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Mini-reviews: Wild Blue Wonder + Little Big Love

pub 6/26/19 by HarperTeen
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Edelweiss
Quinn and her family – her parents, sister, brother and grandmother – own and run a summer camp in Winship, Maine. It's known for being almost magical in how wonderful it is and through flashbacks, we see the camp through Quinn's eyes and all the beautiful memories she has attached to this place and to each summer spent there. And that's important, because in the present we see how different she, her family and that camp has become. Summer doesn't hold the same shine and the once close bonds she had with her siblings are barely existent. And it's all because of her best friend Dylan, who also happens to be the boy she had fallen in love with. When tragedy strikes, his absence is what triggers these changes in everyone and everything. It takes a while to find the truth of the accident and the moments leading it up to it. It was the main reason why I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened despite my misgivings about the rest of the book. It wasn't that I didn't like the story or the characters. In fact, I did and was intrigued by them but they all felt a bit flat? I wanted to know more and see more to get the full grasp of the bonds between siblings, best friends and family. Connecting to those relationships would've helped me connect to the book more overall. Instead, my favorite characters ended up being secondary ones like Quinn's grandmother and her other best friend who really supported Quinn as she sorted through her grief and had personalities that really leapt off the pages. There's also a present-day romance in Quinn's life when a new boy in town, Alexander, moves nearby. He gives her that push to move on and open up and I actually did find them to be rather sweet and cute together.

Do I recommend? I'm 50/50 on this one. I think there are poignant parts to the book especially in the depiction of each person's grief but overall, it didn't really stand out to me.

pub 6/6/18 by Berkeley
Adult - Contemporary Fiction
Received from pub via Netgalley
If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know the type of books I tend to gravitate towards. But in the past few years, I've been making a point to seek out books I normally don't pick up and for the most part, it's paid off! Little Big Love is one of them. It's told in alternating points-of-view from: Zac, a young 10-year-old boy wanting to know who his father is; Juliet, his mother struggling with the past and the present; and grandfather Mick, who's got secrets of his own. Together, they paint a picture of a complex family who love each other but who have each made decisions that had ripple effects and Zac is the one feeling those effects. He's never met his father and was told that he did a "runner" on him and his mom before he was born. But he's determined to find him and both his mom and grandparents have to decide if they'll help Zac or not. The book is just so heartwarming and even though there are multiple perspectives, it's ultimately Zac's story. He's a good kid with a big heart and there were so many times I wanted to reach into the book to give him a hug and tell him everything would be okay. Like Zac, the writing makes the reader want to find out the truth too and every chapter leads up to this final reveal. And this is where the author lost me. The reveal itself was good but the execution was not. The end felt so rushed and as a result, missed out on giving the reader (me!) the necessary catharsis after investing time in the story.

Do I recommend? It's tough because it was a slow starter but once I was in, I was all in! But then that ending knocked a whole star off my rating (FYI, I gave it 3.5). I still enjoyed it though and I stand by that. So if you're curious, check it out!

1 comment

  1. I hate it when books are slow! Sometimes, they end up being worth it anyway, so I'm glad that Little Big Love was worth it to you. I might check that one out.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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