Review: All For Anna by Nicole Deese

All For Anna (Recovering Heart) - Nicole Deese

”A different kind of death had claimed her that night. It was the kind of death that no pulse could conquer, the kind of death that stalked its prey like a dark, hungry shadow. That Tori was gone.”

I’ve never considered myself a religious person. Technically I’m a christian, but I have never actively interested myself, or believed in, religion. The most I’ve done is gone to church probably a total of thirty times in my whole life where not one of those visits were voluntary. And yet, here I find myself loving this Christian New Adult romance.

All For Anna was nothing like I expected i to be. First, I knew not it was a christian novel before starting. Second, I thought it would be a completely different story where Anna was the heroine. Instead it’s the story of Victoria, or Tori as she’s called, who’s left her hometown and family since a terrible accident occurred and her guilt weighting her down. Seventeen months after the accident where a girl died, Tori returns home to her family in Texas where her older sister is pregnant with an absent husband. Tori returns home to look after her sister and work at the hospital there. Tori finds herself dwelling on her faith in God since her family has such an solid faith in Him. And she meets Kai. Kai who works as an EMT. Sweet and faithful Kai. But letting herself live isn’t as easy as it was seventeen months ago, and not even Kai can change that.

”Where does forgiveness start?”

Not religious myself, I can still understand other people’s need for faith and religion. Tori’s battle with her faith in God isn’t overly preachy or forced. It feels natural. It’s both heartbreaking and haunting to follow her struggle in putting her faith back together when it’s easy for everyone else. I don’t know exactly how to put my feelings on it in words except that the road is slow and comes in stages. Also, for once, the heroine’s world isn’t turned upside down by the hero, in this case Kai. Tori’s family, Kai, and a few more people are involved when Tori begin on the road to recovery from her guilt, but none of them ever forces her to make those decisions. Maybe that’s one of the best thing about All For Anna. Never does any of the characters force her to change. They help and guide her. But the truth is, the choice to get better has to come from one place. From yourself.

”Sure, the harness provided some sense of security, but without knowing the depth of the free fall, what good was a harness at all?”

The romance between Tori and Kai is a clean on (which is kind of nice for a change), but a bit rushed. Not unrealistically so, but still a tad rushed. Despite this it’s quite beautiful how genuine these characters are. They’re real people, with real problems and inner issues. Another nice change is that Kai is actually a honest to God (no pun intended) nice guy that only wants the best for Tori. They are both so adorable together even with Tori second guessing her ability to love after the accident. And for once, when their relationship hits a bumpy road, they actually work it out and not just jump into the sack. They both work to get through, Tori probably more than Kai, but they still work through the rough patch. 

I highly enjoyed All For Anna. I also understand that some people might be put off from reading it since it, after all, is a christian romance novel. And that’s fine. For those who aren’t bothered by this I would tell them to give it a try. The story is a slow paced since the main focus is on Tori searching for who she is and not so much a plot. That’s okay though, at least for me, which also surprised me since I often hate slow paced stories. Yet, the writing and the characters made up for it with their honesty and genuine feel.