Awwww, super sweet!!!
Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.
The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.
Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.
What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.
Published June 10th 2017
When I saw her release post on FB yesterday morning I almost squealed from excitement. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And the timing couldn’t have been any better – it was SUNDAY!!!!! A perfect day for staying in bed and reading Dear Aaron.
I love Mariana Zapata. She is hands down one of my all time favorite authors. Her last three books have all been amazing and 5 star reviews. I love her unique style, the slow burn, and all of her books have been devour-in-one-sitting kind of books.
I’ve known since the author announced it on FB that this book would be different. I didn’t know exactly how different it would be but I’ve read pen pal books before, so I had an inkling of what was to come. In Dear Aaron, the exchange of letters and emails, and later on the messaging between Ruby and Aaron lasted almost 40% of the book. I think all of us Slow Burners know what to expect when we read a Mariana Zapata book, but still I don’t think I was quite prepared for that long of an exchange.
The letters between Ruby and Aaron were super sweet. Starting out as strangers they slowly and gradually worked their way to being friends. Throughout their conversations they got to know each other by sharing tidbits of their daily lives, family, hopes, fears and doubts. When they started messaging it became clear that they really liked each other. Their exchange, banter and jokes were wonderfully poignant and deeply touching.
Ruby was such an interesting character. Sassy but also insecure at times. Hardworking and deeply loyal to family. Her fears and worries about the future were mirrored by Aaron’s trepidation about what to do when he was done with the army. He became a soldier because there was nothing that interested him right after high school. Even though he never regretted that decision neither Aaron nor Ruby had everything planned out or knew what to do with their lives. It felt unapologetically real. How many young people don’t know what to do with their lives. I’ve been there once. 😀
I’ve always loved the authors skill of waving captivating and emotional stories about regular folks. People like you and me. Nobody extraordinary, just next door kind of people.
And let’s not forget the supporting characters. I adored Ruby’s family. Especially her mother. She sounded like a woman to be feared but also someone that was a hoot in a crazy kind of way. It was easy to picture her thanks to Zapata’s incredible skill of writing unique characters.
That being said, I really enjoyed Dear Aaron.
Was it as good as Wait For It or Wall of Winnipeg or Kulti? NO
It was sweet, but it wasn’t the same fleshed out and captivating novel I’m used to. For me unfortunately, letters never work as well as regular plotted storylines. There can only be so much explained and described in letters. And whereas texting and messaging can be cute and funny, it’s not the same as a regular dialogue.
I truly admire the author for writing something different. She stepped outside the molt and delivered a unique concept and plot. It just didn’t work for me as well as I hoped it would.
Nevertheless, I love her style of writing and Dear Aaron was without a doubt an entertaining book that I finished in one sitting. I just wanted it to be a bit more amazing and special.