Deja Vu by D.J. Starling

4.5 stars****

I received a complimentary copy of this book from D.J. Starling (actually a penname for two authors)  in exchange for an honest review.  This is their debut novel.  And... I loved it!  Just a beautifully written love story.   It was so engaging that I could not put the book down once I started. 
A quick summary:
This is a story about two couples...  one from the present and one from the past.  The story begins with us getting to know Deanna and Josh.  They keep crossing paths and are immediately drawn to each other in such a way that they can't quite understand or comprehend.  Deanna suffers from chronic nightmares...  always the same dreams and they are getting worse.  In an effort to get to the bottom of her nightmares Deanna allows her friend Faith to attempt Regression therapy.  Faith believes that she may be experiencing memories/flashbacks of a previous life.  During her therapy Deanna is able to take us to the past that haunts her nightmares.  That's when the story switches over to Rivka and David... the couple from the past.  The last part of the book is back to Deanna and Josh who are trying to come to terms with the possibility that they could be the reincarnated souls of Rivka and David.  
The beginning of this book starts out like your typical ordinary modern love story.  And, I wasn't really sure where the story was going.  But, when we finally get to Rivka and David's story around the middle of the book that is when I became completely glued to my couch.  They were a young couple in love in Poland during the unfortunate Nazi invasion.  Their story was so very beautiful and tragic and there were many moments where I had to put the book down and just pull myself together.  This part of the book was so well written and had my emotions at full attention. 
When the story finally comes back to the present I was filled with hope for Deanna and Josh.  I wanted so badly for them to have an opportunity to fulfill the dreams that Rivka and David were never able to have for themselves.
We also spend time with Josh's best friend Michael throughout this story.  Michael and his family are very close and have sort of  adopted Deanna and Josh into their family.  They spend quite a lot of time at their home which has been nicknamed Fantasyland.  And, guess what...  that is the title of the next book!   I already have book two on my to read list.  So, keep an eye out for that review somewhere down the road.   
The end of the book was just wonderful...  can't give anything away...  but I was truly touched by the way all of the little bits and pieces of this story were all beautifully tied together.   Have your hankies ready!  I even found myself thinking about this story the next day and my eyes filled with tears...  again.  Gosh, I am such a sappy chick... 
It's so hard to tell why some books touch us so deeply...  for me it was Rivka and David's story.  Two characters that are now permanently embedded into my mind.  Their story allowed me to take a moment to appreciate everything that I have and probably take for granted. 
It's kind of hard to say who will like this book and who won't.  If you are someone who appreciates stories that touch the heart then I would definitely recommend this one.  You don't really need to believe in reincarnation to buy into this story either...  after all it is a work of fiction.  It is kind of nice to play around with the idea that we might get a second chance at the game of life.  Yeah...  I could live with that. 


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                                         Author Bio
Was it coincidence or was it fate?  They’re still not sure themselves, but whatever you call it, Donna Joyce and Marsha Fischer are glad something brought them together in a writer’s workshop.  Eventually becoming coauthors, writing under the penname D.J. Starling, they rely on each other’s unique strengths, as well as distinctive personalities to make their productive partnership work.  As a result, they’ve blended their literary voices to bring engaging characters to life in compelling stories that will have readers weighing the differences between coincidence and fate when considering the people who fill their lives.
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Also by D. J. Starling...  Fantasyland... 
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