Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Book Review: Head Over Feet in Love, by Patti F. Smith

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

I spend the rest of the day charting my mood. I feel okay for the entire morning and through the afternoon. In fact, by evening, I’m ready to boogie oogie oogie ‘til I just can’t boogie no more. Well, sort of. 

As the sun sets, I set off to find Mike. I haven’t seen him since he fell asleep this morning. I can’t find him downstairs or in his room. Finally, I locate him in the gym. He’s standing smack in front of the mirror, staring at his arms as he pumps hand weights.

I kind of clear my throat, but he doesn’t acknowledge me. I hear him counting softly, “328, 329…” Jesus! If I get to three I’m doing well.

At 350, he stops and looks at me. “Feeling better?”

“Oh yeah, I washed my hair and took a shower, and I just took the last dose, so I’m all caught up for today.”

Wiping sweat from his face, Mike nods with satisfaction. “I’m glad. I was worried.”

Both Becca and Mike are reluctant (with good reason) to trust those they don’t know. Will they be more or less likely to trust each other, knowing this?

Official synopsis:
Book Review: Head Over Feet in Love, by Patti F. Smith
Rebecca Slater is running away from a stay in a mental health facility, a writing career that never got off the ground, and a dying best friend. She has nowhere to go, but nothing can stop her—until she crashes her car into a tree, possibly on purpose, but probably not. Without a cell phone and in a strange town, Becca starts knocking on doors, looking for someone to help her. The only person who answers her call is Mike Riley.

Becca and Mike begin a friendship that neither realizes they need. A firebrand feminist devoted to all things Generation X, Becca shares her unique life view with Mike and finds an ally in the reclusive and shy man. Becca tells him her story and the pair falls in love slowly, and then passionately, realizing that two lost souls have finally found each other.

When Becca thinks Mike is dead, she impulsively runs away again, this time to a place where she thinks no one will ever find her. She prepares for a life without her true love, but committed to remaining mentally healthy and strong, continuing her story that she now believes will have an unhappy ending.

But will it?

Becca is convinced her life is pretty much a wreck when she’s out late at night and crashes her car into a tree in a desolate area. Without her phone, she’s left walking from door to door hoping someone will come to her aid. Eventually she falls asleep on the porch of a house at the top of a huge hill after no one answers the door, of course. She even saw the curtains move, so someone is in there, but she’s too tired to head to the next house when they choose not to help.

Eventually, Mike does help her out, reluctantly. There’s an undeniable connection, when they both let down their guard, and she returns until they are hanging out regularly. Neither of them are initially ready to share their secrets, but having someone to spend time with certainly isn’t bad.

While the treatment of mental illness was definitely biased, from Becca’s perspective when she usually just insisted she was fine, the story was warm and comforting, and the book earned 3 out of 5 stars. Having previously lived in Ann Arbor also made it easy to relate to Becca’s love for her hometown. The story could be recommended to those who enjoy Ann Arbor, as well as readers who like love stories of unique characters with challenges.

{click here to purchase via Amazon affiliate link - currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited members}

Becki Bayley was in Ann Arbor for a few years, more than a decade ago. Check out what she’s up to now on Instagram where she posts as SweetlyBSquared.


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