Title: Eleven Weeks
Author: Lauren K. McKellar
Series: Crazy in Love #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 25, 2015
Seven tequila shots.
Stacey is good at pretending.
She pretends that the boy she’s in love with doesn’t exist.
She pretends that she’s happy to live and die in this small town.
She pretends that her life is carefree while her best friend’s world crumbles before her very eyes.
But Stacey’s got a secret …
And it’s going to ruin everything.
Eleven Weeks is the story of Kate’s best friend, Stacey–and the whole lot of life that can happen in just eleven weeks.
Eleven Weeks is the second book in Lauren McKellar’s Crazy in Love series. You can read it as a standalone, but you’ll get so much more out of the experience if you read the first book beforehand. It has been over a year since I read The Problem with Crazy, but within seconds of beginning Eleven Weeks I was whisked away, finding myself back in Lauren’s world of heartache and harsh truths. Eleven Weeks is Stacey’s story and it is every bit as vibrant and full of life as she is. Meeting her in the first book, I knew she was a bit of a firecracker, but the complicated and beautiful girl Lauren McKellar has unraveled in this book is absolutely stunning. Her journey is hard and emotionally draining but each and every step of the way contributed significantly to the overall astonishing impact of Stacey’s story.
“I’ve known since the day in the park, but sometimes, you’re so blinded by your own trees, it’s hard to see the forest. Or however that stupid saying goes. Honestly, who can be stuck in a grove of trees and not see a forest?”
One of the things I love about Lauren McKellar is her incredible character development. Stacey’s voice was distinctive, different from Kate and unquestionably all hers. Stacey’s voice is fresh, youthful, uncertain, and strong bringing to life the character exactly how I had imagined her from the first book. Despite the growing tension of the story, Stacey has a carefree, funny side to her that is refreshing and enchanting. While Stacey struggles with all of the changes in her life and the absolute unknown future before her, she is basically left to take care of herself. Watching Stacey battle her conflicting emotions and hold her secrets close, I connected with her. Anyone who has ever felt alone in a decision, alone in their lives will see themselves reflected in Stacey and that in and of itself is magical. Lauren McKellar expertly transforms Stacey from a lost and letdown little girl into a sure and determined woman during Eleven Weeks and the evolution is equal parts heartbreaking and breathtaking.
“A lot can happen in a short period of time: pain, heartbreak, love, loss… and sometimes something can grow from those ashes.”
Eleven Weeks is charged with the inevitable pull between Stacey and Michael. I could practically feel the electricity in the air between them. Lauren McKellar has written these two characters to produce the perfect push-and-pull between them. With the back and forth comes the emotional freight train that seems to knock you down and run you over, only to back up and do it again. The emotions Lauren has painted are genuine and raw and ugly at times. They tugged on my heart and made me feel. The construction of the timeline for Eleven Weeks is really quite genius, it’s reach infiltrating into the first book and even continuing on to before. Both stories felt more complete with the other by its side, like I could finally see the entire scope of things. Lauren McKellar has an undeniable gift for broaching difficult topics and navigating the emotional aftermath in her books. She writes with an honesty and grace that captures your heart each and every time and Eleven Weeks was the perfect example of her continued growth and talent as a writer.
Add to Goodreads
Check out the rest of the Crazy in Love series:
The Problem with Crazy (Crazy in Love #1)
The Problem with Heartache (Crazy in Love #3)