What is one of Yarros’ writing elements you adore?
I love how she intertwined her titles into the story. They’re always so deep and thought provoking. I’m sitting around thinking what kind of title is “Beyond What Is Given” then BOOM! she blows my mind with what it really means and it always links back to the core of what the book is really about.
I love how her writing is emotionally authentic. I never feel like she manipulates my feelings as a reader; rather, she presents the characters and their lives in such a way that everything feels real. I don’t want crazy plot twists or over-the-top antics. I want stories to which I can relate on a deeper level and in which I can see a part of myself and these are the types of stories that Rebecca consistently delivers.
If you could hang out with Grayson for a day, what would you plan to do?
There would definitely be baking involved. But I think most of all, I’d love for him to just show me around base so I could get a feel for all this fly boy stuff.
He would take me out for a sail on the boat he built and then cook dinner for me. Brownies for dessert would definitely be on the menu. 😉
Rebecca Yarros is amazing at writing angst. Which part of the story left you feeling the most?
I think the build up to the return of the past life Grayson is keeping from Sam. My heart absolutely broke for him and the decision that he had ahead of him. And Sam too. Being that invested in someone with a past leaves a person feeling so vulnerable. My heart sank for both of them.
The scenes where Grayson rescues Sam from the gym after the tornado and then keeps vigil over her in the hospital aren’t the most angsty in the book, but the emotional weight they carried brought out all the feelings for me.
What was your favorite scene in the book and why?
I think the minute it finally sank in for Grayson. Where he finally realized despite the fact that he had been fighting his emotions and was torn between his past life and what his future could be, that was emotionally moving for me. I think that’s the first moment in the book where I felt like I could finally exhale.
I loved the scene where Grayson brought Sam home to the house that he bought for her. It was such a touching gesture that spoke volumes about the depth of his love for her and his desire to provide her with the stability that she never had while growing up. Sam’s reaction was equally as heartfelt and by the time the scene ended with her letting him know how much she loved the present but that he was her true home, I was reduced to a melted puddle of feels on the ground.
We talk frequently about associating certain items with particular books, no matter how much time was passed since we may have read the book. For example, Alison G. Bailey’s Present Perfect always comes to mind when we eat chocolate cake and we can’t help but think of Kellan Kyle when we see an espresso stand. What items do you associate with Beyond What is Given?
Helicopters without a doubt. I don’t think that one could fly overhead that I wouldn’t immediately think about Grayson or any of Yarros’ guys. Also, flashcards. As a stay at home mom, I spend a ton of time teaching my kids how to make flashcards to study and I can’t pick one up without thinking about Grayson and his struggle to learn.
I have three – brownie batter, playing cards and pencils.
Screw, Marry, Kill: Flight and Glory Series Edition. And go!!!!
Screw- Josh Walker; Marry- Josh Walker; Kill- Ashley for killing Josh
Screw – Jagger; Marry – Grayson; Kill – Josh
Beyond What is Given is a great book but it wasn’t one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rebecca Yarros’ writing but this one didn’t quite give me the rollercoaster I have come to love from reading her characters. I think I have such a deep and profound connection to Josh and Ember from Full Measures, I feel like I’m cheating on them if I adore another couple too much. They completely have my loyalty.
With that being said, Grayson and Sam’s story is not one to be missed. They have so many obstacles to overcome you can’t help but feeling like you’ve rode this journey right along with them to the last page. Yarros’ writing always brings about a special story and she doesn’t fall short of that with Beyond What Is Given either. She’s consistently writing novels that bring us to our knees and shatter our hearts right along with whoever it is she has written on the page. I love all the real, personal struggles these two fight through and even though it wasn’t my favorite in the series so far, that’s not to say it’s not a fantastic book; it is.
The thought of this series being over though just gives me hives. I never want to let go of these characters and that says everything I need to know about a book. The kinship and loyalty between all the people in the Flight and Glory series makes me feel complete. You can’t really ask for anymore than that from an author. Hallowed Ground is up next and I’m beyond stoked for that book. There aren’t words to describe how excited I am to get more Josh and Ember. And I know with her writing style there will be plenty of the rest of her characters that will show up as well.
“That was the measure of a person to me. Not the shit they pulled, but the way they recovered from it.”
I always get excited about reading a new Rebecca Yarros book because I know I am in for a journey. It’s one that will no doubt be painful and heart wrenching along the way, but I hang in there because she writes some of the best, most satisfying payoffs that I have ever read. Beyond What is Given is no exception to this expectation and is a powerful continuation of her Flight and Glory series.
Readers got a small glimpse of Grayson in Eyes Turned Skyward, but he was a man of few words and even fewer clues as to what made him tick. As it turns out, he’s one of my favorite types of heroes – damaged, loyal, and quietly strong with a past that is so painful that you have to wonder how long it will be until he crumbles under the weight of the burdens he carries. We’ve also met Sam before as Ember’s best friend in Full Measures, but she has stumbled and is struggling to regain her balance. She is full of determination and spunk, but it’s clear just how lonely she is as she fights to put her life back in order.
Following the lead of the earlier books in the series, the journey towards romance is a slow burn leading up to an explosive igniting of passion. For me, this is the most realistic and enjoyable type of relationship buildup. Grayson and Sam take their time really getting to know each other, laying their cards on the table, figuratively and literally. All the emotional stops are pulled out as the couple comes to grips with how to absolve themselves from their pasts in order to build their future.
Rebecca’s stories are very character-driven and she does a masterful job at portraying the struggles of her leads as both individuals and as a couple. She could not have written two characters better suited to champion one another through their rocky transition from “you and me” to “us.” Subplots in books frequently fall victim to diluting the overall impact of the book, but here they were particularly strong and none of them turned out how I had originally anticipated which was a nice surprise. Kudos to Rebecca for creating not only a story, but a series, that is more than the sum of its parts in all of the best ways that warm my bookworm heart!
“I never touch you with anything less than my soul.”
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