Lives Collide by Kristina Beck

33125521You can plan your life, but sometimes life has a mind of its own…

Following Lisa’s near-death experience as a teenager, she is haunted by the emerald-green eyes of the stranger who saved her life. Her only connection to him is the leather jacket he left behind. Years later, she’s still reeling from the aftereffects of her injuries, convinced that no man will love her once he uncovers her secret. She lives a life of solitude and hides behind her days of monotony. And then James storms into her life.

After James helps a young girl in a car accident, he sets his life course—determined that nothing will stand in his way. Once he accomplishes his dreams, one unforeseen event changes his orderly existence into one of chaos. He spirals downward and can’t summon the strength to pull himself from the edge of despair. Until Lisa becomes a beautiful distraction.

Familiarity and a sense of peace draw them to one another. They soon discover they lived parallel lives that intertwined at the most crucial points. Can their revelations help them face their fears and move forward, or will history repeat itself?

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Author paperback 340 indie Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction February 1st, 2017

*I won Lives Collide in a Goodreads giveaway and received the book directly from the author. Thank you, Kristina!*

Do you believe in fate? Do you think that everything happens for a reason? Well, I have considered it and while I think some of the decisions have led me to a certain point in time throughout my life, I’m not certain I believe that if I would have chosen differently in the past, I would have ended up right in this moment, with the same outcome. But who knows? It’s one of those great mysteries of life for which I wished I had the ability to tap into the other dimension and play out my life in parallel with different decisions. That’s not how it works, though. Can’t always have the best of both worlds for cherry pickings.

Anyway! Lives Collide is all about fate and of course it’s all rather romantic that no matter how long it takes, not matter what life throws at two people, they will eventually end up together. Beck goes an extra mile in Lives Collide by creating backstories for Lisa and James that span years starting from the very first instance their paths meet for the first time. Even though their lives then bounce apart from each other they still move in the same general direction until finally crossing paths again.

Lisa and James ‘run into each other‘ a multiple times but due to certain circumstances they were unaware they kept meeting. The events surrounding their coincidental meetings, and both of their lives leading up to finally coming to a unifying moment, are equally tragic and full of joy, spanning across many years. A lot can happen within a minute, a day, a week, a month… imagine how much can happen within a few years. Life is not a walk in the park and both Lisa and James have had their fair share of highs and lows. Those lows include losing loved ones, coming to terms with life altering consequences following an accident and trying to find just enough life juice and hope to keep living.

It is so, that at the most hopeless moments of their lives Lisa and James are finally united by the fate… or coincidence… or both! Together, still unaware of how their pasts have collided, they form a friendship. James is in need of finding a way to move on with his life after experiencing a very tragic loss and Lisa just so happens to be a psychiatrist in training (of course, her profession is no coincidence. It is a choice based on past events). When they finally find out that they have indeed frequented the most pivotal moments in each others’ lives, it is somewhat of a shock to deal with but makes their relationship make all the more sense. But before they get to ride off to the sunset together, life puts them through a final grinder!

I did have a few issues with the book and I am now alerting you to the fact that what follows is based on my personal preference, so feel free to ignore my opinion if you do so wish. 

My expectation was to read the book and feel somewhat emotionally drained. In this case however, I can’t say I was 100% pulled in and here’s why…

I found it difficult to enjoy the writing style. The first person POV was perfectly fine. It allowed me to get both emotions and thoughts from James and Lisa. But the sentences were short and very matter of fact and as such I didn’t feel the story had a nice seamless progression. The dialogue, possibly impacted by the writing style, felt like I wasn’t trusted to follow the course of interactions in a natural flow.

Going back to the story progression- perhaps a few too many ‘crucial meeting instances’ were created for the characters’ past thus making the first half of the novel span way too many years too quickly, which in turn didn’t really make me feel connected to them or what they went through on a deeper level.

It has always been important to me to care about the characters in order for me to receive the most effect from the lows and highs. So, I did feel like the tragic events acted more like springboards or tools to give as much of the background as possible for Lisa and James. Thus, when it came time to cheer them and their relationship filled with joyful, blossoming love (electric jolts and some cringey lines included) I simply felt nothing. It was great! Of course it was. I do love a happy moment, but perhaps, in this case,  there was too much, too fast without letting me come to terms with all that happened, bad or good. Love, death, friendship and inner demons all hold a lot of meaning to me, and while they were graciously addressed in the book, I didn’t feel the emotion coming to me from the pages.

And honestly, some days I’m a soulless bastard (I actually am a bastard because my parents aren’t married, te-hee!) so I have nothing within me to tap into to aid the story along.

Fault all mine. GAC!

While I have explored romance/chicklit in excess in the past (yes, the cat is out of the bag!) I do not read these genres daily and as such you may well tell me to bugger off and keep my opinion to myself. Fair enough, but the final point I would like to address is that of clichés. Maybe life is a cliché, maybe for anyone else other than me clichés are what make these stories so enjoyable: the unforgettable eyes, the electric jolts rattling through bodies at first contact, the miracle happening which was never meant to happen… I mean, maybe clichés ended up as clichés for a reason- they’re something that we all dream and fantasize about at times, but hardly exprience in real life…? Still, there are only so many different spins  you can wrap a cliché into; and I think we’ve run all out of these.

