BOOK REVIEW — Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata


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Gosh. I’m struggling with this review right now. I have so many emotions running through me it’s hard to get them down exactly the way I’m feeling them. I guess I should start by saying that Mariana Zapata is by far one of my favourite story tellers ever. Her books are an instant one-click for me, every single time. And I didn’t waste a second picking up Dear Aaron. And you know what? I loved it. I really really loved it. But sometimes, authors write such amazing books that our expectations sky rocket. I don’t want to take away from Mariana’s incredible talent. This book was great. But for me, and I absolutely hate to say this, this wasn’t my favourite of hers. And I’m almost crying as I write that. Because this book, the first 70-80%, OMG! A solid 5 stars. I read it faster than I’ve ever read before. I couldn’t put it down. The whole premise had me screaming for this book from the second the author announced it.

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. 

I mean, come on! That blurb sent me swooning already and I didn’t even have the book yet! I guess for me, I wanted more of the book as a whole. For anyone new to Mariana Zapata, she’s literally the queen of slow burn romances. And they are EPIC. It’s the reason I love her writing. She really tells a story. You learn to love and appreciate the characters as individuals before they begin any kind of romance, and the build up is amazing. Dear Aaron did exactly that. The letters to and from were building up emotions inside of me, making me feel anxious as to where the story was heading. Mariana’s writing style was a little different this time around, but her signature style was never far. But I think what fell a little flat for me was when they eventually did meet up, and the week that they spent together, I think I wanted more from them as a ‘couple’. It’s hard for me to say this without sounding like I didn’t like the book. What the author gave us was great, but I really felt like we could have had so much more of ‘them’. And I felt a little let down by the epilogue. I think the author missed an opportunity to really bring these characters and their relationship to another level, and it just didn’t make it there for me. Aaron and Ruby have this epic romance building throughout the time that Aaron is deployed, and I’m so excited for them to finally meet and ‘see’ their connection grow, and we did, but only just a little. And for that, the last 20% was 3.5-4 stars. I enjoyed it, just didn’t love it.

There was also the back story of the characters pasts that kept being brought up in small doses, but never really touched on fully, and I think I wanted to know more about that side of each of them. Although Mariana’s books are never overloaded with drama, I think this book could have done with just a little more.

Mariana’s writing is always amazing though. It’s something that I have always just loved about her books, even if I didn’t connect a lot with the story or the characters. I still end up finishing the books because of how easy the words flow. This one just fell a little short in terms of story. I would still absolutely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys those sweet, lighthearted romances. It was a really lovely read. I really enjoyed it, just didn’t love it as much as I was hoping I would.

Rating: 4 stars

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  • Reply Colleen

    I just finished the audiobook and I was disappointed in the ending and confused…
    In the epilogue, where were they? She complained about “ one more year” but they see each other each nite?
    I was sure the ending was going to be epic but it left me flat. And confused.
    I was sure his mother was coming back to add to the tension- guess not 🙁

    March 29, 2018 at 12:46 am
    • Reply The Novel Lifestyle

      It fell flat for me too Colleen! This story had such potential. I was so sad because I love Marianas books! Lukov was a little slow for me too. Winnipeg, Kulti and Under Locke remain my favs <3

      April 2, 2018 at 2:34 am

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