Publishing Date: February 3rd, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Pages: 368 pgs
Source: Received from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
Praised as a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.
Tallulah de Longland she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. That, she announced, is a serious glamorgeous name.From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah (Lulu) de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.
Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.
Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
My Review:This book came out in February and I got it for review a few months before that and shamefully I am only now posting a review. This is horrible. To my credit, life has been ridiculous lately. Alright, onto the book review.
This is a book that I hadn't heard much about. I knew that it was about two girls, Tallulah and Annabelle who met in middle school and grew up into young women. The book begins in such a crazy way. It is the morning after Annabelle's wedding and the groom is waking up in his nice cozy hotel room bed. The woman next to him however is not his wife but Tallulah. This set the tone for the book and it made me think that it would be much more scandalous than it actually was. The book is so much more than the story of a childhood friendship gone awry. I thought there'd be a whole lot more than of Annabelle in the book. There is a decent amount of them growing up but after the climax of the book she kind of drops off and the focus of the book is on Tallulah and her supporting cast of characters.
I think that I loved the secondary characters even more than Tallulah at times. Throughout the book Tallulah is trying to get over something that was heartbreaking to her and sometimes it got to be a little more. I wanted to shake her and say please, please, please just take some steps to move on. That being said, if I sat down and actually thought about it, I'd have a hard time moving on too. In fact I do struggle with this from time to time when I think of past friendships. When I thought about it, I felt a little more sympathy for Lulu.
The secondary characters are eccelectic and so fun. The begin, there are Lulu's parents. Her father owns his own plumbing company and her mother struggles with depression. She names her dresses and wears them according to her mood. Her parents are everything I wish my parents were. Even though her mother is dealing with some serious mental health problems, she tries her very best and when she is on her A-game she is so sweet and caring. Her father is supportive and able to give Lulu a swift kick in the behind when she needs it.
Annabelle's parents also make several appearances. They are both well known artists and with that comes a bit of quirkiness. They are self centered at times but I did feel for the father a bit. The mom I could do without that's for sure.
Along with the parents Lulu becomes good friends with her boss Duncan. He is a cocky, arrogant celebrity who tends to treat people horribly. Lulu is feisty and puts him in his place and their friendship develops. He is several years older than Lulu and acts as a surrogate father at times. I think he was my favourite of the cast.
This book has been out for a while yet it hasn't gotten much love/buzz. I have been recommending it to everyone I can. It is so well written and the story is engaging. It will make you smile but it will also give you all the feels. I will admit to shedding a couple of tears at times. I will definitely read whatever this author puts out. Please go out and pick it up.