Thursday, August 31, 2017

Awash with Summer Roses Review

Awash with Summer Roses
By: Kestra Pingree

My name is Ri. I’m the kind of delinquent girl you hear horror stories about.

I had so many rule breaking plans this summer, but none of them involved my grandparents. Their livelihood is their dumb rose garden, and they live out in the middle of nowhere in a town called Fairgarden. My parents thought it would be the perfect place to reform my bad attitude. So they shipped me off.

But then I met Avery.

Avery works for my grandparents. He’s got more secrets than anyone I’ve ever known. I think he might be a bigger troublemaker than I am, though you couldn’t tell by the way he pretends to be this perfect angel.
Did I mention he’s blind and scary perceptive?
And he actually listens to me.
He’s weird, a mystery I have to solve.
I have to know his secrets.
Can two broken hearts make a whole?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

SPOILERS!!

I will begin by telling you that before beginning this book I already had high expectations and fully anticipated enjoying the book because Young Adult is my genre of choice. That being said I have read a lot of YA novels. But somehow this was the first one I've ever read about a rebellious girl turned good by a good boy. It was refreshing. I was so involved in the main character, Moriah's, story that I read the whole book in one day. Which, I guess probably won't shock any of you who may actually know me. 

I have to admit that I began with a decided dislike of Moriah and her treatment of the people around her. She is ultimately rebelling against her neglectful parents and gets shipped to her grandparents house. Which is about the time that I began understanding her and disliking her parents (a dislike that I felt all the way through the book). The reader gets to watch Moriah's emotional evolution as she begins to make friends with other kids in town, and takes a particular liking to Avery. She starts treating her grandparents better and starts to create a life for herself in the small hick town that her parents shipped her off to. 

Avery is a bit of a puzzle himself. He runs hot and cold, one minute flirting with Moriah and the next ignoring her. He won't talk about how he lost his vision or about why he keeps sneaking off to the forest that no one is allowed to go into. In fact, he doesn't really talk about himself much at all. But for some reason, I liked him anyway. He comes across as being sweet, caring and dependable. He has a beautiful relationship with his mom and everyone in town seems to have very high opinions of him. In short, he's the polar opposite of Moriah. Which makes their attraction all the more interesting.

I was surprised by the added bit of magic and fantasy to the book. The 'forbidden' forest was a nice addition to the story and added intrigue. I also enjoyed the story behind it, the folklore that the town passed down about the forest and that all the townspeople took it seriously and avoided it at all costs. 

There were only two parts that I didn't like about the book and one was how easy Moriah's parents got off after being terrible parents. Moriah almost instantly forgave them for spending no time with her for the majority of her childhood and for sending her away. She talks about how she grew up literally alone, about how she has never had to sneak out at midnight to hang out with her friends because no one but her is ever home. How does a child grow up on their own, without anyone caring for them, and just move on from it after an apology from her parents? How do they just push past the bitterness that has fueled them and decide to get over it that easily? And her grandparents also seemed eager to forgive and forget the way they too had been pushed aside and forgotten about by their daughter and her husband, and how they treated their granddaughter before dumping her on their doorstep. It's the only aspect of the novel that felt forced to me. The only other downfall, in my opinion, was the ending. I need a good solid happy ending when I read a romance novel. And while Moriah and Avery may have ended up in a relationship I fail to see how that relationship will last with them living two hours apart. 

Overall I enjoyed the book as much as I had thought I would. I like the spin of the bad girl and good boy. I'm always impressed by authors that can write about the lives of teenagers in a way that even older audiences feel they can relate to the characters. I'm even more impressed when they write in such a way that I take on the emotions of the main character as I read the book, which definitely happened in this case. I found myself crying when Moriah cried, confused when she was confused and annoyed when she was annoyed. It's no small feat for an author to make a 30 year old woman relate to a 16 year old girl, and Kestra absolutely did that with this book.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

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