Out of Reach by Missy Johnson – Jenn’s Review

out of reach


That blurb just sucks you right in.


4 stars


My best friend was dying and I was in love with his girl.

Andy and I had been best friends since we were eight-years old. Watching him slowly fade away, ever closer to his final breath, made me so incredibly angry. I knew there was nothing I could do to change it–I had given in to despair, but Andy had not. He had one last hand to play.

He wasn’t going to simply sit back and wait for Death to claim him–not Andy. He was going to live life until he couldn’t hold his eyes open any longer.

Andy didn’t want to die in some sterile hospital and asked me to take him and Emily to the beach. It would be our last road trip together.

Emily. Emily was a problem for me.

I harbored a secret that would have torn our friendship apart. I was in love with Andy’s girl, and had been since she’d walked into our sixth grade class, so many years ago.

So what kind of person am I? My best friend is dying, and it’s
awful–but my heart still aches for his girl. I hate myself for thinking beyond Andy’s death and whether there could ever be a future for Emily and I, but I can’t help it.

I’m in love with her.

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“My best friend is dying, and I’m in love with his girl.”

Talk about a dilemma. Seth is faced with a horrible truth. His best friend of the last eighteen years, Andy, is dying. He has terminal cancer and no more than a few weeks left to live. Andy refuses to let his best friend and his girlfriend, Emily, watch him die at home, so he plans an adventure to live out his last few moments on earth.

Andy has come to terms with what is happening to him. He has battled this disease since he was seventeen.  Dying he can handle, leaving his Emily, the love of his life, alone, is something he cannot.

Seth understands that feeling all too well. He has been in love with Emily since the moment he laid eyes on her at age fourteen. Andy and Seth quickly accepted Emily into their duo and the three have been inseparable since.  While both Andy and Seth had feelings for Emily, Andy acted on them, not knowing at first how Seth was feeling.  Over time, Andy has come to realize that he is not the only one in love with Emily, and as his last act in this life, he decides to do something about it.

Emily has spent much of her relationship caring for Andy and while she loves him with everything she has, she beings to question whether or not she is still “in love” with him. As she thinks back over all the good times she has had with Andy, she realizes that Seth figures prominently in those memories. The very last thing she would ever do is betray Andy and the guilt forces her to shove these feelings away.

This is a beautiful story of love, loss, and friendship. All Andy wanted in his time left was to know that the people he cared most about had each other. The first 70% of the book was perfection. I was entrenched in their emotions. It takes a tremendous amount of sadness for a book to cause me to cry, and it doesn’t happen often, but this book did. My heart was breaking for everyone involved. Even knowing that Andy has very little time left did nothing to soften the blow. It just plain sucked.

This book would have been 5 stars for me, but I felt like the last 30% of it was rushed. I would have liked to see more of a relationship develop between Seth and Emily. I was not quite convinced of her feelings for Seth. While there were moments, I wanted much more. Overall, this was a stunning story and one that should not be missed. Read it with a box of tissues… you’re going to need it!

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