Thursday, March 06, 2014

Book Review of Leaving Green Island by Em Barrett


** "If you enjoy Emily Giffin or Jennifer Weiner, then add Em Barret to your list!" ~The Indie Bookshelf ** 

** Honorable Mention ~ Beach Book Festival 2013 ** 

More than simply a modern love story, Leaving Green Island is a poignant yet lighthearted tale of friendship, family and the search for a place to belong in the complex world of today's twenty-something women.

With a new job at a prestigious Chicago law firm and an engagement ring on her finger, everything seems to be falling into place for Brecken Pereira these days. However, all this perfection quickly unravels when Reed Whalen, Brecken’s first love, unexpectedly resurfaces. The complicated history of the enigmatic Reed unfolds as the two summers that Brecken spent as a teenager on posh, exclusive Green Island in northern Michigan are interspersed with her relatable and humorous modern day trials and tribulations.

After Reed's reappearance, Brecken is torn between her longing for the past and the life she has carefully built for herself since Reed vanished years before. Her true-to-life and complex relationships with her two best friends provide the backbone that supports Brecken, both as the life she knows quickly dissolves around her and as she struggles to pick up the pieces.

This unputdownable novel is certain to pull on the heartstrings of anyone who ever had a first love.

{This book contains underage drinking and a bit of explicit language and sexual content.}


Leaving Green IslandLeaving Green Island by Em Barrett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a wonderful contemporary romance that I really enjoyed.

Brecken Pereira is a wonderful character. She is an Associate in a law firm, and engaged to a doctor. I liked her very much, but wanted to shake her every so often, because she made some questionable decisions. She has some wonderful friends and roommates that keep her grounded, but the sudden return of an ex has her completely confused.

Reed Whalen is a jerk! Sorry, but that's my opinion. He may be gorgeous, rich and charming, and have an excuse for his terrible behaviour, but still, if I was Brecken, I don't think I would have been as forgiving. However, he does have a few redeeming qualities.

This is a book that I would not normally have picked up if I had seen it on the bookshelf in a store; not that I've got anything against the cover, or even the blurb for that matter. However, when the author offered me the chance to read this book, I thought it would be a nice change from my usual choice of paranormal romances. I'm glad I took the chance, because this story was a delight to read. The story is told from Brecken's point of view and has several flash backs to her teen's, when she spent two magical summers on Green Island, with her best friend Lizzy.
This is not only a romance, but a story of friendship. I loved seeing Brecken and Lizzy's friendship blossom and grow. They are both lucky to still be friends into adulthood. Not many friendships survive beyond school, but these two are more like sisters than friends. I also liked the dynamics between Brecken and her other friends too, especially her other roommate, Nevada, who comes across as a bit ditzy at times, but she is actually very shrewd and insightful.
However, it is the relationship between Brecken and Reed that intrigued me. I was a little disappointed not to get to know Reed a little more. He was certainly enigmatic as a teenager, which added to his charm, but I wanted to get to know the older version better. Sadly, this was not to be. However, the author did a fantastic job in bringing their story, and all the characters to life. The only problem is that I cannot relate to this book as others may do. I was not exactly the most popular child, nor the most social party animal (and I'm still not), so I never really had a "first love" experience as such. Sad, but true. Nevertheless, I felt for Brecken when her heart was broken. The end of the story left me feeling very happy.

Em Barrett has written a heart-warming coming of age tale full of romance, love and friendship that touched me deeply. I loved her writing style which, although not as fast paced as some books I have read in the past, flowed wonderfully from scene to scene. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I don't think it will be the last.

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the mention of underage drinking and smoking, as well as some bad language and scenes of a sexual nature (not explicit). I do, however, recommend this book if you love Chick Lit or contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


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