Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book Review: Anything

Anything, the fifth fictional novel by author Michael Baron, is the story of Ken and Melissa, two engaged lawyers who are madly in love. As the couple prepares for their upcoming wedding, Ken wants to give her a special gift from an odd jewelry store they often frequent. However, the mysterious proprietor Stephon also gives Ken a unique opportunity as well - the chance to see the love of his life as she grew up from a child into a young woman. This blessing turns into a nightmare though when he discovers a dark secret in Melissa's past that forever altered her life. Will Ken do anything for the woman he loves? Would he alter events to prevent the tragedy, even at the risk of everything he holds dearest?

That basic fantasy premise propels this romantic story into an interesting direction. The story examines the foundations of relationships and the true depths of love. As the story continues to unfold, you as the reader can't help but question relationships in your own life. How far would you go for the one you love? Would you be willing to lose it all to allow the other person to fulfill their destiny? And what would you do to get it all back again?

I became instantly engaged in this book from the opening chapters. Baron instantly made me comfortable with the characters, vested in their story. I could feel the foreboding tension from the very start, but the story went in a completely different direction than what I was thinking. That was a nice surprise. Now, granted, the reader has to suspend some disbelief for the fantasy aspects to work their magic but the end result is the goal here. As a long-time comic book and sci-fi reader, I had no problem with this at all.

The story had elements that really hit close to home for me. Ken's future in-laws remind me a bit of my own (from the retired Marine father to the homemaker mother to their home decor, etc.). Ken's personal traits prior to meeting the love of his life mirror some of my own before I met my wife. Finally, what he would do for the woman he loves is very likely something I could see myself doing as well. Pretty eerie how that worked out.

While this wasn't the typical type of book I would actively seek out, I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit and was eager to see how it all ended. If you're a fan of the Nicholas Sparks type stories, this might just be one you may want to check out. Baron does a fantastic job showing the emotional and romantic depths that the lead male character goes through in the name of love.

Anything is scheduled to be published on October 18, 2011.

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