Better by Carey Heywood



Aubrey is embarking on a bucket list trip around the world, the last wish of her Aunt Ally. It was supposed to be the trip Ally would take when she got better. Now it's just a chance for Aubrey to say goodbye.

Adam escapes in his solo trips overseas, working just enough to fund the next one. When the opportunity to circle the globe falls in his lap he can't refuse. The only catch, he won't be traveling alone this time.

Unable to hide from each other Adam's overprotective nature thwarts Aubrey's desire to find her own way. Can they move past initial assumptions to find something better?


I think I was in the perfect frame of mind when I started reading Better. The first part is the aunt dying and well...I had just prior to starting this book found some letters and pictures of people who I have cared about that have passed away. Things I didn't even know I had so I was already in this sad reminiscing kind of mood. I started reading this book on the train to/from classes and I had to put it aside as it just made me really think about those I care about who are not with me anymore. I almost started crying on the train and I am not a cryer in general. So I think I was in the right mind frame for that first part.

When the aunt dies she leaves her $50,000 life insurance money to Aubrey to use to travel to the places that were on her better board (the board that showed where the aunt was going to go when she got better). The thing is that her parents cannot go with her. This is a chance for her to grow up some and just grow into herself. She was headed to Yale when her aunt got sick and instead of going to school she put her entire life on hold. This was 6 years ago and she has lost touch with all of her friends and everyone and it seems like she has just shut down. She is taking classes at the community college, but she seems like she is barely even doing that. The way it was written was believable, but kind of sad. Like there was no reason why she needed to put her life on hold for 6 years. Her aunt didn't need round the clock care or anything and her parents were there besides that. Really it would have been great had her parents pushed Aubrey to have a more normal life instead of keeping her there close by them. Or her aunt to push to have her do something instead of just put everything on hold for her. It was sad.

So this trip around the world is a great reason for Aubrey to actually start living again. Without it I think she would have just moped around her house forever and kept with the seemingly unhealthy codependent relationship with her parents. Of course her parents are worried about her traveling by herself so her dad finds a guy, Adam, to travel with her. Adam is a photographer and has traveled the world already so he knows what to do and can help Aubrey figure things out. When they first meet they do not hit it off. Adam is kind of bossy and Aubrey just wants to be able to do what she wants without a babysitter. Something obviously happened to Adam earlier in his life that has left an effect on him. He is kind of closed off to close personal relationships, but he also seems to like Aubrey, and she him. Of course they get closer and fall in love and all that. When Adam's past was revealed it was kind of a let down. It just was like oh, that is what happened? it was just okay.

Now most of the book is the travels of Aubrey and Adam. While reading this section I just kept thinking they are doing it wrong. They have such a crazy whirlwind tour of places. They don't really spend much time in any one place. It is like they just have a checklist, they look at the one or two things they wanted to see and they are off to the next place. Travel between places takes a while so it seems like they are spending just as much time traveling as they do at different places. I guess since that is what they wanted that is fine, but I just kept thinking of all the wasted opportunities they had. The fast pace of the travel just took something away from the story for me. Oh well, I guess some people like to travel like that.

Overall I did enjoy this story. I was reading it at the right time to really get the impact of the aunts death and even though the travels were too quick for me I like the idea behind it. I like that Aubrey took this trip and grew some. So overall a good read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

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