Disclaimer: This review is filled with spoilers. Please do not read if you have not finished this series. STOP right here – I don’t want to ruin this experience for you.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️6 ROCK STARS⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book review is for me. For the first time ever, I’m not writing a review that I hope connects with anyone who reads it. This is my diary, my review, my experience. I’m going to be completely selfish. I’m being selfish because I feel everything – not felt because I still feel this book. Fuck. . . I don’t know how I’m going to make it through writing this review. Deep breath, Danielle. Deep. Fucking. Breath.
Just an Illusion EP by D. Kelly is one of the best fucking books I’ve ever read, and that says a lot because I read a shit ton of books.
This review is going to get real fucking messy in the best possible way.
Before we get into it, let’s here what the author has to say. . .
Just an Illusion – EP is the third book in The Illusion Series. You will need to read the previous books Just an Illusion – Side A and Just an Illusion – The B Side in order to follow along.
Lives are turned upside down …
Everything was perfect before life came to a screeching halt.
When devastating loss flips Amelia’s world on its axis, she loses her spirit. Mel isn’t the only one hurting, though; the members of BAD are also struggling to find their way after that tragic night.
Life goes on …
Amelia’s friends move heaven and earth to help ease her sadness. Knowing she’s on a dangerous precipice, they fight through their own pain to bring her safely to the other side of her grief.
Love can conquer …
Amelia knows bottling up her feelings isn’t helping anything. With love at her fingertips, all she has to do is reach for it. Mel’s loved ones desperately hope she can once again find her way to happiness.
Can Amelia overcome her fears to let love in again, or will she let the weight of that night continue to drown her in sorrow?
Just an Illusion – EP is book three in The Illusion Series
Let’s get messy. . .
“The only way out is through. I know you can’t see it now, but until you can find your own way out, we will guide you through.” – Karen
As my husband looks at me like I’m bat-shit crazy, I’m going to write this review with tears in my eyes. FYI, I am ruining perfectly good eyelashes from these tears, which is a big thing for me. I love my fucking eyelashes and pay a shit ton of money for them.
I didn’t make it through the first few pages of the chapter one before balling like a damn baby. By the time I got to chapter two, I was a mess.
After two books in the series we learn what Amelia has been writing in her book and it’s nothing I saw coming. Maybe, my heart knew it was coming a wee bit, but I had too much denial flowing through my veins to truly believe it.
Amelia is writing the story of her and Sawyer. That’s right, not Amelia and Noah’s story, Amelia and Sawyer’s. My heart broke into a million little pieces when I found out. She is trying to find a way to move on in a world that doesn’t include Noah. She’s also trying to find a way to give everything she has into his twin brother, Sawyer. I know that sounds like some backwoods, hillbilly type shit but it’s not that, trust me. It’s one of the greatest and heartbreaking stories I’ve had the privilege to read.
I thought after finishing Side B where Belle dies my heart couldn’t break anymore but I was wrong. Noah Weston took his last breath shortly after meeting his newborn son and stole my breath at the same time. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. I will also miss him. There will never be a time where I won’t remember Noah.
“. . .If I had to choose a brief infinity with you, or never having you at all, I’d pick the brief infinity every time. My life has never made as much sense as it does when we’re together. I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you. . .” – Noah
I will always feel as though Amelia and Noah’s love story isn’t finished. They will meet together again on the other side in their next lifetime. I don’t know if that’s my way of coping with his death, but it’s how I feel. I miss him. I don’t want a brief infinity, I want a real lifetime. – more tears –
I want to take a quick commercial break and talk about Belle and Darren. This is a tough one for me.
As I am continuing to find a way to cope with the loss of Noah, I’m also having to find a way to grieve for Belle all over again. Darren is trying to find a way to not only recover from the loss of Belle as a spouse, he has to raise his daughter without a mother. – more tears –
Reading how he finds Belle’s dead body was excruciating. I felt his heartbreak through the pages of this book like I was there to witness it at the time. I knew Belle died at the end of Side B and I dreaded Darren’s reaction. I was scared. I knew that his pain was going to bleed through the pages, and it did. My heart ached beyond measure when I read his reaction to finding Belle’s body. My tears wouldn’t stop. Let me share. . .
. . .Darren’s wails echo through the night. . .It’s the sound of unnatural loss. The animalistic cry you hear when someone has been left behind in the worst imaginable way. – Sawyer
I’ve heard that sound before in real life and it’s a sound you never forget and one you pray you never have to make. I don’t even know how I made it through those pages.
. . .he’s on the ground crying and rocking with Belle’s limp body clutched in his arms. – Sawyer
“Just give him time to hold her one last time. It’s the only goodbye he’s going to get.” – Mac
I’m not a twin but I have a sister that I love more than life itself and the thought of living life without her splits me into pieces. To read about Sawyer finding out his twin brother is dead was devastating and gruesome. I can’t even imagine.
My resolve not to break goes out the window with (the doctors) words. This is real and Noah isn’t coming back to me … ever. All his dreams and wishes … gone. Four kids lost their parents tonight, three people lost their spouses, two sets of parents lost their children – we should have never done this final tour – Sawyer
With Noah and Belle gone, the world changed forever. Life as so many people knew it was completely shattered.
Mel’s reaction to Noah’s death killed me on so many levels. I’m going to need to a really, really long diary entry to for this bit. . .
This one became very personal for me. I work as a trauma ICU nurse, so unfortunately, I see cases like Noah’s every single day I go to work. It’s not professional to cry at work with families. I take my feelings home. I can’t take the pain I see into the next room with me for my other patients to see. I put on a fake smile and bury that pain as deep as I can. I try to convince myself to be a professional and attempt to pretend like I don’t care. I have failed. I care. I hurt. I cry.
