(Disclaimer: The author both paid me and provided me with a free digital copy of their book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions expressed within this review are my own.)
What If by Rodolfo Ponder (aka Rudy) is a poignant memoir about love, sacrifice, and hope. After a crushing heartbreak, Rudy finds the strength to move on through a powerful and tenacious love that he didn’t even see coming. Rudy not only shares the discovery of that love in his memoir, but also shows just how precious love can be and how important it is not to take it for granted.
Rudy did an excellent job of capturing emotion and evoking sympathy throughout the memoir. He managed to interlace the drama with bits of lighthearted humor and uplifting messages that kept the work hopeful. I believe Rudy’s story will inspire readers to push forward despite the obstacles they face and better themselves rather than become embittered by hurtful circumstances. Additionally, Rudy offered brief but engaging descriptions of his travels to national parks that really put me in the scene. Those descriptions were perhaps my favorite part of the novella.
That said, there were many instances of confusing or awkward wording and other places where grammar experts may get thrown off track. These instances detracted from the story for me, and it is mostly for this reason that I'm giving this work a three star rating. Also, while most of the emotions described were very moving, a few of those descriptions felt a bit rushed, but this is a novella, so that was to be expected. I appreciated that the author didn’t get bogged down in the details because it allowed the story to flow at a faster pace.
What If was sexually explicit in many areas, so this novella is for mature readers only. It’s important to note that while What If is a memoir, its focus was largely on romance, so lovers of romance may be particularly interested in this work. The ending was unexpected, as I was hoping for a more definite resolution, but I didn’t take off points for that because, as a memoir, the author had to remain true to the events as he remembered them. So, I’ll suffice it to say that this was a short but sweet story and I hope for the best for Rudy and his partner.