*Before you begin reading Sempre: Redemption, keep this song in mind for the book since the author personally picked it as Carmine's song and I couldn't agree more! (Pour Me by Hollywood Undead)*
"I’ll never change my mind, Not when it comes to you.”
The good: Solid, riveting, and consuming! I could not put it down! The plot, story line, and pacing were all carefully thought out and well-crafted and the characters were so dynamic and engaging! I literally laughed, cried, rejoiced, panicked, and mourned during different parts of the book!! It was that captivating!
The bad: You mean, other than the fact that I absolutely HATED Salvatore right?! Such a slimy, hypocritical snake?!
-Nothing constructive to embellish on! It was simply perfection!
Sempre: Redemption isn’t just a love story. It’s also about honor, sacrifice, second chances, making things right, and finding yourself.
Do be warned though, our favorite young lovers do spend some significant time apart in the story but I felt that it was necessary. It allowed them to grow and stand on their own two feet.
What I admired the most about this book though is that all of the characters go through different forms of transition and transformation. Since we all know from SEMPRE, that Carmine is now part of La Cosa Nostra, we get to see his pain, his anguish, and putting others (specifically Haven) first for once in his life.
“This boy—this stubborn, selfless, stupid boy had given himself to the mafia. He had handed control of his future over to the men they hated most in exchange for her life. For her safety.”
“I did it because I love you Haven, and you didn’t force me to love you. I did that shit all on my own. And I don’t regret any of it.”
He’s still typical Carmine though: flying F-bombs, constantly drinking, and being reckless. But it’s nice for a change to see him take responsibility and see first-hand the consequences of his actions.
As for Haven, we get to see her grow and become her own person in the world and not just, Haven Antonelli, former slave and “Principessa della Mafia.” She learns how to become independent, make her own choices, and find her place in the world.
"You wanted me to go out there and explore my options. I did that, Carmine, and I loved it, but I was lonely. Do you know what it feels like to stand in a crowded room and still feel like you’re the only one there? …You think being with you would be settling? I’ll always be part of your world. I’ll always have someone keeping tabs on me, making sure I don’t break my silence.”
“You’re not asking me to choose you. It’s always been you. Your father once told me that we always have a choice, but I think he was wrong. I think sometimes things choose us. It’s like breathing. It’s natural. It’s a part of us. It just happens. We can hold our breath and try not to breathe anymore, and it’ll work for a few minutes, but we’ll eventually pass out and nature takes over. We can’t just not breathe, just like I can’t just not love you.”
Other noteworthy developments you see are the lengths that Vincent will do to protect and secure his family; as well as, Corrado’s “bad-assness” take control to find some kind of order and peace for all of the characters, including himself.
And lastly, the ending! How perfect was that?! I was so, so happy that I literally swooned and did a happy dance! It was that satisfying!! Those of you who have already read SEMPRE will not be disappointed and those of you who have not can ordered your copies of SEMPRE HERE and for SEMPRE: REDEMPTION HERE.
I now can't wait to read J.M's prequel for Corrado's book!! Woohoo!! I would have also liked a Vincent and Maura book as well but beggars can't be choosers!! Until then loves!!
“You had me at the first time I laid eyes on you. I remember thinking later that morning you were going to complicate my life. And complicate it you did. Everything I knew, everything I believed…all of it went out the window. You turned me upside down and made me feel again. You saved my life, even though I didn’t realize it needed to be saved.”
-Overall : 10
-Plot : 9.5
-Writing : 9.5-10
-Characters : 9.5-10
-Cover : 8.5
Where to get your copy!