Monday, April 16, 2018

The Smallest Part - Review

The Smallest Part

By: Amy Harmon

Published: February 13, 2018

325 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

“In the end, only three things matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” 
- Unknown 

It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie. 

“Are you in love with Noah, Mercedes?” Cora asked. “I mean . . . I know you love him. You’ve been friends forever. We all have. But are you in love with him?” 
If it had been anyone else—anyone—Mercedes would have stuck out her chest, folded her skinny arms, and let her feelings be known. She would have claimed him. But it was Cora. Brave, beautiful, broken Cora, and Cora loved Noah too. 

So Mercedes lied. 
And with that lie, she lost him. With that lie, she sealed her fate.
She was the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother, the glue. She was there for the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs, the biggest moments and the smallest parts. And she was there when it all came crashing down. 

This is the tale of the girl who didn’t get the guy.
Let me start by saying that I've really enjoyed the previous Harmon books that I've read. So I had good expectations for this story. I wouldn't say I had high expectations, but definitely vibes that I would enjoy it as much as the others I've read. Well....although I enjoyed parts of the storyline, this is not among my favorites by her.

I loved the storyline of the childhood friends. Mercedes and Noah lived in the same apartment complex and from ayoung age they had been friends. Two peas in a pod. One day a new girl moves in, Cora. Being the lonely new kid, Mercedes announced that they would become her friend. They did, and from then on the three amigos were best friends through every stage of their young lives and through high school. Through traumatizing events no child should have to go through, they were always each others best and closest friends. At some point, Noah felt more for Mercedes and before leaving for boot camp he tested the waters of showing her how much more he felt for her, but he didn't think his feelings were reciprocated. And then Cora began showing a greater interest and eventually Noah felt more for her too. With Mercedes hiding her true feelings and giving in to Cora's feelings again, as she had done their whole life, she allowed a relationship to form and deepen, knowing all along she could have had the guy. But she chose to give the guy to her best friend.

Harmon's books have all included something about God and the Bible. As a Christian, I appreciate and look forward to seeing how she weaves this into her stories. She's not at all a Christian fiction writer, but I enjoy this part of truth in her stories. In this one, one of the main characters is Noah, and it's made mention of Noah and the ark and the flood.

"You know. He had a big ark and put the animals on it because the world was going to be flooded. The guy who's responsible for rainbows."

Everyone knew about Noah's ark, didn't they? She'd been raised on Noah's ark and Daniel in the lion's den and Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. She knew all the Bible stories.

If you haven't read The Law of Moses yet (which by the way was a 4.5 star read for me!) then I would recommend reading that first because there's a cross over from that story that you'll miss the uniqueness of if you haven't yet read it.

Okay, so now to what I didn't care for:

The story goes back and forth between events in the past and those chapters are marked by years: 1985 through 2004. It's flashbacks of their childhood, which do help to better understand the dynamic between the three of them as well important events which shaped who they become as adults. Then there's current events. But there's a lot of bouncing back and forth. So much so that I was having to highlight each year so I didn't miss where in time we were.

Cora, ooh man, I despised her character! I viewed her as selfish and self-centered. Even as children she was constantly trying to one-up Mercedes, to have what she had, to do what she did, and to take what Mercedes wanted. Her character was quite despicable!

The ending wrapped up too neatly and too quickly. I'm all for happily-ever-after's but something just felt a little too neat and I felt some things weren't fully fleshed out.

There were some twists I wasn't expecting. I always appreciate that in a story. It's not at all that I didn't enjoy it, because I did. It just won't fall in my list of favorites by Harmon.

Top 5 (plus a bonus!) Favorite Quotes:
...he realized joy was possible amid terrible pain.

"In the end, only three things matter," Abuela said. "Who He is." She pointed at the sky. "Who you are, and who your friends are."

"Our friends shape the course of our lives. You have to choose them very carefully. But if you know who He is, then He will help you know who you are. And if you know who you are, you will know who your true friends are. One thing leads to another, you see."

...just because something is meant to be, doesn't mean it's meant to be right now.

"Words are like souls. Soundless, even shapeless. But full of substance. You are getting all substance and none of the distraction in a letter."

"I need you to love me enough to tell me the truth, even when it's ugly."

Language: 1.5 (light - medium)
Mature Content: 1.5 (light - medium)
Final Rating: 3.5  stars


  1. I hate this one wasn't a complete winner given how much we've both enjoyed Amy Harmon's previous books. I didn't really think about it until just now but she does do a lot of jumping around in chronology in her other books as well and that's something that I usually get frustrated with...especially early in the book. Good review.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...