Can Sam leave her past behind and ‘do over’ in a new town?
Samantha (Sam) Rutliffe packs up everything she owns into her car, and drives. She doesn’t know where she is going, she just wants to leave her old life behind. She ends up in a small tourist town by the ocean and sleeps in her car overnight. The town looks like the perfect place to start a new life, enabling her to leave all of her troubles behind. Sam settles into the town, finding herself a place to live and a job as a bar tender at a local bar. She meets lots of new people, and develops a close friendship with two lifeguards, Smitty and Casey. But the whole town is shocked when Casey’s lifeless body is found in the ocean. The cause of his death is uncertain, but drugs are found in his system, and his friends suspect suicide. Rumours spread across the town, and soon the nice boy who tragically lost his life, becomes known as a worthless, back-alley junkie.
As Sam comes to term with losing her friend, she grows closer to Smitty, and they soon develop an intimate relationship. But as their relationship develops, Sam learns more about Smitty’s shady past, and his involvement in the local drug scene. As Smitty’s past finally catches up with him, Sam must make a difficult decision about their future together. Will she stay with Smitty as he faces the consequences of his previous misdemeanours? Or will she pack up her car again and start anew in the next town?
Do Over, by author Juliet Rose, is a heart-warming novel about a young woman’s struggle with self-acceptance and undiagnosed mental illness. Sam makes a terrible error of judgement and betrays her best friend. She is riddled with guilt and unable to move on from her mistake. She sees her only option is to pack up and leave town, and start over again. But before she can move on with her life, and accept the love she deserves from Smitty, she must face her own demons. This is an authentic, well written and easy to read novel, with likeable and relatable characters, and an intriguing plot. The book deals with issues of mental illness, crime, and drug addiction, that many readers will relate to, and empathise with.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: An authentic, well written and heart-warming novel about a young woman’s struggle with self-acceptance and undiagnosed mental illness.