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Crossing - Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Don't let that saccharine cover fool you. This book is not your typical light and fluffy read. In fact, it's not typical at all.

When I read romance novels, I let my imagination run riot with the characters. I fantasize them to be hot and good looking. If they're described as average in the looks department, I still insist on imagining them as attractive and confident people, as if they're oblivious to their own good looks. But I never like to read about a main character who has poor regard of her appearance and who feels that she should settle for whatever she can get. It's uncomfortable to read about but at the same time, it's also an honest feeling for many people, and not just women. And that honesty is what made me love Dani and the direction that this story took.

Dani is one of the most interesting heroines I've ever read about. She is smart, funny, talented and sassy. She is a bit lacking in the self-confidence department but nothing a little reassurance can't fix. She's brave, driven and true to herself. She meets our hero, Liam, in her acting class, and from there the two strike up an easy friendship. Liam is handsome, confident and nice, someone others and even Dani can't believe would want to hang out with her. A fateful night changes everything between them and on the surface, things seem too good to be true. But Dani can't ignore the nagging feeling that Liam is hiding something from her, and she desperately wants to be let in his life.

There are plenty of self-pubbed books nowadays that depict damaged main characters with a tragic past and who are still hurting from it, but there are few that have characters who are hurting from present events and will probably continue to hurt because of the way the majority of people are wired to think. Life is truly tougher for some than it is for others. People can be cruel when they do not understand one's unusual ways, but there are also people who are kind and easily accepting. We get both kinds of people in this book, and that for me is reality. You can't get everyone to like you, but there will be people who'll love you just as you are.

My only wish was that this book was longer and that Liam was further delved into. I felt that his issue was resolved a little too abruptly but then again, I understand that this book is centred on Dani and her character development.

Overall, I found this to be a sweet and touching read with great, relatable characters and a thought-provoking storyline. I was pleased to find out that some parts of the book were based on real events in the author's life. It made me feel that the characters were much more tangible. I would definitely recommend this to readers who are unafraid to get out of their comfort zones. I guarantee that you're in for a treat.

"You love him?"
I nod. "I love him."
Sean pats me on the cheek. "Then who gives a fuck?"

This book was provided by All Night Reads through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.