“We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. A lot of people even use the concept of God itself.”
In 2013 I discovered Tiffanie DeBartolo when a friend convinced me to read How to Kill a Rock Star. It ended up being one of the most complicated relationships I’ve ever had with a book. I tell people, when it comes up, I both hated it and love it with equal levels of passion. When I finished it I wanted to chuck the book across the room or light it on fire, but there is larger part of me that looks back and feels so much emotion and attachment to the story and characters. HtKaRS didn’t just leave an impression, it branded me despite my initial anger and now I’ll never be able to forget it. I’ll also never reread it. See, how complicated my feelings are!.
Anyway, it was during that read four years ago I learned about God-Shaped Hole. Obviously after reading the other book first, and feeling all types of ways, I didn’t have it in me to go down the rabbit hole again. Instead, God-Shaped Hole sat on my To Read shelf until NetGalley featured it for the 15th anniversary rerelease. I figured it presented a great opportunity to finally tackle it, plus I thought enough time had passed to give me a fresh perspective that wasn’t clouded by my feelings on How to Kill a Rock Star.
In the beginning it was spectacular! It’s really not a surprise because Tiffanie DeBartolo is a phenomenal writer. I don’t think I’ve read another author who has DeBartolo’s talent for imbuing her characters with so much passion. It’s insane, brilliant, and magical to read. The characters are deeply flawed, but in the most beautiful way. It’s true of the women, but it’s especially true of the men. Paul Hudson in HtKaRS is still one of my favorite characters of all time, and Jacob Grace from God-Shaped Hole was just as imperfectly perfect. There’s something seriously attractive about the introspective, sensitive, artist type heroes in DeBartolo’s romance novels that stands out from anything else I’ve ever read. I can’t say it enough… Tiffanie knocks her love interests out of the park.
I was absolutely crazy about God-Shaped Hole for the first half of the story. Then… then, when I figured it alllll out, it went downhill for me. I know now I anticipated everything because I actually didn’t have the fresh perspective needed. And when I did guess the ending I proceeded to guard my heart and my emotions. I refused to let these characters affect me, because I refused to feel the inevitable pain that is a Tiffanie DeBartolo book.
So, if you’re looking for whether or not you should read this book, I’m a bad bet. I guarantee I’ll probably hate and love this book in balance, and the events that unfolded will probably haunt me forever.
Yes you should read it because it’s stunning and powerful and full of emotion – and no… you should run as far away from it as possible for all the same reasons. You pick.
“I know it’s late but” -he paused- “would it be all right if I came over?”
“Jacob,” I said, “how long have you been waiting to ask me that?”
“Who knows?” He said, more to himself than to me. “Maybe all my life.”
Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.