Thursday, October 6, 2016

Story of My Life • This Adventure Ends

This Adventure Ends book cover
When Sloane’s writer father hits a creative roadblock, he and her mother decide that moving from New York to Florida for a change of pace might be the best way to jumpstart his creativity. Sloane expects to lead a fairly normal life under the radar. She definitely doesn’t expect to fall in love with a group of friends, who are bound to change her life forever…

Plot? Before I actually read this book, I didn’t know what it was going to be about. I jumped into it without any expectations – and it blew me away. Mills just takes so many different things – Sloane’s father’s struggle as he wrestles with his creativity, her home life with her parents and sister, her budding friendships with a new gang, her singing and the future it promises – and weaves them all together with a deft hand. It is a pretty simple story, but the sheer authenticity of the struggles and emotions that Sloane goes through shines through and makes the reading journey an extraordinary one.

Characters? I just loved Sloane. She reminded me so much of my own self as a teen, particularly in my last year of high school and first year of university. The uncertainty about the future, the struggle to do the right things, the loyalty to her friends and her family, her genuine appreciation of and camaraderie with her loved ones – all these things were a part of who she was, and mirrored who I used to be (and still am, really). I also adored all the people in her life – her creative father (who made me laugh, and who is pretty much the coolest), her mother (who was the backbone of their family), her little sister (who was just super adorable), Vera and Gabe (the twins who become her closest confidantes), her friends (they were all such excellent dynamic additions to the story). If you couldn’t tell, I really felt like Mills took the time to breathe life into the secondary characters so that they popped off the page just as much as Sloane did – and it paid off. Also, Sloane’s relationships with them felt so real, and so easy to relate to, and I have to give major props to Mills for that.

Writing? Emma Mills writes with a style that is all too easy to get swept up in. The only word I can think of to describe how I felt is consumed. I was consumed by this story. It hooked me with the very first chapter, reeled me in with every succeeding page and just kept me going until I hit the end. I loved how Mills chose to frame certain scenes, with just enough details for me to form a picture in my head. I found quite a few quotable bits that I have saved for future reference. And I simply love that it was so easy to read this book, and so damn enjoyable too. Plus, let’s not forget that she made me emotional (I laughed and I cried and I yelled) while reading this book, which is no easy feat.

Overall? I obviously loved this book! It was such a delightful read, one that just gave me lots of feelings and resonated so deeply on a personal level. My only quibble had to do with one part of Sloane’s personality, which I felt didn’t get enough page time in the book. Still, I ended up giving this one a full five stars, and I highly recommend that everyone check it out.

Do you read or write fan fiction?

A resounding YES is the answer to both parts of this question! When I was about twelve, I first discovered the magic of fan fiction. I spent hours on the Internet (and this was in the time of dial-up, mind you) reading all the fan fiction my little heart desired, centered primarily around my favorite boy bands. I realized that I could definitely write my own fiction featuring my favorites and my friends, and I started out writing my first ever fan fiction featuring alllll of my friends and favorite celebrities in a crazy ass story. I wrote fan fiction up until around 2008, which is the time I took a long break in my writing. While I may have stopped writing, I never stopped reading. I still love reading fan fiction these days!

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) | Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens. Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

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