Review: How We Lived, by Erin Butler



Part of a series? No.

Cliffhanger? No.

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Pages: 200

Category: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama


Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Larkin’s parents uninvited her to her brother’s funeral. She just wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt—the clothes Kyle would’ve wanted her in—not wrap herself up in death. So she watched the funeral from afar, like an outsider. Which is just how she feels.

Chase came, though, just like she knew he would. Until a few months ago, the three of them had been best friends, and then Chase made a mistake that shattered both families. But when Kelsey looks at him, she doesn’t see her brother’s killer. She sees the boy next door who’s always taken care of her. She sees home.

When Chase tells her his feelings run deeper than friendship, she can’t help but get lost in him. In Chase, she finally has the closure she’s been unable to find anywhere else. But the boy she’s falling in love with is still hiding secrets about the night Kyle died. Secrets that could destroy everything they have…again.



I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I love reading books that will make you tear up, that will gut you and move you to the point that you have a hard time thinking that it’s just a book, that it’s not real and that these characters aren’t your friends. When I find a book like that, I’m in book Heaven.

How We Lived got to me, mostly the first half. The grief all characters were feeling seemed real and raw, exactly how it does in real live. The author described it really well and it made me like the characters right away.

Chase’s pain is palpable, undeniable and yet he’s strong enough to fight for Kelsey in the most beautiful way, never invading her, never pushing her but he was always there despite the mess he created.

I truly enjoyed their relationship even though I’d have preferred a slower build up and some scenes and dialogues more polished to better FEEL what they were feeling. Sometimes, the dialogues seemed rushed or a little messy and it pushed me out of the story. Since this book is quite short, it’s an issue I need to address.

But still, I truly enjoyed reading it because nothing is overdone and the hope brought back to the characters’ life is truly humbling. In fact, after I finished reading this book I was madly in love with the title, something that never happens with me.

The only issue I have is the length of the book that makes it impossible for the author to develop fully all the secondary characters and the way things evolve between Chase and Kelsey, otherwise in the genre I recommend this book. I’m one to believe that when you’re tackling a heavy subject, you need to take the time to truly show everything, take the time to show how the relationships, no matter which sort, are affected, how the character(s) are doing to get better. In this book, I think it could have been even more explored to fully knock us to our knees and then make this book unforgettable.

Who read this one? What do you think about Chase? Do you think that some parts were too rushed and not showed?



3.5 to 4


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