This debut novel by SJ Sylvis blew me away. She has an incredible knack for telling a story and having it play out like a movie in your mind. I could see this as a TV series where each summer is a season. This coming of age tale beautifully captures a love that begins out small and innocent and blooms into a soul-altering love. It transcends all logic as a bond is formed so tight that nothing will rattle or break it. I was hooked and in love with this story from the very first chapter. I didn’t even see my parents wave as they drove by one afternoon because I was that engrossed in the story. It consumed me that much.
Sadie is a high school senior about to set out on this adventure of life. All that comes crashing down in one night, crumbling into ruins. She then has to pick up the tattered shards and sew them back together. The growth Sadie journeys through is moving hard, and excellently told. She overcomes a lot, stays true to herself, and refuses to give in without a fight. Even if that fight is following her heart and not her heads advice. She has risen to be one of my favorite young adult characters.
One thing that was refreshing, was her parents, their relationship, and their relationship with her. Her family supported her and loved her. It’s not every day I read a story where the parents are still together. I loved that they were. I loved their part in this story and how much they showed unconditional love and acceptance. Best feeling ever.
Rowen is the first love of Sadie. He is young and has as much growning up to do as Sadie did. At first, I wanted to throttle him. He was not my favorite character at all. I was like ‘Sadie, you can do SO much better.’ About halfway through, I was hit with how well this author made him grow. It was like watching a boy make mistakes, own them, learn from them, and turn into an amazing man. Once he got to that point, he really stepped up and crushed his past to fight for his future. I loved how he knew Sadie better than she knew herself.
The supporting characters were well written. Some survived just a summer in Sadie’s life, but others were around for the whole story. It is very much like real life. Their support and belief in Sadie made me smile. They were true friends that stood by her. I did have a shocker moment near the end with a ‘friend’ of hers. Took me by surprise. This story showed how big Sadie’s heart is, and why forgiving and being happy take over any negativity you might find.
James was a neat character. I loved how he provided her with guidance that had no motive than to help her grow. He just wanted her to be the best Sadie ever. That man reminded me of my PopPopl ❤
I haven’t had a young adult story like this in a while. It was wonderfully written and took me on a complete journey. The plot was followed through and I wasn’t left with any questions. Given the age of the characters, I thought the ending fit. It was a happy for now ending. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d love another novella to be about the following summer LOL.
If young college age stories are your favorite, then you need to add this to your list. I give it 5 pointe shoes.
It was well written, intriguing, engaging, and fun to read. I could see myself reading it again and again. Definitely, recommend this story!
Find S.J. Sylvis here.