Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings based on a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.
I finished this book in less than a day. I was so wrapped up in their story, that by the end of the book (and his wife's life) it took me a couple of hours to emerge from the story. Toward the end, I was sobbing so hard that I had to take a break and collect myself. He writes in a way that makes the reader feel like we're there with him, watching his wife take her last breath. I'd recommend this book to everyone; even those who aren't particularly religious or grief-ridden. It will change the way you feel about your own life.
My husband is also finishing up the book as I write this. He isn't a reader. He also isn't very religious. After some uncomfortable experiences in church, he vowed never to walk into a church again. He hasn't been in several years, but that is going to change this Monday. He is anxious to attend a church near our home, to hear Bryan's testimony.
We've been discussing the book and how it resonated with us. We didn't read the book, because we were suffering from grief. We ordered the book to support a local author. What we discovered while reading it, is that we could be better people. In the face of adversity, our responses haven't always been kind. In discussing the book, we've realized that we can be kinder, more empathetic, and more in control of the way we respond to changes in our lives. In sharing his story, Bryan helped us learn the importance of the way in which we show our love - not just to each other, but to everyone. Finally, the book gave us a huge lesson in equanimity. In short, the book made us want to be better people.
Disclaimer: I know the author. He's a former colleague and always friend. He also threatened that he'd know if I short changed you guys and spoke better of this book than I truly believed and he'd not let me do this before his next book came out. Fair enough, then. I read it twice just to be sure I was right.
People will describe this book in many different ways, and I expect they will all be positive. For me, aside from being a loving and worthy tribute to an incredible young woman (and believe me, Kailen truly was), it's a guidebook on how to love with every last ounce of your heart. Alternately moving, whimsical, maddening, heartbreaking, and uplifting, this tale will tug every emotional string you possess. The subject material is heavy. Moreover, the constant specter of the inevitable conclusion SHOULD hang over the reader's experience like a killing sashweight, but it doesn't. The author skillfully blends in leavening moments of pure bliss and joy, balancing literary flavor like an Charleston mixologist. That said, the emotional effort writing this book must have cost is staggering. I'd go so far as to say the only thing more difficult for him would have been NOT telling Kailen's story. The raw, unfiltered heart poured out is almost as if he opened up a vein in his soul and bled these words onto paper. The prose is masterful. You'll find yourself marveling at how our storyteller blends grandiosely crafted language with such lines as "things got a little out of hand and I wound up wearing the apron, but I make a mean buckeye and a good time was had by all".
This is a seriously worthy story with a seriously worthy man telling it. You will cry. You will smile and laugh. And you will NOT be disappointed.
Speechless. I normally have a lot to say after reading a book. I enjoy reading, so I've read through my fair share of books and I can honestly say this isn't my typical choice for getting lost in a different world. I am definitely someone who loves a good love story...Nicholas sparks was one of my favorites... but there is a whole new level Even if You Don't reaches that I'll never experience from a Sparks novel.
The realness. The rawness. The truth behind the horrors of a war with cancer. The truth behind a Godly woman and man who are loving, trusting and chasing God while dealing with a huge worldly battle that not only deteriorates the body but your mind, emotions, and tries to attack and kill the spirit, too.
There is laughter, crying, heartbreak but also remembrance that this is not our home. While my heart hurt throughout this book for numerous reasons, it also experienced an odd comfort.
While my review ended up being longer than expected even when I said I was speechless... I'm still at a loss for how to explain what the book means and does to each individual reader. Everyone will read this but find truth and inspiration or whatever it is they need in a different way. But it is worth it.
It's a quick read. Took me less than 24 hours. Didnt want to put it down. Well worth your time
The love story of Bryan and Kailen is the stuff of legends. Better even. Their story takes us behind the scenes of the most tender of fairy tales and beyond happily ever after. I could never do justice with a review of this book, but I must try. I'll say this: While I'm an avid reader, there are very few things that keep me reading until 2 AM on a work night, yet I could not put this book down.
