Withering Hope – Layla Hagen

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 262
Release Date: January 18, 2015

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect. 

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. 


With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts. 


As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest. 


Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

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I decided to read Withering Hope because Passionflix optioned it for a movie and with a 3.99 star rating on Goodreads (as of February 22, 2021) I thought I would at least enjoy it. Unfortunately, Withering Hope was lackluster romance that fizzled rather than sizzled.

Told from mostly Aimee’s perspective, readers get an in-depth look at who she is as a character meaning she was definitely more fleshed out than Tristan. I never felt like I got to know or understand Tristan. At times he felt closed off and condescending while also so vulnerable it was almost a turn off.

Aimee is plagued by guilt for most of the novel. Her developing feelings for Tristan clash with those of her fiancée. She struggles with it for so long I thought she would never resolve them, however it seemed like one moment she was suffering from guilt then the next she moved on as if it never happened. There was no transition and a convenient explanation was used.

A large portion of the novel is dedicated to how they survived on a day-to-day basis. Though it was interesting to read about their survival, however it took up too much screen time making their relationship read like instalove.

Overall, Withering Hope wasn’t as good as I was hoping it to be. It featured a lackluster romance that fizzled rather than sizzled. Despite my dislike of the novel, I will still watch the Passionflix movie whenever it comes out.

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Have you read Withering Hope? What did you think?

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