Book Review: Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tatoo by Heather Wardell

When Candice's in-laws died in a car accident eight months ago, she lost her husband Ian too. After only two years of marriage their guilt and pain have left them living together but apart. During Ian's month-long trip overseas, Candice plans to decide if her marriage can be saved, but when the first man she ever loved is the new client at work, she wonders what she truly wants from life and love.

Release Date:  December 31, 2008
Age Group:  Adult
Source:  Free on author's website

I really, really enjoy Heather Wardell's writing.  I read and loved two of her books, Planning to Live, and Go Small or Go Home, and just didn't expect Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tatoo to measure up.  It did, though. 

There's just something about the way Wardell writes that resonates so strongly with me.  I think it's the way she develops her characters.  It makes me put myself in her characters' shoes so easily.  All of her books are written in the first person and I always feel like I could be the main character.  Wardell's main characters have the same feelings and secret dreams that I have.  They are often young, working women trying to balance work, love, and fulfilling their dreams. 

Candice has been having trouble in her marriage, and her husband leaves the country for a month.  She plans to spend the time apart analyzing her marriage and if she should stay or go, but is suddenly thrown together with the first man she loved.  This man broke her heart and left her confidence shaken for years.  Candice has never really gotten over him, and it shows when they start working together.  All of the old feelings resurface, and she is forced to decide who she wants to be with.  Wardell kept me guessing until the end as to what Candice would do.  I love being surprised, and I was definitely surprised at the ending here. 

I would recommend this book to anyone, but college-age and older women will enjoy it the most. 

Just One Gripe: 
The title of this book did not make me want to read it.  I can't really say why, it could be the length or my general disinterest in tatoos, but I picked this book up because it was free and because I already knew that I liked Wardell's writing so much.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
The way Wardell makes the reader feel everything her characters are feeling.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Total Score:  23/25


  1. This sounds so beautiful! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Kelli! :)

  2. Thanks for the review, Sounds like a great story.

  3. When I saw the cover I thought it was a kid's book but the synopsis through me for a loop.

    Adding it to MUST READ LIST.

    Another A plus review Kelli :)


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