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Starting Over

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Jen never understood why her father despised her, but she spent years bearing the brunt of his contempt—and his fists. Years of abuse come to a head one terrible night, after which Jen bolts from her midwestern town, escaping to the coast. There, Jen finds shelter with her childhood friend Rachelle, Rachelle’s boyfriend, and their roommate, Derek, until events cause her to Jen never understood why her father despised her, but she spent years bearing the brunt of his contempt—and his fists. Years of abuse come to a head one terrible night, after which Jen bolts from her midwestern town, escaping to the coast. There, Jen finds shelter with her childhood friend Rachelle, Rachelle’s boyfriend, and their roommate, Derek, until events cause her to spiral into a self-destructive pattern of drugs and partying. Jen claws her way back to sobriety only to experience betrayal, physical and emotional pain, and a crisis that pulls her back into her family’s world. She seems destined to live life in despair, but then what seems to be yet another tragedy offers her salvation in the form of an infant desperately in need of a mother. Determined to start again and make a better life for the child she now cares for, Jen struggles to improve her life. A romance with an older man provides a contented state she’s never felt before. Jen’s life finally seems to be on the right track when a figure from her past reappears. Now she must choose between her heart and her head—and risk everything in the process.


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Jen never understood why her father despised her, but she spent years bearing the brunt of his contempt—and his fists. Years of abuse come to a head one terrible night, after which Jen bolts from her midwestern town, escaping to the coast. There, Jen finds shelter with her childhood friend Rachelle, Rachelle’s boyfriend, and their roommate, Derek, until events cause her to Jen never understood why her father despised her, but she spent years bearing the brunt of his contempt—and his fists. Years of abuse come to a head one terrible night, after which Jen bolts from her midwestern town, escaping to the coast. There, Jen finds shelter with her childhood friend Rachelle, Rachelle’s boyfriend, and their roommate, Derek, until events cause her to spiral into a self-destructive pattern of drugs and partying. Jen claws her way back to sobriety only to experience betrayal, physical and emotional pain, and a crisis that pulls her back into her family’s world. She seems destined to live life in despair, but then what seems to be yet another tragedy offers her salvation in the form of an infant desperately in need of a mother. Determined to start again and make a better life for the child she now cares for, Jen struggles to improve her life. A romance with an older man provides a contented state she’s never felt before. Jen’s life finally seems to be on the right track when a figure from her past reappears. Now she must choose between her heart and her head—and risk everything in the process.

46 review for Starting Over

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra Reads

    "The only thing stopping her was the knowledge that she wouldn’t rest until she made something of herself—proved to herself that she was more than her father’s opinion of her." Oh, wow! I did not expect such an emotional roller coaster! I'm emotional drained. I bought this book knowing nothing about it. I usually don't do this but I really don't know what changed my mind. I found this book by coincidence on Amazon and synopsis grabbed me right away. And I'm so happy I bought it Because it is "The only thing stopping her was the knowledge that she wouldn’t rest until she made something of herself—proved to herself that she was more than her father’s opinion of her." Oh, wow! I did not expect such an emotional roller coaster! I'm emotional drained. I bought this book knowing nothing about it. I usually don't do this but I really don't know what changed my mind. I found this book by coincidence on Amazon and synopsis grabbed me right away. And I'm so happy I bought it Because it is my kind of a book. First I'm going to say there are two things that bothered me and that's why I couldn't give 5 stars. The book is written in 3rd person, which doesn't bother me at all. But what bothered me are mixed POVs. Even though the book is in 3rd person we still get characters' POV/thoughts. And one sentence is one character's POV and the next sentence is another character's POV. At the beginning it was confusing but later you kind of get used to it. The other thing that bothered me is that the synopsis reveals the entire plot/storyline. I'm not an expert but the point of synopsis is that should pique readers' interest and that's all. Maybe it should be something like how Jen's life wasn't always easy living with an abusive father and when finally getting free instead of blooming she falls in the world of drugs.Life keps hitting her. And when she tries to pick up, it is anything but easy. Because while reading the book I kind of knew what would happened next because of the synopsis and that bothered me. But still this didn't stop me for loving this book. Because OMG, what a journey. This isn't a small book but I read it in one day. My heart broke for Jen. Life kept hitting her over and over again. There was one time when I started yelling "enough is enough." But she's my hero. After every hit she just got up and kept going. But my heart broke for her, my heart was bleeding for her. She went through so much heartache I had no idea how she'll survive. It's definitely one of the most emotional books I've ever read. And definitely one of the most memorable books I've ever read. I love 'all the feels' books. They are my jam. "When I look back at my life, it’s like a series of awful things that happen just as I’m getting my life together, and then I have to start all over again. It feels like I spend half my life starting over.” This book is definitely not for everyone. It's ugly, it's brutal. And yet filled with hope. All the characters are full of mistakes and flaws. And that's what makes this story so special. It's real and gritty. I love how book was focused on Jen, but we still followed her friends's lives through the years. It's a book about life, heartaches, survival, friends and love. "“What’s happened up until now was out of your control. What you chose to do now is totally up to you.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was a great read .all you want to do is find out what happens next!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lori Brickey

    Amazing When I first started reading this book, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. Let me say fortunately I was so very wrong, this book had me on an emotional roller coaster. I laughed, I cried, I even held my breath a few times. The story of Jen and her tragically beautiful life is one for the ages. J. H. Morgan takes you on a journey that has you in the edge of your seat the whole time. Jen goes from a troubled teen with a troubled family life, to making life decisions no 17 year o Amazing When I first started reading this book, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. Let me say fortunately I was so very wrong, this book had me on an emotional roller coaster. I laughed, I cried, I even held my breath a few times. The story of Jen and her tragically beautiful life is one for the ages. J. H. Morgan takes you on a journey that has you in the edge of your seat the whole time. Jen goes from a troubled teen with a troubled family life, to making life decisions no 17 year old should have to make. Then she has to go through a loss caused by a family member, and going on a downhill spiral. Every time I thought things were going to to be to much for Jen she would pick herself up and win against all the odds. A truly amazing story and a wonderful heartfelt story, I having truly enjoyed the journey.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ANGELA OBERNDORFER

    Missing something The story just didn’t flow well and was too far out there to really believe for me to continue after the first few chapters.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Le

    Fantastic book. Well written with a very good story line. Just when you think you have reached a peak - another surprise comes along. I would definitely recommend this book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Annemieke

  8. 5 out of 5

    Милена Божинова

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  10. 4 out of 5

    Simona Flisek

  11. 5 out of 5

    Everlys

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julia Hulley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  15. 4 out of 5

    J.B. Reynolds

  16. 4 out of 5

    J.H. Morgan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oussama

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mariska Wolmarans

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Mukherjee

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashish Soni

  21. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie Römer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lorra

  24. 5 out of 5

    Judith Follo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claire Willemse

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Fowler

  27. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  28. 5 out of 5

    SALLY WHITE

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  30. 4 out of 5

    Olga Kribototzik

  31. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  32. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  33. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Gough

  34. 4 out of 5

    Agnes

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  36. 5 out of 5

    Suan Watts

  37. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  38. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Gunning

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  40. 4 out of 5

    Ian Wooder

  41. 4 out of 5

    Melody

  42. 5 out of 5

    Arlene Downey

  43. 5 out of 5

    Michael Chance

  44. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Miller

  45. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

  46. 4 out of 5

    Carla

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