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5+ stars for Where the Ocean Meets the Sky by AR Hadley #literaryfiction #litfic #bookreview

Title: Where the Ocean Meets the Sky: A Novel (The Ocean Series)

Author: AR Hadley

Genre: Literary Fiction

Book Blurb:

A woman grieving the loss of a loved one. A man carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Does one fateful summer really have the power to change everything? Rising photographer Annie Baxter is ready for a fresh start when she makes her way from New York to the sparkly sands of South Beach. A recent college graduate, she has no plans other than to distract herself with sun and surf, pictures and friends. Then a man named Cal Prescott steps in front of her lens... When he first spots Annie on the stairs of his best friends’ home, he’s enamored. It doesn’t matter if they only have the summer. Or if twenty years separate them. They soon find that nothing — not temporary circumstances, panic attacks, or an age gap — can keep them from starting what their hearts desire. Follow Annie and Cal on a journey of love, loss, and what it means to give up defining themselves. Author Note: Previously published in 2018 as The South Beach Connection Trilogy: Landslide, Wanderlust, and ContinuumWhere the Ocean Meets the Sky combines those three books into one, as the author originally intended. Although heavily edited, combined, and relaunched since their initial release, the overall story remains. Literary fiction meets contemporary romance — a love made in the stars. A connection not to be forgotten. 200,000-words — over 800 pages. Part of the two-book series: The Ocean Series. Either book may be read first. The reader must choose. This is the main title. Contains graphic content that may trigger some readers.

My Review:

Can one summer change everything? I lost sleep over this book. A stunning literary fiction portraying the raw power of the ocean and connecting with another soul. The lyrical narration combines with experiences common to all readers, yet it reads like an original story. The characters will sear your soul. The writing is intoxicating and unforgettable.

Let’s start with the characters. Like many lit fic stories, the entirety of the plot revolves around the main characters: Annie and Cal. Both Annie and Cal have dealt with pain and loss, each in their own way. I connected with Annie right away. Her internal suffering oozes from the pages. I couldn’t help but feel everything Annie feels. As I read her journey, she became a part of me.

The narration is both emotional and descriptive. AR Hadley uses narration to connect with the reader and it’s almost life altering. The details are immersive yet not overwhelming. The focal point is emotional, and this is what makes Where the Ocean Meets the Sky such a soul-searing reading experience. AR Hadley aims to use emotion to key on the human experience and that pain is part of life. We can’t grow if we don’t have heartache.

It's refreshing to read literary fiction that doesn’t try to be something else for the populace. This is lit fic in every sense of the word and it’s brilliant. I lost sleep while reading and it was worth it. One of the best lit fic I’ve read in a long, long time.

My Rating: 5+ stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

A.R. Hadley writes imperfectly perfect sentences by the light of her iPhone.

She loves the ocean.


Her children.

And Cary Grant.

She annoys those darling little children by quoting lines from Back to the Future, but despite her knowledge of eighties and nineties pop culture, she was actually meant to live alongside the Lost Generation after the Great War and write a mediocre novel while drinking absinthe with Hemingway. Instead, find her sipping unsweet tea near a beautiful garden as she weaves fictional tales of love and connection amid reality.

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Reviewed by: Nancy


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