Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Review: Victoria L James "A Girl like Lilac."
Amazon UK:


The first time Toby Hunter got arrested for defending Lilac Clarke’s honour, he was only fifteen years old, but he’d loved her from behind his black-rimmed glasses for as long as he could remember.

With a desperate need to protect her from a distance, one arrest turned to two, two soon turning into three, and before Toby knew what was happening, the sleepy village of Southwold was turning against him for daring to stand up for a girl like Lilac.

Beautiful Lilac with her flowers in her hair, her camera in her hands, and her sweet, pink, sugary-lipped kisses.

They could hate him for loving her all they wanted. Toby was a boy who did what was right, not what was easy, and he was always going to grow to be the man willing to give her what she deserved.

Even if that meant losing Lilac forever.

Review: Surj 

Victoria L James' "A Girl like Lilac" fits perfectly into one of my all time favourite fictional categories. I just love "coming of age" stories that have that nostalgic feel to them. You know the kind of books that have the ability to transport you back to your own younger years and make you feel all kinds of warmth and fuzziness. Yup, "a Girl like Lilac" did that for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey it took me on with Lilac and Toby. 

We were beautiful and tragic all at once, and I couldn't get enough. 

This book (thank god) did hold its own in terms of the story line which was original and didn't at all feel like something I'd read before. It wasn't your conventional "kids as neighbours to best friends to lovers" kind of story and yet despite not having that initial childhood friendship you often see blossom in these kinds of books, I 100% felt this undeniable connection between Lilac and Toby, the care free girl who loved life and the quiet boy who had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Watching this bond flourish over the years warmed my heart. This bond kept the pair tethered through all the trials and tribulations, through the hurdles and mishaps they experienced as they navigated their way through the joys and complexities of life and growing up in a small town. I laughed and cried with these two characters and I rooted for a HEA for them. 

"I'm seventeen, and I'm broken, held together by your strips of hope and your 
unteachable magic. But I'm still seventeen and broken."

A couple of things that didn't quite work for me (and I do think this may be a case of "it's me not you") was firstly the setting. For some reason the story felt like it was set more in America than in England (and yes I know the author did say it was set in Suffolk). Whether that was because all of the "coming of age" books I've read to date have been set across the pond I don't know but this felt more american to me that English. Secondly, the book was told in chronological order and there was a part of me that had wished it had been told in alternate past and present chapters. Again that's just me and personal preferences and what I feel would have worked better for me enjoying the book (which I did enjoy BTW LOL).

“I’m not worth that kind of trouble.”
“You’re worth a war Lilac”

So all in all a wonderful standalone, coming of age new adult first read for me by this author and I'll definitely be having a look to see what else she's written for sure. 

"A Girl like Lilac" gets 4 ❤️'s from me.

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