Cracks duet by LH Cosway ~ Sarah A’s Review

Life used to be simple.

I was a city girl with humble dreams. Then Dylan O’Dea broke into my flat, held me against the wall and told me to stay quiet.

It was like in the movies, where the universe zeros in on a single scene. I looked into his eyes and knew he was going to change me.

For Dylan, the sky was always falling. He showed me how our world is a contradiction of beauty and ugliness. How we choose to ignore the awful and gloss over it with the palatable. How you need just a tiny drop of something unsavory to create every great scent.

Pretty deep for a pair of teenagers living in a block of council flats in inner city Dublin, right Probably. But we weren’t typical. We both had our obsessions. Mine was growing things, Dylan’s was scent. He taught me how to use my nose, and I introduced him to the magic of flowers.

I had no idea that one day he’d build an empire from what we started together. But before that, there was love and happiness, tragedy and epic heartbreak…

My name is Evelyn Flynn and I’m going to tell you about the crack in everything.

**A Crack in Everything is Book #1 in L.H. Cosway’s Cracks duet.**

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I almost don’t want to review this book before I have read the second.  It was a fairly difficult read, for me, mostly because Evelyn and Dylan’s story feels so unfinished.  It left me in a VERY uncomfortable place, I’ve read a lot of cliffhangers and generally don’t have an issue with them, but this one felt different to me.  Likely because of the other events going on in their lives.

A Crack in Everything is NOT a stand-alone at all, it is the first in her Cracks duet.  I would highly suggest reading them in quick succession because right now I am DYING to get the How the Light Gets In.  A Crack in Everything is told in first-perspective in Evelyn’s voice.

A Crack in Everything felt naïve, immature even (not the writing, but the tone of the book), which was perfect because Evelyn and Dylan are children – 17 & 18, respectively – and it was reflected in the novel.  It was interesting to get that feeling from a book, as I’ve read several YA novels that don’t have that same naïveté come across.  Even the gloom and doom of Dylan’s worldview felt like the lamentations of a teenager, rather than the world-hardened cynicism of an adult.

If I were to decide a theme for this book, it would be loss.  Though not all the losses were experienced within the timeline of this book, the losses Dylan and Evelyn experienced were profound.  They’d allowed the losses to affect them differently, especially at the end of the book, but there was never any doubt that each of their lives was filled with tragic circumstances.  I can’t wait to see how they cope with they continue to deal with their losses during their ‘in between.’

I won’t lie, I have several LH Cosway books on my kindle, but this is the first one I’ve read.  I’m impressed and will be moving those others up my TBR.  Right now, she has me so worked up to find out how Evelyn and Dylan’s ‘after’ plays out I can hardly stand it.  She did an exceptional job of building up tension and anticipation, and I NEED to know how it all works out.

He came back to me 16 minutes and 59 seconds into Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7.

We parted amid tragedy, so it seemed poetic. Dylan O’Dea, my childhood sweetheart, had once meant everything to me. Now we were strangers, and honestly, after eleven years I never thought I’d see him again.

I lived in the world of the average, of getting paid by the hour and budgeting to make ends meet. But Dylan, he lived in the world of wealth and success. He’d achieved the great things I always suspected he would. The dissatisfaction he’d felt as a teenager had obviously been an excellent motivator.

He started a business from scratch, pioneered a brand, and created perfumes adored by women across the globe. I was just one of the people who’d been there before. Now he was living his best life in the after.

And me, well, I’d been in a dark place for a while. Slowly but surely, I was letting the light back in, but there was something missing. I was an unfinished sentence with an ellipsis at the end. And maybe, if I was brave enough to take the chance, Dylan could be my happy ending.

How the Light Gets In is Book #2 and the concluding installment in L.H. Cosway’s Cracks duet.

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This was a far easier, far lighter book than its predecessor. How the Light Gets In was the beautiful butterfly to A Crack in Everything’s caterpillar, the eleven years in between the metamorphosis.  Evelyn and Dylan had both changed so much, grown into different, more mature versions of themselves.  One jaded by life, the other finally able to see the wonder in things where only darkness was present before.  It was fascinating to have the roots of the same people, while the foliage appeared so different.

How the Light Gets In is the second book in LH Cosway’s Cracks duet; you MUST read A Crack in Everything before reading How the Light Gets In or you will lose the integrity of the story and the foundation of Evelyn and Dylan’s story.  The story is written in first-person perspective, narrated by Evelyn.

First, I want to tell you how thankful I am the Ms. Cosway didn’t drag out the separation between Evelyn and Dylan in this book.  Too often second chance romance prolong the pain of the separation to build anticipation, I had quite enough tension built in the final pages of A Crack in Everything, so I didn’t need any more in this book.

How the Light Gets In felt more grown-up than A Crack in Everything did.  The tone was far more mature, the characters more attuned to the world outside the corner they’d known their entire lives.  Evelyn and Dylan mellowed, neither held quite the extreme world-view they had in the first part of their story.  It was delightful to be able to feel how much they’d changed in this book.

This second book in the Cracks duet didn’t have a continuous theme like the first book did.  Instead, it focused more on Evelyn’s journey to accepting the part of herself that she’d lost while reconciling her old feelings for Dylan with the new pieces of themselves they’d found during their separation.  I loved watching them reconnect, recalibrate their relationship, and rediscover all the things they’d always loved about one another.

I hope this duet is indicative of what all of LH Cosway’s writing is like.  These books were intriguing and kept me invested in not only the main characters’ happiness but that of the secondary characters as well.  Her writing was intelligent and conveyed the perfect tone for her characters.  I was well impressed with how well she portrayed her narrator as both a teenager and an adult, it was fascinating and something I’d never even considered before reading these books.

L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories. L.H. is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

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