🌳🍂 𝕌𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕟𝕖𝕒𝕥𝕙 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕊𝕪𝕔𝕒𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕋𝕣𝕖𝕖 🍂🌳
𝔹𝕪: B. Celeste
𝔾𝕖𝕟𝕣𝕖: Contemporary, YA/NA, Stepbrother Romance, Angsty AF!
ℝ𝕖𝕝𝕖𝕒𝕤𝕖 𝔻𝕒𝕥𝕖: November. 01, 2019
It happened in stages.
My father left.
My twin sister died of an incurable autoimmune disease.
My mother started breaking down.
Then I was diagnosed with the very thing that took my other half from me.
That was when I realized Mama’s eyes turned gold when she cried.
So I moved in with my father and his new family—new wife, new son, new stepbrother.
Kaiden Monroe made me feel normal.
Hated. Cared for. Loathed. And … loved.
Somewhere along the way, I’d found solace in the boy with brooding eyes.
But everything happens in stages.
And nothing good ever lasts.
🌳Add it to your Goodreads TBR ➻ https://bit.ly/2piDsRr
🍂 𝕄𝕪 ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨 🍂
Welp… she’s done it again. B. Celeste warned that it would be her most emotional book yet… she wasn’t lying ya’ll. Underneath The Sycamore Tree is yet again another emotional, heartbreaking novel and my heart is officially broken. This book… GAHHH! I haven’t cried this much since the LAST B. Celeste novel I read, The Truth About Heartbreak, but still, I just could NOT put it down. If you haven’t already guessed it, Underneath The Sycamore Tree is a tough read, far from rainbows and sunshine, it’s raw, real, and it’s utterly heartbreaking. But it is so worth it. Grab the tissues and get ready for a good ol’ ugly cry folks!
❝ Time is a luxury we can’t all afford.❞
Nine years ago Emery Matterson lost her best friend, her sister, her twin to a chronic illness.
As Emery tries to cope with losing her everything, Emery’s mother is also caught up in the grief of losing Lo… forgetting life around them, including Emery.
When they find out Emery is sick as well, it tips her mother over the edge.
In an effort to try and help her mother heal, Emery decides to re-connect with her estranged father and move in with him and his new wife, and stepson.
Kaiden Monroe, Emery’s new stepbrother acts indifferent towards her at first. They barely ever speak. Then one day he’s hateful and rude.
While at school Kaiden was the popular guy who everyone respected and looked up too, at home… at home, he barely acknowledged his own mother and kept his emotions bottled up.
But over time Emery and Kaiden begin to form a connection, learning to lean on each other.
And that’s when Emery’s health takes a turn for the worst…
❝ Chronic Illness is real.
Death is real.
People don’t like to read about those things because they know it could happen to them. Distance or not, you put yourself in the shoes of every character you read.❞
I have SOO much more that I want to tell you about this amazing plot but I just can’t without revealing spoilers. Underneath The Sycamore Tree is one of those books that you need to go in blind. But I will tell you, this is unlike any stepbrother romance I have EVER read. The story may be fiction but it’s so REAL that at times, I forgot. The way B. Celeste crafts these characters and submerges you straight into their lives… I honestly felt like I was losing MY best friend.
I said it before about another one of her books but I’ll say it again about this one, there are books that just STICK with you. One day something will happen or you’ll remember that one phrase, or that one sentence and you’ll smile, or you’ll laugh, or maybe you’ll even cry… Underneath The Sycamore Tree is THAT kind of book. It’s gut-wrenching, it’s raw, it’s real, and it’s bittersweet but you’ll love every minute of it.
❝ Disease is the monster in the dark. It lingers, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. It veers its ugly head and takes what it wants, when it wants.
Yet, there’s one disease that is worse than any kind of invisible illness in existence and it is something the world is plagued with.
Emery is a freaking warrior! She has been living with an invisible illness for so, so long. Having people, including doctors belittle her and make her out as a liar all because they can’t SEE what she FEELS. I can’t even imagine. Emery is at peace with her future and with the time she had left she wanted to live life to its fullest, with Kaiden by her side she was able to do that. She is without a doubt the strongest character I have EVER had the pleasure of reading.
❝ We never truly get over losses.
We just absorb them until they mold us into someone new. Like any creation, it takes time.❞
I adore Kaiden Monroe. In the beginning, he makes it very hard to like him and I think if we had gotten his POV it would have helped us understand his character a lot better but as the story unfolds you understand more and more about what makes Kaiden so broody and angry all the time.
❝ He thinks he’ll ruin me, but he has no idea what unstoppable forces are in my arsenal. I’m my own weapon, a nightmare that lives in reality. It isn’t something I can control, and he has no idea.❞
At first glance, Kaiden and Emery couldn’t be more opposite. But once they both start to open up you quickly find that they have a lot more in common than even they suspected. Watching their connection grow was especially bittersweet knowing what we knew about Emery’s health and the fact that Kaiden didn’t. They both have faced so much heartbreak already in their young lives, feeling the loss of a loved one way too soon and they both NEEDED someone that GOT IT, and they found that with each other.
