Title: A Story of Now (A Story of Now #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Emily O’Beirne (Yiva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 11, 2015 – 388 pgs
Nineteen-year-old Claire Pearson knows she needs a life. And some new friends.
But brittle, beautiful, and just a little bit too sassy for her own good sometimes, she no longer makes friends easily. And she has no clue where to start on the whole finding a life front, either. Not after a confidence-shattering year dogged by bad break-ups, friends who have become strangers, and her constant failure to meet her parents sky-high expectations.
When Robbie and Mia walk into Claire’s work they seem the least likely people to help her find a life. But despite Claire’s initial attempts to alienate them, an unexpected new friendship develops.
And it’s the warm, brilliant Mia who seems to get Claire like no one has before. Soon, Claire begins to question her feelings for her new friend.
The sequel, The Sum of These Things, will be released in late 2015. Paperback available July 15.
Length: approx. 140,000
Themes: Australia, lesbian, Melbourne, young adult, new adult
This is a very unhurried novel that appears to deliberately keep the emotions of the main two characters on a slow yet progressive awakening. Both young women have very different dispositions to one another. This carries over to their individual families and friends, in fact every aspect of each of their lives.
The novel is really well written and one I feel that many can and will identify with. Moving into the adult world, changing friendship groups, adapting family relationships and most of all evolving and realising just who we are and taking the first step on where we are heading.
Both women realise their worlds are changing around them, their emotions for each other are deepening and the insecurities and fears that come with this are all consuming and strange yet powerful new life has to be faced. Each woman learns to handle these new feelings and emotions in their own individual way.
As they each recognize and admit their growing and intense feelings for each other, each handling it in their own individual and respective manner, they both accept the possibilities that their future together may hold.
A really interesting and well put together book, one which I feel many can relate too and understand. I am sure a sequel will really enhance this magnetic relationship, which the author has successfully established.
3-1/2 to 4 stars (and yes, I’ll explain my wishy-washy rating)
This was a difficult book for me to rate, because how I feel about the first half of the book is vastly different from how I feel about the second half of the book. But let me take things in order. First and foremost, I hate the POV in this book. I love the third person POV – it’s my favorite! But I found myself extremely annoyed by the fact that it was written in the present tense. Now, at about 20% of the way into the book, I finally clued in to the literary device that connects the title with the style. And that was good for me. I’m sure most people would’ve clued in within the first five to ten pages, but high school was over twenty years ago for me so I feel pretty good that I can still be considered a semi-literate ape. It also connects to that transitional phase between high school and college, between teenager and adult, and the transitory nature of the turbulent feelings that period of time can engender. That all said, I still hated it. Every time I picked up the book, I felt like there was a tiny Rod Sterling in my head, narrating things for me. Probably not a problem for those younger than igneous rock.
So, on to the first half of the book. I had a great deal of trouble getting through this part. O’Beirne does an absolutely excellent job at capturing the sort of directionless apathy that a great many people go through during this time of their lives. Heck, I’m in my forties and I still feel like I don’t know what I want to do with my life. And Claire brought all of that into crystal clear focus for me. I remember exactly that sort of paralysis of motivation when I was her age. My problem was, that even with the superb writing, nothing really happens in the first half of the book. It was long, interminable, actually, and I found myself putting the book down and reading others in between. Her characters did capture my interest, and I did find myself thinking about the book again and again, but if I wasn’t actually reading the book for review, I might not have picked it back up. So my most generous rating for the first half of the book is 3 stars.
Then I got to the last half of the book.
The last half of the book more than made up for the first half. Here, the fact that O’Beirne somehow wrote all of those emotions that perfectly describe the terror and wonder and absolute joy of the first time someone has sex with someone who matters make the whole book. And the fact that she perfectly captures the insecurity of wanting it to mean more but not being sure how the other person felt about it and being too scared to ask, shows me that not only does she get it, but that those feelings must be universal. I loved that Claire, so unsure about where she wanted to go in life, was the one who was absolutely certain that she did not want to lose this relationship. And that she was able to completely understand how Mia kept talking herself in to not believing it could happen, because she kept trying to do the same thing. This part of the book would make me recommend this book to anybody. So the rating for this half would be somewhere between 4 and 5 stars, depending on which part I’m rhapsodizing about at the moment you asked me.
This book totally sucked me in, and made me care about the characters inside. So yes, at the end of the book, I find myself glad that I read the whole thing. But it took too long to get there. And I am uncertain whether I’d pick up the sequel, even though I find myself curious about what happens next.
This book had my attention fairly quickly and I caught myself silently (and sometimes not so silently) commenting on every character that crossed paths with Claire through her journey. The story and plot was unhurried while managing to maintain my interest, something I enjoyed immensely. Mia captured my heart immediately and I spent the book just wanting to hug them both, or occasionally feeling like slapping them both upside the head so they would get a clue. The slow progression of give and take between the two girls should have been frustrating but I almost didn’t notice because they were so adorable and humorous together it made it all worth the wait.
Claire’s frequent internal dialog made me smile, often allowing me a moment of laughter in scenes which would otherwise have been frustrating. The writing was strong with solid movement in the story and clean formatting which made it easy to read. I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a sweet romance with substance.
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