Saturday 21 May 2016

Review ~ A Way to Get By by T Torrest

Book Description:

What happens after The Ballad of Brenda and Eddie? 

This is not a romantic comedy.
This is not a fairytale.
This is not what you're expecting.

Lies, secrets, betrayal.
Marriage, divorce, sex.
Love, heartbreak, money.

Best friends.
Old enemies.

Soul mates.

Happily Ever After comes in many forms.
A WAY TO GET BY is the story of how Brenda and Eddie found theirs.

***For ages 18+. READ WHEN YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR: Angsty, surprising, heart-breaking, infuriating true love.***

WARNING: This book is told in dual POV with a non-linear timeline.

Buy Links:

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Brenda and Eddie were the
Popular steadies
And the king and the queen
Of the prom
Riding around with the car top
Down and the radio on” ~ Billy Joel

T Torrest is one of those authors that I can always count on to deliver a fantastic read that will make me cry all while intertwined with great music and time travel through the eras that I grew up in. Yes, A Way to Get By covers the seventies and eighties as well as the current, but this was a step away from her usual type of book and I have to say she shocked me. I got everything I expected, but I also got a heck of a lot more. This was a very different read from T Torrest, very unexpected but also very addictive. I could not put this book down and from the first to last page I was totally captivated in Brenda and Eddie’s story, couple that with a soundtrack from one of my favourite singers and I was totally sold. So I read and I listened to Billy Joel, a slice of heaven. If you are unfamiliar with Billy Joel, I would highly recommend that you listen to “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” this was the inspiration behind this book and is where Brenda and Eddie make their debut, but what did happen to Brenda and Eddie? T Torrest may have just hit the nail on the head…

“But when you have a marriage where only one person is invested in making it work, it can’t work.”

A Way to Get by is the story of unconditional love, a love so deep and all-consuming you will do anything and everything to make that person happy including make the hugest sacrifices.

“…can I really be blamed for the things I’ve done in the name of love?”

I have to say, I will be surprised if anybody and I mean anybody likes or even loves Brenda. Brenda was one of the most shallowest, self-centred and self-absorbed heroines I have ever had the misfortune to read about. She was a woman that wanted everything and wanted it now and she was the one behind all the anger I had while reading this book. She made me really really really really really angry. Like, do you get how angry I was? But I love a book with these type of characters, there are these types of women in real life, ones that have dreams and aspirations of incredible wealth yet ones that never appreciate what they have in front of them. While Eddie and Brenda lived on the breadline, they had something far more important…love, and by god did Eddie love Brenda. It is testament to the talent though of T Torrest to evoke these emotions, hate is a hard one to get out of me personally, I try to always see the best in everyone, but, alas, she had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In Eddie’s case, love was definitely blind.

“She’d just want more. More money. More adventurous sex. More goddamn red pistachios in the fucking snack jar on the counter. More, more, more all the time. I just got tired of living up to her failed expectations.”

Eddie was the school manwhore, he was tall, dark and handsome and he knew it and made the most of it. But there was one girl he had always had his eye on, he knew that she was “the one” and she wasn’t a one-night girl, she was a lifetime love…his Brenda. Eddie loved Brenda with a passion, he would lay down his life for her, would do anything for her and loved her with every fibre of his being. Their love was passionate and fiery but they were the couple from high school that actually made it, they got married and they were winning. T Torrest wrung out every single emotion with these two, I felt Eddie’s love, I lived it, she was his everything and this really came across with every word and every action. It is this love that makes Brenda’s attitude all the more reprehensible.

“He left a trail of broken hearts almost as plentiful as the number of broken hymens.”

Eddie worked hard, but it was never enough…Brenda always wanted more.

“They started to fight when the
Money got tight
And they just didn't count on
The tears.” ~ Billy Joel

This is one incredibly angst filled ride, one that will take you on a roller coaster journey with many ups and downs and blind bends, a book that will elicit so many emotions your heart and soul won’t know what has hit it. But this is the journey of Brenda and Eddie and T Torrest’s imagination, a story borne from a classic song and one that I have been singing since I read this book. So, as Billy Joel says, grab “A bottle of red, a bottle of white. Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight” pick up A Way to Get By, get nostalgic and read an amazing book. Totally loved it, adored it even, despite the plethora of emotions that were evoked. Go in blind, listen to the song and prepare to be amazed.

“Everybody has a dream, Bren. I had one, too. I dreamed we’d stay together forever. It’s all I ever wanted. It’s the only dream I ever had.”

Kudos to T Torrest, you nailed it.

If you haven't listened to the song, you can listen to it here:

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