Review: Finding Home by Lauren K. McKellar

Finding Home
Lauren K. McKellar 

Moody, atmospheric, and just a little bit punk, Finding Home takes contemporary YA to a new level of grit...

When Amy’s mum dies, the last thing she expects is to be kicked off her dad’s music tour all the way to her Aunt Lou in a depressing hole of a seaside town. But it’s okay — Amy learned how to cope with the best, and soon finds a hard-drinking, party-loving crowd to help ease the pain.

The only solace is her music class, but even there she can’t seem to keep it together, sabotaging her grade and her one chance at a meaningful relationship. It takes a hard truth from her only friend before Amy realises that she has to come to terms with her past, before she destroys her future.

My Review:

Warning: Possible Spoilers…

I’m pretty torn on this one. On one hand, I read it in 5 hours, straight through and liked the main character Amy, for the most part, her best friend Lily and the mysterious Nick. But…for some reason, there were parts of this book I found really unlikeable. That being said, I did enjoy it overall and it was a quick fast read that wasn’t the usually teenage angst story but did portray many elements that make up these sort of novels as of late.

Amy’s trying to cope with losing her mother, being carted off by her rock star father to her aunt’s house in some forgettable small town named Cherrybrook. Not the way Amy envisioned her life at all. Dealing with issues of drinking, sex and betrayal, she certainly makes a fine mess of her life. I found her extremely naïve, probably because she’d been homeschooled for most of her high school career. I really didn’t like Luke and Coral from the start and became highly suspicious of Luke’s motivations with Amy almost immediately. This book takes place in a country where drinking is legal at 18 so some of these problems seem like a non-issue to the main character and some adults for most of the book.

The parental units in this story were the definition of a FAIL. They practically gave the teens in the story a pass to do what they wanted, when they wanted, with whatever means possible. It was disheartening to see one of the parents blatantly allow teens to drink, have sex and have house parties without an inkling of responsibility of an adult in sight. I especially was confused because this parent seemed concerned with Amy when she spoke with her one morning and apparently was lucid too, but her actions later on painted her out as a very irresponsible person who didn’t care what happened to herself or her daughter. In fact, almost all of the parents featured were afraid to intervene on any of these teens lives and were very lenient. I found that very hard to believe.

The characters I liked a lot were Nick and Lily, though I believe neither got enough attention and were discarded frequently by Amy when they were truly the only ones who gave a care in the world for her. This was frustrating for me and had me kind of wanting to shake some sense into Amy. Nick was a gentlemen, though labeled easily by Amy as someone she could do without and too similar to her Rock Star father, who always put his family second to his music. Lily seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, but she didn’t seem to like Amy all that much for most of the book, even though they were labeled as good friends. Amy obviously was a terrible judge in character, frequently seen throughout the story.

Overall an easy, fast read that does kind of suck you in as Amy trudges through tragedy, denial, a broken heart and finally gains her wits back (thank goodness). Though a difficult tale to swallow, it was highly entertaining.
4/5 stars
I received an ARC from the Publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.


Author Bio:
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Lauren K. McKellar is an author and editor. Her debut novel, Finding Home, will be released through Escape Publishing on October 1, 2013.

As well as being a magazine editor for a national audited publication on pet care, Lauren works as a freelance editor for independent authors. She is also a Senior Editor for digital romance house, Entranced Publishing.

Lauren is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia and is obsessed with words--she really likes the way they work.

She lives on the Central Coast of New South Wales with her fiance and their two fur-children.
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