June 17, 2014

Latest Read: There Will Come A Time by Carrie Arcos

There Will Come A Time by Carrie Arcos
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from Estelle (Thanks!)
Summary: Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost. Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all. As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
I went into There Will Come A Time with high expectations and curiosity. High expectations because it had great reviews and curiosity because the main character is Filipino. I’ve been thinking a lot about the lack of Filipino representation in YA (given last week's posts - you know why!) and this book was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want the familiar story of a young Filipino coming-of-age story as s/he immigrates to the States or how being Filipino-American affected their teenage years. Are those stories important and necessary? Of course. But is that ALL there is to being Filipino? No. I wanted a book that could be applicable or relatable to anyone and the main character just happened to be Filipino. There Will Come A Time delivers exactly that.

Mark was behind the wheel when he and his twin sister Grace were driving home one night and got into a car accident. While he survived, Grace did not and he’s been struggling with his grief ever since. He has therapy, a loving family, supportive friends and a love of music to help him cope but nothing truly helps. Which is why he finds himself going to the bridge where the accident occurred almost every night. Then Hanna, Grace’s best friend, finds a bucket list Grace wrote in one of her journals. She thinks they should complete it as a way to honor Grace’s memory and even though he wants to say no, he agrees. And it turns out to be exactly the right thing to do.

The author makes it so easy to feel and sympathize with the emotions Mark is feeling. Anger, sadness, grief (and repeat). As twins, Mark and Grace had a special connection and through his memories and her journal, we get a good sense of what she was like and the bond they shared. But it’s not just about the two of them, family plays a huge role too. Their parents are divorced and each re-married. The father is the one who stuck around while the mom did not. There’s a whole dynamic there which the author explored and I’m glad she included it. But Mark also has a great group of friends to support him. Especially Hanna who turns out to be more than just a friend. I definitely saw this coming but you’re meant to. They have a history and we see not only how they connected as kids but how they’re supporting each other now. I loved the build-up of their relationship as it progressed.

Now to touch upon the Filipino culture aspect. It was so subtle and well-done! There were small details that I recognized and really appreciated. Like mentioning how he used to be fluent in Tagalog (language of the Philippines) until he started school. It was the same thing with me but luckily I can still understand it fully. Referring to Titas (aka Aunts), mentioning food (adobo!), his mom is a nurse (typical), the importance of religion. Even their names - Grace is a very common Filipino name. I seriously applaud the author on how she incorporated the culture without overwhelming the book because ultimately, this story is about grief and she lets that take center stage.

(No) Reservations
None whatsoever!

Do I recommend?
Yes! It’s such a well-written book about grief that really moved me and I just couldn’t put it down once I started.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. I just ordered this book, and your review makes me even happier that I did! Estelle was the reason that it was on my radar at all, and like I always tell her, I trust her opinion without question-- I had it on my to-buy list ever since. I'm so glad that you loved it too! It sounds like a super emotional book, but those are usually my favorites. I'm excited about the presence of Filipino characters AND also a male main character! We don't see enough of either of these in YA. I can't wait to get my hands on this book! *waits by the mailbox*

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  2. YES! I've had the eARC of this one for awhile now so obviously I need to read it ASAP. I had no idea it's about a Filipino male protagonist, that's fantastic! I'm glad that the cultural aspect was satisfying and done correctly. As for the plot, it sounds oh so good! I can't wait to read about Hanna and Mark's developing relationship and what kinds of things are on the bucket list. Looks like you really loved this one, Rachel! Thanks for the brilliant review :)

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  3. I'm so excited to read There Will Come a Time, and not only because you and Estelle both loved it! I do think it's interesting, to me, when an author explores a character's grief. It's a hard journey, but also one that can include a lot of healing and learning along the way. Also, I'm totally excited about the MC being (1) male and (2) Filipino!

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