I Read A Book Approved By Emma Watson...

In Search of Us - Ava Dellaria
Published by Hot Key on 6th March 2018.
My rating: 4/5
Book depository purchase link.

I first heard of Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters To The Dead when I saw Emma Watson raving about it on social media. Any book that Emma Watson has approved is one I want to look into. So, I ended up buying Love Letters To The Dead and enjoying it. A few years later and Ava Dellaria is back with another YA novel. This time I didn’t need the celebrity endorsement to trust it would be a fantastic read.

In Search Of Us is a parallel story between a mother and daughter at age seventeen. Marilyn’s story is of falling in love and breaking away from her controlling mother while Angie’s is about her determination to find her father.

It got me thinking that parenting is a really difficult line. What is overparenting? What is too much freedom? What about providing some guidance? From the perspective of the seventeen year old girl, half the time they couldn’t figure out what they needed from their mother. So where are the mothers meant to start?

Marilyn’s life as a teenager revolves around her mother’s desire to make her rich and famous, while she sets her heart on studying. She falls in love with their neighbour, James, making life even more complicated. In contrast, Angie’s life as a teenager is one of secrets. All she knows is her father allegedly died before she was born, but Marilyn won’t say anything else so Angie must embark on a road trip towards the truth. Both women are strong-willed and characters that are so easy to align with. I found myself wrapped up in Marilyn and Angie’s mindsets entirely, almost as though I’d become them.

Dellaira’s literary style makes this book rich in atmosphere. I could feel the heat (temperature wise, calm down) and picture the apartments so vividly. I read the book a little bit at a time because it was overwhelming to absorb everything at once. The sensory details are incredible.

From the romance between Marilyn and James, to the dark twist, this book crossed genres and styles. It felt literary in parts, typically contemporary YA in others, but one thing is for sure: this is a thought-provoking and heart-shattering read pumped full of emotion. It stole all of my sympathy.

Love, Jess

Thank you for Hot Key Books for providing a copy for review.

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