Friday, January 30, 2015

Regret Me Not by Danielle Sibarium

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For Mackenzie Green life is full of regrets; regrets from choices she made in the past, regrets for the things she’ll never see in her future. She regrets letting her grades slip while her sister was in rehab, ensuring she’ll never break away from the rumor-run, small town she lives in. She regrets breaking up with her future All American football playing boyfriend, Brayden Turner out of fear of getting hurt. Most of all she regrets every decision she made leading up to the night that changed her life forever.

It’s only after Brayden cuts her off completely that Mackenzie realizes how much she wants him in her life.

Can Mackenzie find the courage to learn from her mistakes and move forward or will she spend her days consumed with regrets? Is it too late to convince Brayden she wants him in her life and that she’s in it for the long haul? Most of all, can she accept that sometimes bad things happen no matter how hard you try to protect yourself from them? Can she put it all behind her or will she live an unfulfilled life full of regrets?

It starts at a college homecoming dance. Kenzie is dancing with her ex, Brayden. She’s conflicted the entire time they’re dancing; delighting in his proximity but nervous about what the intimacy could lead to. She pushed him away months ago thinking that if she broke up with him, he’d be free to pursue his college football career, date whomever he wants without having her heart broken. Back in high school, everyone vocalized how Brayden had all the potential in the world, the golden child of his family who could be a pro football player. Kenzie didn’t want to hold him back. But she also wasn’t quite honest with herself at the time about her own trust issues that had more to do with her than with Brayden. Despite his protests, she kept him away. Regret Me Not is all about the ups and downs of a young relationship, choices and their consequences.

A greater part of the story is how they initially came together and how their relationship progressed from there. Brayden, having noticed her for a while was the persistent but patient one, taking things slowly with Kenzie so as not to scare her off. Kenzie always marveled at how eager he was to be with her, admitting that she had trouble fully trusting that he wouldn’t stray. A lot of her state of mind had to do with her family's chaos at the time. Her older sister Jess had just gotten out of rehab for her drug addiction. Kenzie was sort of left adrift for a while as the focus remained on Jess.  All she could think of was getting away from their town so she could start over at a college somewhere else.

Brayden is so certain of what he wants for himself and his future. Kenzie fits right in the middle of that. As much as he is the ultimate “forever guy”, there were moments where even I just like Kenzie, felt overwhelmed by his declarations of true love and being together forever. Who knows for sure that their high school girlfriend or boyfriend is their one true love? I’d seen a few of my college friends freshman year with promise rings or engagement rings, so certain about their futures only to then break up once college life truly got under way.  That made it slightly difficult for me personally to get behind Brayden but no way did it take away from him being a stand-up guy.

Kenzie is the opposite where she’s riddled with confusion. In her mind, doing what’s right means denying her own happiness for the sake of someone else's. She's hesitant about commitment after witnessing how her sister crashed and burned because of an intense relationship. She's crippled by her insecurities and rather than communicating with Brayden, she closes herself off completely.

Sibarium takes her time developing this heartfelt story giving a perfect sense of the time that lapses. Things eventually come to a head in a very dramatic fashion, forcing everyone to face reality. Wondering what choices they’d make kept me engaged and I found myself wishing for certain things to happen for them. They face many challenges together whether it’s of their own doing or events beyond their control. Either way, these challenges force them to grow up much faster than they’d expected, testing their commitment to each other. Will they stand by and lose it all or fight for what they want? 

~ Bel

      Regret Me Not

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