I've never read something that conjured up so much of the "realness" that comes with love and, in turn, loss. The story offers example after example of what it is to live out our marriage vows. This book gave me empathy that so many well-wishers and good-intentioned friends could not. I could feel it. While absolutely devastated, I finished the book filled with hope, awe, and faith and I know you will, too.
The writing is brilliant. The author has an unparalleled ability to put into words the feelings within the deepest, most private parts of our hearts....From the beginnings of a promising new relationship to every emotion one experiences during the grief process. It's difficult to generate an organized plot line with a non-fiction piece, yet Bryan Taylor manages it. This narrative reads like a favorite novel, but has much more relevance to real life.
I offer a whole-hearted recommendation of this book. I encourage all who enjoy love stories, who are considering marriage, or who have suffered loss of any kind to purchase this book. Truly one of the absolute best books I have ever read in my life. looking forward to reading all future works by the author.
I first heard of Kailen through my pastor, her Uncle Donnie. I prayed many times for Kailen and her family, although I never met them. I’ve seen her grave at the cemetery, not far from another friend’s grave. This book tells me the rest of the story, from its earliest inception, Kailen’s birth, to the bitter, yet beautiful end. Bryan is painstakingly honest about his journey with Kailen and with God. You will laugh, you will cry, you will sob as you read this story of instant love, fear, acceptance and ultimately a loss no young man should ever know, no young woman should ever experience. You will learn that you can take advantage of every moment God offers, deeply breathing in the joy of the unconditional love of God, spouse and family. Beautifully and poetically written, this true story will remain with you and you will be blessed for “knowing” this family through the pages of this book.
What a beautiful young couple... this read is the definition of human love and Gods spiritual love.. acceptance of one another no matter what ... acceptance of Gods plan for them even though it hurts the human heart and soul....and the continued love and faith in God when troubles are strong and we are weak. Believing... Living... loving....to the fullest. Such young people experienced so much in life so early... too early. God answers prayers when received in his way... we just have to accept it and believe in him to get us through no matter what his decision is for us. These young authors are two that you will never forget and their story will remind you daily to appreciate Gods gifts more and more. Loved this book so much. Thank you for sharing you love and life with us Bryan and Kailen. A beautiful love story!
This memoir is one to make us appreciate those of us who enjoy good health. I could not but be moved by the suffering Kailen endured. Such a young woman to have to bare such a burden of pain. Not many have such a loving husband as Bryan. Such a big heart to stand by this wife in such a loving caring way not all have that kind of love for another. I hope Bryan will find happiness again one of these days and may she be worthy of such a good man. So, anyone who is having a bad day, read this book, it will help you count your blessings.
I would give this book 10 stars if I could. I opened the book at 5:00pm on a Friday and at 1:00am Saturday morning I was still reading - I literally could not put it down. It is a beautiful love story that is incredibly well written. I felt as if the author were talking right to me and even though I knew the ending before I began, I still cried my eyes out. I wish every person the love that Bryan and Kailen had for each other. What they shared in the short amount of time they were together, most people don't have in a lifetime. I have recommended this book to all of my friends. It is a must read. You will never look at life, or those you love, the same.
This story... this love story is unlike most. It is more than a love story between a man and his wife, but also the love both share with their Creator. It is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, but it also filled my soul with a reminder to love life as fully as possible. Kailen’s honorable fight and Bryan’s steadfast love and support come alive in his writing. I highly encourage anyone to read this love story, but bring tissues! The eloquent and skilled writing will make it nearly impossible to put down.
An amazing story of undefeatable hope in the face of insurmountable challenges. Bryan C. Taylor brought me into his and Kailen’s love story from the first sentence I read and made me feel as if I was fighting with them as part of their family. While the ending is never in doubt, the true story is how Bryan and Kailen created a lifetime of memories with the few short years they had together and inspired those who knew them. With every page I turned, I laughed, I cried and I hoped. Hoped that the ending could change and that it would. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever had a bad day or a good day. Riveting, heartbreaking and joyful, this story is a celebration of Kailen and an acknowledgement that life isn’t always fair.