The secondary characters, mainly Emery’s mother, her stepmother Cameron, and her dad… I have mixed emotions about them.
❝ Inside the sad shell of my agonizing existence is a battlefield, and I’m on both sides holding trigger-ready guns waiting for the bullets to leave the barrels. Yet, I feel lucky. I’m still breathing.❞
Her mom, I was soo disappointed in. I wanted to hate her. How can you not be there for the child that is still alive? But honestly, after putting myself in her shoes, I can’t imagine what life would be like to have identical twins and then lose one… only to find out the other is sick too. Heartbreaking.
❝ The trouble with time is that we only think we have it. It’s an illusion- an excuse to linger in existence. Some people use it to be reckless, others use it to hold themselves back.❞
Cameron, I adored. I understood where Kaiden was coming from, but as a parent, I knew EXACTLY where Cam was coming from too. She was NOTHING but good to Emery, she took her into her home and into her heart without a second thought.
Emery’s dad, I despised him. Where were you when Lo was sick? How could you not be there for her? To not even attend the funeral… unforgivable. But then, finding out the answers to all the WHYS… how could I hate him? Do I wish he had fought harder, hell yea but then that ending, “I just got you back, Em.” “We got a year, Daddy.” “It’s not enough.” I was going to put that in a quote… but I just couldn’t. I cried when I read it, and I cried when I wrote it just now.
❝ Wishes don’t come true though, because this isn’t some fairytale.
And reality is a mean bitch.❞
B. Celeste is truly a phenomenal author. Her first release (under this name anyways) I actually sent her a message telling her just how much I loved her writing (something I never do, I’m wayyy to shy!) and since then, she has continued to blow me away time after time. As I was reading I knew that Celeste had to have done some extensive research into invisible illnesses because the raw TRUTH of the story made it clear that she had to know something about the subject. I had NO idea that the battle I was reading, was a battle the author goes through on a daily basis. I know this could NOT have been easy to write, but I have even more respect for Celeste after reading “her” story. You are a warrior girl!
If this heartbreaking, beautifully tragic story has taught me anything, it’s that you can NEVER take TIME for granted and I can promise I will be hugging my loved ones just a little tighter tonight. I would give Underneath The Sycamore Tree soooo many more stars if I could, I HIGHLY recommend!
❝ I find that the books with the saddest endings are the best because it makes us feel. We don’t always get a happily ever after no matter how hard we work for it.❞
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ℂ𝕠𝕟𝕗𝕖𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕆𝕗 𝔸 𝔹𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕚𝕠𝕡𝕙𝕚𝕝𝕖’𝕤 𝕆𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕒𝕝𝕝 ℝ𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – SIX STARS!!! I would give Underneath The Sycamore Tree soooo many more stars if I could! There is only a handful of books that I have EVER given six stars too. But this heartbreaking, beautifully tragic book, it deserves that and more!
🔥🔥🔥 – There was most definitely steam, Kaiden is HOT and he has a FILTHY mouth that will make you drool! But whereas usually, I’m ALL about the steam… this one I was just more focused on the story. So yes, there are a few steamy scenes that will definitely melt your Kindle, but I wasn’t as invested in them as much as I was in the story.
🌪 ℂ𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕣 𝕎𝕒𝕣𝕟𝕚𝕟𝕘 – Nope, no cliffhanger. But that ending… I still can’t even. I should have seen it coming… but I just didn’t. Please, if you don’t listen to any of my book recs, listen to this one, READ THIS BOOK!
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We walk for what feels like forever until I see a large sycamore tree in the middle of a field of purple flowers. It seems out of place, yet perfectly set at the same time.
Kaiden walks over to it and sits down, leaning his back against the thick trunk. He seems at peace, which is a new look for him. His body is eased as he stretches his long legs out without a care in the world.
I stare. Not just at him, but at the tree. It’s huge with its long branches and bright green leaves transitioning into yellow and orange and red that give the space a beautiful kind of life. Lo would have loved this spot. She would have dragged me out and stayed here until Mama called our names in frantic worry. Lo always wanted to be free, out in the open, surrounded by trees and plants and animals.
Suddenly, the tears that had finally stopped falling on the way over begin building again until everything blurs. Bottom lip trembling, I hear Kaiden’s heavy sigh.
“What’s wrong now?”
I answer silently what my emotions won’t let me speak aloud.
Lo was buried under a sycamore tree.
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🌳𝔸𝕓𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝔸𝕦𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕣🌳
B. Celeste is the alter ego of Barbara C. Doyle.
Her obsession with all things forbidden and taboo enabled her to pave a path into a new world of raw, real, and emotional romance.
Her debut novel is The Truth about Heartbreak.