Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rewind to You gets 3 Stars

Rewind to You is Laura Johnston's debut book and gets 3 out of 5 stars. She is a clean YA/Teen Romance writer. This is a fun light summer read. Alohamora Open a Book

When I first moved to Arizona we rented a place, and in that same neighborhood lived Laura and her super cute family.  I'm a big fan of Laura and her husband, and I think they have the cutest kids ever.  After we moved in Laura found out I like to run; she is a runner as well so we lined up a day to go running.  While on the run Laura told me that she wants to be author and get a book published.

Now, there are a lot of people that want to publish a book (me included), but few actually get the green light from a publisher..  

I was so so happy to hear Laura's dream of being a published author came true for her.  

Last September Rewind to You came out, and I just recently read it.  It is a completely clean Young Adult (YA) or Teen Romance fiction novel.  There is underage smoking and drug reference, but there is absolutely no language.  It is similar to Sarah Dessen's books but with a bit more romance rather than realistic fiction with depth.   

I give Rewind to You 3 out of 5 stars.  It pains me to not give a raving review b/c I do like the author so much, but I do feel the need to be completely honest. 

I will preface my review by stating that I am not a romance reader and usually find romance novels a bit too "fluffy" when the characters constantly comment on their desire to kiss the other; my lack of love for romance writing styles could be some of my struggles with the book.

First let me start off with things I enjoyed.  I liked the happy ending, and I liked that the ending wasn't completely predictable b/c there was a slight twist in the story.  I also liked that it felt like a light summer beach or pool read that you could probably read in one pool/beach visit if you were a romance reader. 

However, I am a pretty critical reader/reviewer.  I do seem to analyze books a bit more and enjoy them less b/c of that.  To start, I struggled to get into the book.  The first third of the book I had to push my way through, and I actually might not have finished the book if I didn't personally know the author. 

In general I found the writing to a be a bit choppy with abrupt transitions; the writing wasn't quite refined and timeless but more simple, trendy and unrealistic.  I say unrealistic, but maybe this is more clean writing to a fault.  For example, at the beginning of the story a teenage boy who is smoking and portrayed to be tough calls trash with dirty diapers in them "Doo Doo."  The word Doo Doo just seemed a bit off to me to have a rough smoking teenage boy say it instead of a four letter word.  

One minute Sienna (one of the main characters aka "the girl") was mad at Austin (the other main character aka "the boy") and then all of a sudden she was fine with the somewhat major issue and there was no transition or character development.  At times the transitions seem quite forced and awkward, but I think it may be the author not quite knowing how to write it.

The story usually alternated narrators between Sienna and Austin.  I was fine with that writing style, but I do think it is harder to really build a lot of character development when alternating narrators.  

During the chapters from Sienna's point of view she often had flashbacks to when her father was alive.  The first time that happened I was quite confused and didn't know what was going on, but I do think Johnston improved with her flashback transitions as the story progressed.  

All in all, 3 stars isn't bad, but it isn't fabulous either.  It's an okay book, but you probably will think it's a good book if you like romance and/or don't analyze books nearly as much.  Rewind to You is currently only 99 cents for the kindle version if that helps sway you one way or another. 

Amazon had the following book description to give you a better idea of the storyline. 

"A rapturous, beautiful debut with a romance that seeps into you like a sizzling Georgia summer" -Amber Hart, author of Before You Wish You Were Here One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away. But the past isn't easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete's body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street. When she's with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now ."

Happy YA/Teen Romance Beach Read reading!

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