Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This book was definitely unique. I didn’t love it as much as I wanted though. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Title: Signs of You
Author: Emily France
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication date: July 19, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.
When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.
When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.
When I saw that this book was being offered for the Sunday Street Team, I was so excited. Overall, it was a good book and the writing was so beautiful in places, but I just didn’t connect with the characters and story like I was expecting. I received a copy from Edelweiss to review, and ended up giving this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
One thing I can definitely praise this book for is being unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. But with that being said, it was a little weird for my tastes. I liked the beginning of the book, got a little lost/uncertain about the middle, and really liked the ending.
The book is only 240 pages, which isn’t long, but I felt like it could have been shorter. At times I felt not a lot was happening, and I think that contributed to my not liking the book as much as I wanted. I did like Riley a lot overall, and Noah was a doll. Kate was pretty entertaining, but I really didn’t like Jay’s character very much. One of my favorite parts of this book was their friendship (I could have done without Jay personally).
There’s a major lack of parents in this book (besides the dead ones which are mentioned quite a bit). I think the only parent that’s shown is Riley’s dad, and even he’s not that prominent. The rest were MIA. I guess maybe that’s the nature of parents going through grief?
Noah was probably one of my favorite characters of this book. He’s pretty quiet, maybe a little bit of an outsider (even in their group), and very observant. By the end of the book, I loved him to pieces. He’s a new addition to my book boyfriend list. One thing to note is that there’s not a lot of romance in this book. Sure Riley’s got a major crush on someone, but the focus of the book isn’t romance.
I made notes of beautiful lines while I was updating my progress in this book. There were quite a few: “…I know we’ve learned something about loss: when you find friends who know it, who’ve been through it, who really, really get the ache that moves in and lives in your bones, it gets a little easier.” and “My deepest, darkest fear is that maybe we don’t ever get over some things. Maybe we just carry them around, permanently, these heavy, dull aches in the heart. And maybe they don’t heal; maybe we just learn to work around the pain.” and “…maybe it’s no more complicated or romantic than that the damaged are drawn to the damaged. Connected by hurt.”
Final note: A good book, but I didn’t love it like I’d hoped I would. For anyone that likes contemporary books that are a little darker, and kind out there subject wise, check this one out. It’s got some beautiful writing people!
Emily France graduated from Brown University before going on to law school, where she was the editor-in-chief of the law review. She finds creative inspiration in all things spiritual, from sitting with Benedictine monks for 4 a.m. vigils in a Rocky Mountain monastery to trekking to Buddhist and Hindu temples in India. Now she writes full-time and lives with her husband and their fearless Tibetan Spaniel in sunny Colorado—the closest place to Nirvana she’s found. Signs of You is her debut novel. Visit Emily online at www.emilyfrancebooks.com and follow her on Twitter @EmilyFranceBook.