Book Review: ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG by K.K. Hendin

Photo credit: Goodreads
So I’ve been breaking out of my default genre choices for pleasure reading and picked up this wonderful book on release day, March 11. And promptly finished it in 24 hours. 

This book, you guys. I loved it so much.

But before I start blabbering on about how wonderful it is, here’s the Goodreads summary for Only The Good Die Young by K.K. Hendin:
“The first year of college is supposed to be about parties, parties, and getting the hell out of Texas. Instead, Milcah Daniels is spending her eighteenth year in and out of Houston's hospitals. Her hair is falling out, they’ve cut off her boobs, and if she makes it to nineteen, she’ll consider it a personal miracle. 
Breast cancer really has a way of messing with a girl’s social calendar. 
When Milcah’s temporarily discharged from the hospital, she’s determined to get a tattoo for every medical procedure she’s had. Her quest leads her to Skin Stories, a new tattoo parlor a block from her apartment. And to it’s infuriatingly sexy artist, Callum Scott. 
Callum is everything Milcah wants, and everything she shouldn’t have now. A new relationship when the official prognosis is one to five years is a terrible idea. But Callum doesn’t know about the breast cancer, and Milcah’s not running to tell him. 
But when the doctor says things are actually looking positive, her entire life turns upside down. How is she supposed to start living again when she’s finally learned to accept her death?”
So as I indicated at the top of the post, I don’t usually read a whole lot of contemporary romance, but it didn’t matter, because Only The Good Die Young kept my interest from first page to last.

Basically, this book was adorable.

Milcah’s voice is fantastic. It’s absolutely perfect for NA—full of snark that made me snicker on more than one occasion, and yet completely honest and real. Her thoughts and attitudes aren’t always pretty, and she isn’t even always a perfectly likable character (in fact, she was kind of infuriating several times), but I honestly didn’t mind because her worldview was so interesting and her voice made everything super fun to read.

Then there’s Callum.

Callum has jumped onto my list of favorite book boyfriends. He’s sexy as hell (I mean, hello gorgeous tattoo artist), and also adorable, and also thoughtful and basically I loved him from the start and didn’t stop loving him ever.

Overall, Only The Good Die Young is a fantastic example of NA fiction and one that I’ll be recommending basically forever to anyone curious about the category. So go read it.

I want more NA recommendations. Throw them my way, people! 

Twitter-sized bites: 
.@Ava_Jae gives 5/5 stars to ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG by @kkhendin. (Click to tweet)  
Looking for a great NA read without a college setting? Check out ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG by @kkendin. (Click to tweet)


Eliza Marie Jones said...

There will always be fans out there who love a certain genre and won't read anything else, who are rabidly awaiting your new book. I agree on the 'don't follow trends' point for trend's sake, but if you are one of those readers who loves a particular genre, then go ahead and write another one just for the fans who are like you! Yes, self publishing does make it a lot easier to break in, and thankfully some of the stigma is going away. I'll proudly be self publishing my professionally edited book next month that has a terrific cover I paid a designer to do for me. In any form of publishing and any genre, a good story and good entertainment is what matters, I think.

Ava Jae said...

I agree that in the end, a good story is the most important thing. As far as dead genres go, it's more of a difficulty in traditional publishing circles than self-publishing circles (although self-publishing has it's own related challenges, like market over-saturation that makes it difficult for your book to stand out).

All that being said, I definitely believe that while it's important to be aware if you're entering a particularly difficult genre, you should absolutely write what you're called to write.

I wish you all the best with your publishing journey! :)

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