Reviews Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Dear friend,

I recently found myself captivated by a book I hadn’t expected to love so deeply. “Dear Aaron” by Mariana Zapata entered my life on a whim, its intriguing premise of a romance unfolding through letters and messages between two strangers piquing my curiosity. As I delved into the pages, I discovered an utterly charming and emotionally resonant reading experience that left an indelible mark on my heart.

The story introduces us to Ruby Santos, a young woman who decides to sign up for a program to write letters to a soldier named Aaron Hall during his deployment in Iraq. As their correspondence begins, it’s adorably awkward, but with each exchange, a beautiful friendship blossoms, and eventually, the seeds of something more are planted. What makes the first half of the book so unique and engaging is that it’s told entirely through their written messages, allowing us to witness the organic growth of their connection through their own words.

I found myself utterly enchanted by the epistolary format, feeling as though I was given a window into Ruby and Aaron’s private world. Zapata’s skill in capturing their distinct voices and personalities through their writing styles is remarkable. Ruby’s messages overflow with quirky charm, self-deprecating humor, and endearing rambling, while Aaron’s are more reserved, yet filled with warmth and subtle wit. As I read on, I became increasingly invested in their relationship, eagerly anticipating each new message and the deepening of their bond. The format not only breathed fresh life into the story but also allowed for a gradual, natural buildup of romantic tension that had my heart fluttering.

One of the book’s crowning achievements is its incredibly well-crafted characters. Ruby is a heroine I couldn’t help but adore – she’s relatable in her insecurities, sarcasm, and self-doubt, but also fiercely loyal and determined to grow. Watching her embark on a journey of self-discovery and gradually gain confidence was an immensely rewarding experience. Aaron, in turn, is a fascinatingly complex hero, carrying the weight of his military experiences while exuding an unwavering kindness and support for Ruby.

Their interactions are a delightful dance of banter and chemistry that had me alternating between laughter and deep emotional resonance. Zapata’s gift for creating characters that feel like real people, complete with flaws and endearing quirks, is on full display in “Dear Aaron.” I found myself so invested in their story, rooting for their happiness and growth every step of the way.

While the romance between Ruby and Aaron is a slow-burn, the emotional payoff is nothing short of spectacular. Zapata takes her time nurturing their connection, allowing their feelings to blossom organically and believably. The anticipation and chemistry that build up to their in-person meeting are palpable, making their eventual romantic relationship all the more satisfying and swoon-worthy.

Beyond the central love story, “Dear Aaron” also delves into thought-provoking themes of self-doubt, the journey to finding confidence, and the profound impact of online connections. As I read, I found myself reflecting on my own experiences with online friendships and the incredible power words hold in forging meaningful bonds across distances.

While I have nothing but adoration for this book, there were a couple of minor aspects that I felt could have been explored further. Some scenes that touched on Ruby’s Filipino heritage felt a bit surface-level and left me wanting more depth. Additionally, the pacing did slow down slightly in a few spots, but the engaging characters and unique format kept me thoroughly hooked throughout.

In the end, “Dear Aaron” has etched itself onto my heart as a beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant romance that I will cherish for years to come. Zapata’s writing is utterly captivating, her characters are unforgettable, and the fresh take on storytelling through letters and messages makes for an unputdownable reading experience.

If you’re someone who appreciates slow-burn romances, character-driven narratives, or simply craves a heartwarming tale of connection and personal growth, I cannot recommend “Dear Aaron” enough. This book is a treasure waiting to be discovered, a story that will make you laugh, swoon, and reflect on the incredible power of words and human connection.

So, my dear friend, I urge you to embark on this extraordinary journey with Ruby and Aaron. Allow their story to charm you, to wrap you in its warmth, and to remind you of the beautiful ways in which two souls can find each other against all odds. “Dear Aaron” is more than just a love story; it’s a celebration of the transformative power of friendship, self-discovery, and the written word. Open your heart to this remarkable book, and prepare to be forever changed by its magic.

5/5 - (1 vote)

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