Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Henry Holt Books (Imprint of Pan Macmillian Australia)
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Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
I was provided a copy of this book by Pan Macmillian Australia in exchange for an honest review. This is no way affects my thoughts though!
The Adventure Ends is a refreshing addition to the YA Contemporary genre in the sense that it focuses more on friendships, familial bonds and sense of self then it does on romance. Emma Mills utilises witty dialogue and multidimensional characters to carry her book and it is done so well – the bonds that you form with the main characters stick with you well beyond the last page.
The book revolves around our main character Sloane, as she moves from New York to Florida and is thrust into a circle of friends who already have deeply complicated relationships themselves. We have Vera, a social media superstar and basically a ray of sunshine; Gabe, Vera’s very serious twin brother; and Aubrey, Remy and Frank to complete the circle. I really enjoy books with a lot of main characters and whilst the The Adventure Ends is only narrated from Sloane’s perspective, we really do get an in-depth look into the lives of the other characters as well.
Overall, I think that the best part about this book (besides the characters) was how authentic it all felt. Occasionally, some teenage voices in YA contemporaries can very obviously sound like they were written by an adult but The Adventure Ends does not suffer from the same problem. Really specifically, I was impressed that Mills actually had the characters text each other like normal human beings and not the “c u l8tr l0l” text speech that is usually featured in teen contemporaries (and that rarely appears in real life). It may be a really small thing to pick up on (even though it does annoy me endlessly) but it was just one of the elements that contributed to the genuineness of the story.
Another highlight of the book was the focus on familial relationships and the character dynamics between both Sloane’s family and Vera and Gabe’s were done really well. In particular, I absolutely adored Sloane’s dad, who was downright hilarious to read about (especially when he discovered fandoms and fanfiction – I relate so much to the dark hole he ends up falling into).
Lastly, and although not a huge focus, I did enjoy the romance elements in this book and felt like they were all really well done. I particularly enjoyed that Mills chose to include an already formed relationship in Vera and Natasha because I feel like YA often chooses to ignore such stable, solid couples in favour of something more “angsty”. Not that we didn’t get our fair share of angst in the relationships of the other characters but hey, I’m weak and I kind of loved it.
I definitely recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a light contemporary with endearing characters and authentic storytelling.
Until next time,