Monday, May 22, 2017

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

ARC, 384 pages
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Read from: May 17-May 21, 2017
Stand-alone
Source: TLA 2017
For fans of: Grief Management, Diversity, Tear-Jerkers, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Coming of Age, Character Growth, Sprakly Covers, YA

     When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?
     Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.
     Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.
     It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I loved this more than words can say. I know I say that a lot about all the books I've enjoyed over the years, but this one takes the cake. I really felt like this one was meant for me. You see, in 2013 my aunt lost the battle with breast cancer and I had similar feelings as Lucy did throughout this entire book.
"Being a Christian kid and slightly neurotic besides, I used to worry I wasn't praying enough."
pg. 21
     Lucy loves her life and everything in it, from her perfect parents, to her perfect boyfriend, to her swim team, to her faith. But all things come to a halt as her mother's cancer reappears. Because of this she relents to her mother's wishes and decides that she will go to summer camp.... A HIPPIE summer camp that seems to be the exact opposite of her family's church camp. But when she gets there, it's not exactly what she's expecting.  
"...Psalm 46: God is our refugee and strength, a very present help in trouble."
pg. 23
     Ok, so when I said I went through some of the same things Lucy did, I really meant it. Even some of the same things that her mother told her were some of the same things that my aunt told me. I really wish I had had this book to read back then as a way to cope. This isn't really a cancer book although it does happen in the book, but more of a coming to terms, grief management, kind of book. It really helped me come to terms and work through some things with the passing of my aunt. 
"Everything will be fine. Except I have seen behind the curtain now, and the wizard is only a man."
pg. 38
     The characters and setting in this book are my absolute favorite. Lord has such a way of writing realistic fiction that makes it seem as if you're actually friends with all of them as well. It was great to see Lucy grow and change so much in just a summer. I was happy she got to see the potential of all the things she can really do. I also really liked seeing her and her group of friends. I loved seeing how their friendship developed and how they spent time together. Like Lucy, it helped to take my mind off the things that were troubling her and gave me something else to focus on instead which I was thankful for. Lastly, the setting was just what I needed to start off the summer. I felt as if I was actually attending camp with them, having the same experiences. Emery Lord has a way of putting you in the book and showing you the place she wants you to envision, much like a movie.
"There comes a time when you just have to put on some mascara and pull yourself together."
pg. 65
     The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the religious aspect. But I realized just how important it was to Lucy while reading. And it was so realistic. Being the granddaughter of a Pastor, both me and my mom felt much like Lucy at one time. The ending was what made me say "Forget what you don't like about the religious aspect, this book is amazing." It wrapped up everything together and showed just how much she grew thorough-out the entire novel. This is one of the best examples of character development I've read in a long time. 
"...most things that matter can be difficult sometimes."
pg. 298
     Although it hit a little close to home, it was welcomed. I haven't felt like a book spoke to me this much in a long time. Although When We Collided is still my favorite Emery Lord novel, this one is only a sliver behind it. 
Overall, I give this


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