Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Story of Now by Emily O'Beirne

Publication Date: July 11, 2015
Source: NetGalley (Received in exchange for an honest review)
Format: E-book (Kindle 2nd Gen)
Rating: ★★★★★ (4.50 actual)

Summary (from Goodreads): Nineteen-year-old Claire Pearson knows she needs a life. And some new friends.

But brittle, beautiful, and just a little bit too sassy for her own good sometimes, she no longer makes friends easily. And she has no clue where to start on the whole finding a life front, either. Not after a confidence-shattering year dogged by bad break-ups, friends who have become strangers, and her constant failure to meet her parents sky-high expectations.

When Robbie and Mia walk into Claire’s work they seem the least likely people to help her find a life. But despite Claire’s initial attempts to alienate them, an unexpected new friendship develops.
And it’s the warm, brilliant Mia who seems to get Claire like no one has before. Soon, Claire begins to question her feelings for her new friend.

The sequel, The Sum of These Things, will be released in late 2015. Paperback available July 15.

Favorite Quote: “’And what prompted this radical makeover, if I may ask?’

‘Well, Mia, I was running out of ways to disappoint my mother. And then it came to me.’”

What I Liked: Oh wow. There are so many things I loved about this book. But first things first, I’d like to touch on the queer characters. Yes. Waiter, I’ll have a big plate of that. There are not enough Young Adult novels out there where main character girls fall in love with other girls. There’s always the gay bff, but this is one of the first books in this age group that I’ve read with queer girls. I love it!

As a girl that used to spend ages reading queer fics on deviantART (and writing a few, not to toot my own horn) (toot toot), this book felt like coming home. The perfect characters, the angst, the short, addicting chapters. It felt like I was scrolling down a webpage, fiending after the next chapter like I used to fiend over Drarry fics on ff.net. While the writing style does take some time to get used to, the characters keep you wanting more.

I definitely connected with Claire. I connect even more with her hate of working in customer service. I’ve done retail. I’ve done coffee. I’ve done call lines and the like. It all totally blows and all you want to do is complain to other people who work in retail. Or coffee shops. Or bars. Or people who just work in general. Claire’s wit and sassy banter with Mia had me laughing out loud, nodding my head and thinking “so true girl, so true.” Also, there was actual banter between Claire and Mia, instead of the love interesting getting all the good lines. How cool is that??

Also this book is set in Melbourne. This is the first book I’ve read that’s been set in Australia and I want ten more please. And a plane ticket to Down Under.

What I Didn’t Like: It takes a long while to get used to O’Beirne’s writing style. At the end of one chapter she’ll have set up an event to happen in the next and then time skips ahead and Claire recollects what happens at said built up event. Eventually this just becomes a part of Claire’s personality but at first it put me off.

I also don’t like that the next book isn’t out yet. But that shouldn’t count against it. The .50 I deducted was for the writing style thing that I didn’t like.

Why You Should Read It: This book is for every girl that ever liked another girl. If you love contemporary romance and queer characters this is the perfect novel for you. It’s also a good book to read to bridge the gap between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, which I think is very important. There aren’t enough books about 19 year olds as characters tend to be either on the cusp of 16 or 30. This is also the perfect book for anyone who finds it hard to read real books in place of online fic and fanfic. It reads like a gem you’d find online that you beg the author for more chapters.


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