Happy Boxing Day (if you’re in the UK) and I hope those of you who celebrate, had a fantastic Christmas. I struggled to muster a lot of Christmas spirit until about 1pm on Christmas Day, but I was well into it after that. I had a lovely relaxed day with my immediate family filled with food, games and laughter. Today has been even more relaxing. I’ve done a little bit of housework and then sat on my backside all afternoon doing a jigsaw puzzle and listening to this book.
Morgan Grant and her sixteen year old daughter Clara have a lot in common, but neither of them want Clara to grow up making the same mistakes that Morgan did. Morgan married far too young and was a young mother. Both of them want Clara to achieve more in her life before she decides to start a family.
The two are often butting heads because of this as Clara thinks that Morgan is too controlling whilst Morgan thinks that Clara is intent on trying to defy her. The glue holding them together is Chris; Morgan’s husband and Clara’s father. So when Chris is tragically killed in an accident, things to start to spiral between mother and daughter.
Chris’ death will have far reaching impacts that nobody anticipated. Morgan ends up seeking comfort in a place that she would never have imagined and Clara starts to spend time with a boy that she has been forbidden to see. How will this pan out for this mother and daughter who need each other now more than ever?
General Thoughts 🤔
I went into this book knowing nothing but it being a CoHo book and that was pretty much the only reason I wanted to read it (and that it was available on Kindle Unlimited). I didn’t know that it was a YA book, but after finishing I would say it is definitely on the older end of the YA scale. There is some light sexual content (all PG, but sexual nonetheless) so it’s worth bearing that in mind.
I really enjoyed the plot of this story. There were some complicated family dynamics going on that made for great reading. I felt a little bit like I had been transported back to being 16/17 and I had a wave of nostalgia come over me that was lovely. All the awkwardness, turmoil and heartache at that age felt horrible, but this book made me look back and just remember the lovely butterfly feelings you get with a first love in your late teens.
Clara was my favourite character and the chapters told from her POV were my fave. I felt all of her feels bless her, and I sometimes found it difficult to read her heading into mistakes that she would inevitably regret soon after. However I thought that her character was written perfectly for her age and I am sure that lots of girls could read this book and see some of their feelings reflected in Clara.
This may be an unpopular opinion but I struggled to like Jonah very much. I didn’t dislike him, he was just a bit of a meh character for me. Yes he was the underdog hero, he was selfless and he was humble and kind, but my goodness I wanted him to have a backbone and chase after what he wanted.
Writing Style ✍️
This was the first YA CoHo book that I’ve read and I found it really interesting to see how her tone and voice translated. I was happy that I could tell that I was reading a CoHo book, it was just like I was reading it pre-watershed. But the pre-watershed on channel 4 (sorry if you’re not in the UK and don’t understand this reference) whereby it’s 8:30pm and they’re not afraid to push the limits a little bit.
I loved the multiple POVs in alternating chapters. It made the story very easy to follow and I really liked getting to hear how both Morgan and Clara were feeling as well as how they were reacting and absorbing each other’s actions.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
A bit of a change from other CoHo books that I’ve read but a pleasant one for sure. I listened to the majority of this book and I thought it was perfect to have playing whilst I was geeking out with my jigsaw puzzle. This was a story of family drama, young love and old love, heartbreak and make ups. If you’re brave enough to be reminded of the emotional struggles of navigating your late teens, then definitely give this book a go, it was a great read.