Review: There Will Come A Time by Carrie Arcos

Title: There Will Come A Time
Author: Carrie Arcos
Publication: April 15, 2014 by Simon Pulse
Format: ARC, 320 pages
Source: Publisher via Pinoy Blog Tours
Rating: ★★★★★
Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.

Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.

As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right.

Tell me how to talk about grief, death, and survival altogether and I'd give you one goddamn review. I mean, can anyone teach me how to deal with these three with a smile on my face? Or, better yet, a happy happy heart? No. Then brace yourselves for one melancholic take on this book.
"I didn't need six therapy sessions to tell me that I'll never be whole again."
Truth be told, there weren't actual tears involved while I was reading this book, but it left me with something grander than salty liquid running through my cheeks. It made my heart bleed. I was warned actually. That quote from the very first page of the book did it. But as I've said before, let's not leave any book unfinished even if it has the tendency to shatter your heart into million pieces, a jerk from the past already did that so why would I fear a book? (This is me, being cheeky... not bitter lol.)
"He took one look at me: male, Filipino, teen, beanie, white plugs, red T-shirt, jeans, and said, "What's up?""
This book starts off really strong and quick, it won't keep you guessing. It will give you straight facts and a fair background information. This is a story of a Filipino boy. You have a problem with that? Then don't read. I actually admire the author's guts for choosing a Filipino lead, perhaps partly because I'm Filipino, but mostly because of the courage it has to take. I mean, let's face it, most Young Adult novels have American protagonists and although Mark here is Fil-Am having been raised in America and all, Carrie Arcos never forgot to incorporate Filipino traditions in, for one, Mark calls his aunts Tita, and while, Filipino food might be overrated, well, this Uyayi isn't:
However, this is not the story of Mark alone. This book is about Grace, Mark's twin who happened to die in a car accident with him driving. No, it's entirely not Mark's fault, aside from him, taking the way to the bridge instead of just choosing another path. But, Mark can't help but be miserable, he has been under the watch of a psychiatrist for a time and the whole accident thing transformed him from being one promising bassist to an asshole. Mark is a dick or more precisely, the accident made him a jerk. But I don't know why I can't hate him the way I want to strangle other annoying protagonists. I actually wanted to hug him all the time, I mean, his friends can be inconsiderate sometimes and this girl Hanna, Grace's bestfriend and his love interest has the tendency to be an MPDG. But I let all those issues go and still gave this a perfect five because... I feel you Mark. I really do.
"Sometimes, we come to the end of ourselves and it takes courage to find our way back."
So what's new? Aside from this being told in a Filipino teen's POV, this book about grief and death is not about the big C. So, you won't read anything about the struggle of a patient battling against a killer disease in here, we've had enough of those books, so, I guess we need some change. #SorryNotSorry This book is about pain. (Not the pain that demands to be felt, mind you - Just kidding.) Pain not just because of death but the pain of choosing to live. And perhaps, how difficult it is to turn pain into something beautiful.
"But even here, where Grace's footsteps have never tread, I feel her absence, which makes her more present than ever."
I could've finished this book in an instant. It has around 300 pages but I know for a fact that a day or two is more than enough but later I found out that I just can't. Not because this isn't an easy read or I was again busy with work, in fact I brought it along with me everywhere. I just can't help but stop every once in a while because this book is too draining. No, not because it was written badly, to be honest, it was written beautifully. But I found it draining because it drew too much emotion from me. I may not have a twin, and I'll never understand how is it to have one, but I have brothers and just thinking of the possibility of me leaving them behind and finding out that they'll undergo such ordeal is not just heartbreaking. This may be so wrong but I actually thought of how my other brother will react if such thing happened to us. We aren't twins but we grew up almost like one, for he is only 10 months younger than I am, we shared the same toys, same school, at one point the same bed and same closet. We drove together around town as well, and although we do have other friends and we don't talk too much about crushes and cheesy stuff, I know that I can always rely on him, like always. But it's a crazy thing to ponder on really, your death, and how people will take it. I remember someone saying that a funeral is really not to honor the dead but to let the loved ones take enough time and space to grieve. But really, will the sadness ever go way? Will the grieving stop once the body is cremated or is already six feet under? Will the pain stay? Will we ever move on? I guess not, but we have to, right?
"Are we ever really whole? We're all broken in some way."
I once wrote something after my grandfather passed away years ago, in that I said that I can only stop thinking about him, stop grieving and start using the experience as an inspiration, one day when all the pain is gone. This book made me realize that although the pain and suffering might not really end, there will come a time that you'll start living your life the way you should, you might not be able to fully move on, but you have to move, the day when the pain will all be gone might never come, but we can always hope that it will and there will come a time.


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