With Amelia, I was finally given the opportunity to grieve openly in an open place – at home. I cried not only for Amelia but for the countless other times I couldn’t. I cried for the mothers and fathers I watched their pain when their child died. I cried for the wife and husband who held their spouses hand for the last time. I cried for the children I’d seen break when they said goodbye to mommy or daddy and sometimes both. I cried for the parts of myself I’ve abandoned in order to do my job. And as Amelia, climbed in bed with Noah, I completely lost my shit.
“Noah. Oh God no … please no …Noah!” – Amelia
“… Come on, Noah, wake up. Tell them they’re wrong. Tell them you’re just napping because you need to be extra strong so you can be Nate’s daddy. Please wake up and tell them, Noah … please.” – Amelia
“… Please, God, don’t take him from me. They’re all I have left.” – Amelia
“Don’t forget you promised me fifty years, Noah … at least. Baby, please wake up.” – Amelia
This scene was the worst emotionally for me. I had the most painful words, I’ve read in a long time. I don’t regret reading them all in all. I guess a small part of me does because my hidden pain came to the surface. I know that sounds horrible but you must understand, I cope with my job by reading books and this book took that away from me. It brought my work home. It made my heart bleed. It made me feel addicted to pain and that hurt.
After the family leaves the hospital, that’s when the real work towards healing began. Amelia became a shell of herself to the point of self-destruction. She couldn’t even pick up her son for six weeks out of fear of harming him. I can’t tell someone how to grieve, but the thought of not holding my son isn’t something I can even image. But, I also have never lost both of my parents to suicide and my husband and best friend in a car accident.
Even if he’s missing my love now, he won’t remember it. I hope – Amelia
Sawyer surprised me in the best possible way. Even through all the pain he was going through, he loved Amelia and Nate so much that he put his grief aside to help her get through hers. He loved them like she was his wife and Nate was his son.
But here’s the fucked up thing about me…
I found myself resenting Amelia and Sawyer’s relationship. It’s wasn’t because I didn’t think they should be together, it was because Noah’s was gone. I didn’t want to accept them finding happiness without Noah. That’s so horrible, Danielle. You really are a bitch sometimes. I was still in love with Noah and the idea of Sawyer getting Noah’s happily-ever-after pissed me the fuck off.
Even though, I have come to terms with Amelia and Sawyer being together, to me, Noah is still my EVERYTHING – that will always remain a fact for me. But at the same time, Just an Illusion was never Noah and Amelia’s story, it was Sawyer and Amelia’s :(.
“Amelia, I’m happy my brother had someone who loved him as much as you did.
. . .
But Mel, the story is ours. Mine and yours, do you see that? From the first kiss in my bathroom, until whenever fate decides it’s over, this is our story.” – Sawyer
No matter how much I didn’t/don’t want it to be their story, I can’t deny that it is/was.
Just an Illusion was written so well that I could never question Mel’s love for Noah and her ability to let go any kind of feelings she had for Sawyer in the first two books. It’s also the only reason that I don’t hate her. In fact, I respect her. Crazy right? It wasn’t like she jumped into bed with Sawyer right after Noah died. It took her over a year to even start to open up to Sawyer in a romantic way and even longer to allow her to love him without restriction. I actually think she still may still struggles to be in love with Sawyer because of her feelings for Noah – But she is willing to give what she has left and continues to search for more.
Sawyer loved Mel enough to allow her to work through her feelings, as far as her love for Noah and accepting the growing love she had for him. He was amazing and just like Noah said, if someone else besides him was going to love Mel, Sawyer should be that person.
There was a lot of talk about fate in this book, but that pissed me off. I wasn’t pissed off because Dee wrote about it, I was pissed off at fate. You know what? Fate can kiss my natural black ass because she fucked up everyone’s life. I hated fate with everything in soul while reading this book. Fate is a bitch. That bitch took Noah away from Amelia, Nate, Sawyer and everyone else. From the whole world really. I can’t stand how much Noah believed in fate. I mean, a part of me is happy because he left everyone videos to watch in the event of his death but I still hate that bitch, Fate.
Sawyer was patient and kind. He saw the big picture as far as a future with Mel and Nate. He saw his wife. And once he read Mel’s book, he saw his life. He was able to understand Mel’s frame of mind and why loving him was so difficult for so long.
“Sometimes, I forget this isn’t just about us falling in love and the consequences of that, it’s also about you being okay with someone else. . . Especially when that person is me.” – Sawyer
Sawyer, you may not be Noah but I love you too.
In the end, Sawyer proved himself to be the man he was meant to be and that included being Amelia’s husband and Nate’s father. Although, that’s kind of weird because Amelia and Sawyer’s future kids will be Nate’s cousins and siblings! But, whatever.
This was my way of working my through my feeling of this book. Call it a review, call it a diary, call it bullshit, etc. I don’t give a fuck. I call it therapy.
Do I recommend this series? Hell, yeah!
Am I glad I read it? Yep! No matter the fact that it produced so many tears from my ears and pain in my heart, I’d do it all over again. I will read this series several more times.
How do I feel about D. Kelly? She’s a bad-ass bitch that killed it! She did the damn thing and I have an enormous amount of respect for her.
It’s time to clean up my mess and get pretty again.
Here’s my review of Just an Illusion Side B.
Plus, I even have an interview with D. Kelly.
TTYL, lovers. . .
Stalk all things messy…
Stalk D. Kelly too. . .
R.I.P. Noah Weston and Belle Dixon.
Thank you Dee, for making Noah an organ donor. Even at times of tragedy like this one, organ donations save countless lives in more ways than one. It not only saves a life, it save a family.