Etta

Book Review: Just the Way I Am

Published March 16th 2021

Author: Jo Watson

Has Fate given her a second chance?

‘Zoe’ is having a very bad day. As if getting trapped in a faulty elevator wasn’t bad enough, losing her memory has made it much worse. If there’s one piece of luck, it’s that the paramedic on the scene, Noah, is both kind and a handsome distraction…

Now a completely blank canvas, with the help of Noah, ‘Zoe’ is excited to fill her world with colour, creativity and sweet and spicy food. She just knows from the tips of her toes, right to her fleek brows, that these things were all part of her make-up.

But when her identity is traced, the life ‘Zoe’ was living before the accident bears no resemblance to that of the person she’s convinced she is. What happened to make her world so narrow and colourless?

And now she has the chance to start over, is it time to let the real Zoe out?

I picked up Just the Way I Am on a whim as I was looking for a light-hearted story. While it did deliver on many of these moments, it was also filled with more heavier ones than expected. ‘Zoe’ wakes up after an elevator accident with no memory of who she is and first finds herself in the ambulance on the way to the hospital with her EMT, Noah. From the moment he was introduced, it was obvious where the author was going for his involvement, but I still enjoyed reading the journey.

As ‘Zoe’ begins to medically recover, she then goes on to try and rediscover who she is with the help of Noah, who ends up as her accomplice. The reader is left in the dark about the true version of ‘Zoe’ and instead discovers everything with her. Through experiences, foods, etc. she discovers what she likes and does not like and believes she is getting on track with finding out who she is; however, soon she finds out that the person she is discovering may not be the same person she was before the accident. The author nicely captures ‘Zoe’s’ emotions as she goes through many states of confusion during her recovering.

As she feels a sense of comfort with Noah and he feels connected to her and wants to help, the two were cute together. He is compassionate and although he is romantically drawn to her, he keeps nice boundaries due to her condition. Due to the story mainly following her journey, the romance is a slow burn that takes place in the background. Noah was a well-written guardian for ‘Zoe’ and I loved how invested he was in her. Their bond was sweet, and I love how they connected. There were a lot of secrets revealed throughout the story and I love how everything came together at the end. There are still some lingering questions about her friends and the accident in general, but I still enjoyed the overall message of the story.

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