It’s been a busy week, but I’m trying to make sure I balance some reading time into everything, especially since this is 1 of 3 NetGalley books I’ve recently been approved for. I want to make sure I get these read and reviewed before going back to stuff that’s been on my reader for a few years. This hasn’t been easy since I’m still in hardcore knitting mode, but when I force myself to do it, I really enjoy kicking back and reading. Hopefully I can get some quality book time in this weekend too. As for this book, it comes out on March 3rd and I thought it was a really sweet novel that brought back memories of my youth. No, I never made moonshine, but that whole period of time when I couldn’t wait to be out on my own, and yet when faced with it I suddenly realized how much I was going to miss everything I knew. It’s kind of like that. My GR review is below, and if you read this one, let me know your thoughts.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book will be released on March 3.
Lulu wants to get out of her backwoods town more than anything, but with her father losing their money in bad investments and her mother being unable to leave the house due to anxiety, she has to find a way to get herself to college on the opposite side of the country. Her money-making avenue? Moonshine. With the help of her two close friends and another young man, Mason, who has a mysterious past and a history of being in trouble, she sets out to earn the money she needs to leave. What she doesn’t count on is that her feelings for Mason are going to get entwined with her plans. What she really doesn’t expect is that she’s going to see her small town in a completely different light that may change her mind and her plans for the future.
Overall, this was a sweet coming-of-age story, even if it seemed to straddle a weird line between going too slow and then moving too quickly.
The strongest part of this novel, for me, were the characters. They were interesting and had depth, their age reflective of the angst they were going through and the choices they thought they had to make to ensure their future. Their naivete was done well and believably and didn’t make the characters too annoying to read. Mason as a recovering alcoholic may have seemed strange in a different context, but the set-up of family addiction flowed well with the setting.
The plot itself wasn’t bad, but the pacing was off for me. I felt that some parts dragged while others jumped quickly forward in the narrative. Luckily, this was a mild problem. The backwoods setting was interesting as was reading about a small town culture and the whole idea surrounding moonshining. There were other things that were presented in the story as well, themes like religion, sex, and independence, and yet the author didn’t have to highlight anything for the reader. Even if there was a problem with pacing, the subtlety of the story was presented perfectly.
The narrative is in second person, and that was a little jarring for me, but the author handled it well. The tone of the story was very prose-like and poetic. The mood of the story was somber, but I also found hope in the story. I think my main issue with the book was that even though I thought the characters were strong, I was never able to really connect with the main character and wanted to know more about the others.
Overall, this was a good read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult and coming-of-age stories.