’t have to wait long for them to get back together, however, thank goodness. While they are both intriguing characters on their own, they’re so much better together. The threat of Morgana and Gia’s mother still holds heavy in the air around Abel and Gia, but they continue to love and live in spite of that threat.
Whitney has once again infused this part of Abel and Gia’s story with an incredibly huge, thumping heart. Her writing is such that you have no choice but to feel everything so keenly right along with the characters. Every time Gia cried, I cried with her. Every time Abel raged, I raged right along with him. And every time they came together in the incredible sex scenes, well let’s just say I wanted to be right them then as well.
Saving Abel had a fair amount of objectivity in it; necessary because the reader had to have the time and ability to get to know the characters. That distance is gone in Forgiving Gia. You are walking right next to these characters (all of them, not just the main characters) as they move down the next piece of their journey. They are huge and vivid and so utterly emotional that you get sucked in immediately and never even want to look back.
I thought about laying out a skeleton plot for you in my review, but I went into this book blind, with no expectations and it was a gorgeous experience, so I want the same for you. Don’t read the blurb, don’t read other reviews, just read this book. It’s gorgeous, heartrending and so very, very worth the time and attention it commands.