Tuesday, February 27, 2018

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills | Totally Frank Approved!

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Date Read: Jan 24 to 26, 2018
First Published: 2016
Hardback
Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating:
Re-Readability:
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
This is a Frank Approved Book. 

I can't tell you I fell in love with this book the way I did Mills's Foolish Hearts. That book owned me--body and soul--from the very first pages. This one was more slow-burn; it started out rather cool, but slowly heated to the point of boiling. So if you want to know the verdict ahead of time... Yes, I recommend this book. Yes, go get it. Yes, you're not going to regret it.

What I truly find fascinating about Mills is how she manages to write people. Like, I know that sounds stupid. Doesn't every book does it? No, not really. Not like this. Not in the way her characters feel entirely too real, completely three dimensional and full of layers, the way real people do. They're not a caricature or the way someone thinks a person could or should be. They just... are. Complete with imperfect lives, and issues that remain unsolved, and some that stay unexplored. I like that. I like that a lot.

Reading Mills's novels is like being given a momentary peek into these people's lives. It's almost as if they will continue long after me, the same way the did long before me. It's slightly depressing, and yet entirely uplifting.

But who are those enigmatic people? The main is, obviously, Sloane, who tells this story. At first, I felt mostly removed from her. Looking back, I feel like that might have been because she's like that with other people. She is snarky, quiet and very forthcoming. She cares a whole lot, without ever realizing she does. She doesn't know how to do friendships and relationships and yet she somehow manages to stumble into quite a few of them.

By the end of the novel, I was crying when she was crying, feeling crushed when she was, and desperate to give her a hug and promise her everything will be okay.

Now, the theme of this book is FRIENDSHIPS in all caps. And you know, Emma Mills slays friendships the way Buffy slays Vampires, making it look as easy to write as cutting butter.
"Just so you know," I say, "I would straight-up kill for you"
Sloane moves towns. She meets sunshine girl Vera. She meets her strong-and-silent twin brother Gabe. She meets Remy and Aubrey, their best friends, who used to be the golden couple. She meets party planner extraordinaire Frank. And somehow, miraculously, she becomes part of the group. She expands the group. Becomes a central piece of it. Grows to love these people and be loved by them, Even if she doesn't see it.

And that process... that process is everything. It's a slow, steady, flowing river; one day you don't know each other. The next you may be friends. Then you're maybe possibly besties and then... then you are, no questions asked. My heart overflows at this.

Mills writes friendships in a way that is really hard to describe. She makes them awkward and quirky and real. So fucking real.

Everything about this book is real; how life takes time. How sometimes you can be so unsure of everything. How sometimes you can be 100% certain. How sometimes parents fight and have issues 'cause they are not perfect. How dads can lose their muse, and maybe a little bit of themselves with it. How people die... and how people move on. How it's hard to care, but even harder to stop once you've started. How relationships can succeed.. but they can also fail. How a family can be born, but it can also be made. How you can learn to love. How... everything.

It was just all so realistic and complex, and I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it.

However, if you're here to read a romance book, I would suggest picking up Foolish Hearts or a Kasie West novel, because THIS ADVENTURE ENDS doesn't get there for a loooong time. Mostly because, again, this book is about all caps FRIENDSHIP. But you do have a couple or two to root for, and it's definitely fun to see them form organically. And let me assure you right now, we do get kisses. I repeat: we do get kisses. Hang in there.

P.S. I need a book about Frank. That guy is pure, and great, and charming, and electrifying, and absolutely fabulous, and he NEEDS to be the hero of his own book!! Pretty please?
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