Overall: Lives Collide is a rollercoaster read with every imaginable life scenario woven into the pages and whether you believe in fate or not, I am sure most  readers can find something in this story to like; something to relate to and something to feed the romantics inside them. Be mindful, though, as there are some topics in this book (relating to death and loss) that some readers may find difficult to read if they have gone through similar themselves.

Lives Collide on Goodreads | Amazon UK | USA


    • Thank you very much 🙂
      Yeah, I am always very hopeful of finding that gem of a contemp/chick lit… hence I keep trying… and more than often accept defeat but I agree- the book has a number of glowing reviews so there defo is an audience out there for it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I totally believe in fate. There are so many monumental things in my life that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t have changed my mind last minute. It’s almost like fate whispers in my ear sometimes “Nope, that’s not your path” so this is definitely a book that would interest me…plus, romance *swoon*
    I know what you mean about novels feeling rushed, though. It’s fantastic when an author has so many ideas, subplots and back stories…but sometimes you wish they’d either make the book longer so they can fit it all in, or turn it into a series or something!
    Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, that’s brilliant! 🙂 I had a feeling it would be something of an interest to you.
      All this fate and power of the mind thing is interesting… I remember, years ago, wishing something so hard and it actually happened… I do believe that I ran into the same person I so wanted to see just because I had sent out my 100% committed wish to the universe… or something… Funnily.. I remember playing a ‘game’ in my teens.. it’s with a thread and you roll it around your finger saying the alphabet until the thread runs out and the letter you stop at is meant to be the initial of the future husband. I always got ‘M’ and remember being disappointed because all the boys (yep, plural) I liked back then had names starting with ‘R’ 😀 but what do you know, here I am, married to Michael 😀 funky stuff that… well, totally off topic a bit, but I think all those things kind fit into the same pot 🙂
      Thank you- I do believe Kristina will improve as the sequels come along and Lisa’s sister will get the spotlight in the next novel so that should be interesting as well…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well well well aren’t you full of surprises :-). I’d never call you soulless :-). I like the sound of the book at first sight BUT I also want to read a story that takes its time and isn’t rushed. If I don’t feel a connection with the main characters or don’t see why two main characters would be a perfect match for each other then it does feels disappointing. My go to is normally Colleen Hoover (don’t read November 9 though.. the characters meet every year on that date so there was no build up or flow here either) and now I discovered Dani Atkins after reading This Love. Loved your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahahah.. yes… surprises galore! 🙂 And thanks! 🙂 ❤

      I have actually read the Never Never series by Hoover.. I think it was a collab work with another author? Anyway, it was alright but I have heard Hoover does have some good ones too… I may just check 'em out in the future… I know I tried Kasie West because of you and I wasn't entirely disappointed 🙂 and now there's a new one- Dani Atkins, to keep in mind for my romance mood 🙂 Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I’ve only read the first one of that series.. it’s a bit different from the rest of her novels.. a co-authored series of novels does that.. Kasie West is cute but not utterly shattering and emotional. Dani Atkins was one of this years biggest surprises to me, I’ve only read the one book but it was 100% my thing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always fascinated with the idea of fate too, though I kind of think something along the lines of the decisions that I’ve made make me who I am, so I think if I made different choices I’d be different… (sorry prattling on- parallel universe concepts are just so interesting to me!) I *love* the concept of this though- it’s so romantic. It’s just such a shame about the writing style not totally pulling you in! teehehee soulless bastards unite 😉 I can get very emotional about books- but if a single thing is out of place (either with me or the book) then I’ll just have cyborg-like reactions to it 😉 And yes, I get what you mean about cliches (also you are entitled to your opinion whether you’ve read 1 or 1000 of these books before- I can’t stand when someone tells me I can’t have an opinion on something cos I don’t know the genre- in fact someone said this to me yesterday about a genre I actually like) Anyway, sorry for using this as a springboard for my rambling, I do like the idea of this, shame about it’s execution! And if nothing else that cover is stunning! Awesome review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can prattle on for as long as you like- I do love you rambling! 😉
      ah! yes- you said it perfectly- cyborg like… I was thinking about how can I possibly not have emotions about something so-so hurtful, but yeah… phewh, perhaps I’m not a psycho afterall 😀
      Thank you so much again and I agree… it’s the guilt of having some neutral/negative feelings towards the book or some of its contents that can make me doubt… about everything, but you’re so darned right- entitled to an opinion! Thanks for the pep talk 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently read a Middle Grade book with very short sentences and it made my reading experience weird. All I could think while I was reading was dit-dit-dot-dit-dit-dit-dot, ha ha. And you know me… I don’t like romance, or most chicklit (some people consider Alice Hoffman chicklit and I love most of her stuff), so no buffering off from me. XD


  5. Ahhh the writing style would’ve probably bothered me as well, but the idea behind this novel still remains quite fascinating which is no doubt a great reason to pick this book up. I did enjoy your thoughts on cliches there, and I can only imagine how often they are seen in chick litz too hahah Fantastic review!


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