I loved this one! So much. I was offered this one by the publisher, Crown, and I'm so thrilled I accepted because it's my favourite book so far this year. I barely laid it down from start to finish. I'm a REALLY slow reader usually but I just rattled through this one.
It's hard for me to write a review of something I loved over one I hated as it's all about the 'feels' for me and I can't put it into words sometimes. (Just an FYI - with this one I have a lot of feels and chances are that this review is going to be all over the place because of it.)
A moving tale of family, love, and the power of stories. After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz are figuring out how to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia, who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights, is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to say her final goodbyes and lay their mother's spirit to rest.
Though they see things very differently, Jazz is forced by her sense of duty to help Olivia reach her goal. Bitter and frustrated by the attention heaped on her sunny sister whose world is so unique, Jazz is even more upset when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper. Though Hobbs warns Olivia that he's a thief who shouldn't be trusted, he agrees to help with their journey. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, and they will finally be forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.
I don't read very much in this genre (is it Women's fiction? Family drama? Coming of Age?...I'm not sure) but the thing that drew me to accepting this one was the mention of Synesthesia. It's a condition I've heard of before but don't really know anything about. It's fascinating. No two people who are affected by the condition have the same experiences and it varies from person to person but Wiki describes it as -
"A neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes.
Loosely explained, it's the ability to hear colours, or smell sounds, or even taste words. It's fascinating to me.
Anyway, the story. It's just so interesting! Told in alternating chapters from Jazz and Olivia's points of view with some chapters interspersed with letters written by the girls' mother to her father when she was alive. Is it fate or luck that leads someone to make a certain decision over another? Is life all mapped out for us or is it just being in the right place at the right time? Maybe it's a bit of both?
I really cared about the characters, I loved them, both the main two girls and their family and the interesting people they meet on their journey (and their stories which run alongside Jazz and Olivia's are equally wonderful). Brilliantly written, evenly paced and satisfying to the end.
I'm not doing this justice at all, I'm all over the place. I can't find the words. I just loved it all and everyone needs to read it!
What we need here is a GIVEAWAY so that someone else can be lucky enough to get a hardback copy of this to soak up the good stuff!
I've been offered a second copy by the publishers to use as a Giveaway and I'm so excited to be able to share this with everyone on BL. I've set up a Giveaway page and if you'd like to enter into the draw you can enter HERE or by clicking the giveaway banner above. Winner will be drawn on 16th March and announced shortly thereafter on the blog here. Please make sure on your entry that there is a way of reaching you if you're the lucky winner!
Good luck to everyone that enters!
Completing this means I am 336 pages closer to my 1 Million pages goal :D
And, I'm calling this for the letter 'F' in my AtoZ Challenge. F is for Family