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.
♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! This Adventure Ends read like real life feels. With a dynamic cast of characters that easily work their way into your heart and witty dialogue that keeps them tethered there long-term, this book made itself a YA contemporary not to be missed.
♥ Review: I picked this book up early one morning, eager to get to it since I enjoyed the author’s previous book and because a few of my trusted blogger friends had already given it high praise, and I was happy to learn that I would fall in the same “delightfully pleased” camp with them. While this book touches on several heavier subjects, Mills managed to relay them in a way that gave the moment the impact it deserved, but still allowed the overall tone to maintain a lighter feel. So much of this novel focuses on a group of characters and the trials that they’re currently facing. As for our narrator, Sloane, I loved her. She was a girl that I easily connected with, and I appreciated her sarcasm and her loyalty, as well as her dedication to see this project through when lesser people would have given up sooner. The band of people around her were equally diverse (in personality and sexual orientation) and really rounded out the depth of the book, each of them leaping off of the page and in to my heart with little effort. I would break them down further, but I don’t find it wholly necessary because they were all wonderful in their own ways. . .ways in which I think are best discovered through a firsthand reading experience.
But, for me, the heart of the story isn’t founded in the MC or the merry band of characters around her, but in how their relationships are formed as a group, as duos, and as a family unit. Often times, I think secondary characters are introduced into books as page fillers and something to break up the monotony of the MC’s narrative or to flesh out the plot arc, but ultimately, they are somewhat forgettable. That absolutely wasn’t the case in this novel. I found that each character played a vital role in pushing the story along, and generally progressed Sloane’s character development–making her realize stuff about herself and how she viewed the world. Additionally, the rapport among this cast and their easy, oftentimes snarky, banter had me eating up all the words in this book. I also really appreciated the presence of Sloane’s family, particularly her relationship with her father. They balanced each other, sought each other for guidance and direction, and it was just so damn good. I loved the scenes were it was specifically them alone, building their bond even further, especially when it was expounded by the introduction of fandom. I won’t go into a long spill about fandom and the integral role it played in my life and how it eventually lead me to this wonderful book community (though, I’m positive you can find evidence of it in one of my other numerous reviews), but I would like to note that Mills did a wonderful job of incorporating it into this book. It gave me all those same feels I used to get when I belonged to a few, and it made me fall in love with the author a little more simply because of that.
I would say that my 5-star review reservation came in part because of a few minor issues, but I’ll simply address the two main ones. There’s a lot going on in the background of this story with a few side-plots and while I felt like they were partially necessary to make those beloved secondary characters feel more real, it also just seemed like… a lot. I’m figuring this won’t make the slightest bit of sense because you’re thinking But you loved those characters and their story thread? Yes, yes I did. But you feel like it kind of killed the story a bit or maybe slowed the pacing down some? Yes, yes I do. In my head, it makes total sense, but I’m finding it difficult to translate that in this review, thus is my dilemma. But it affected my rating, so I couldn’t not mention it. Secondly, I realize that this book wasn’t supposed to be directed toward a romance, but I feel like part of Sloane’s coming-of-age moment was her rationality of her ideals about love in the beginning to her slow transition of accepting that it’s a part of human nature to later coming to terms that she was actually in love. So, for that romance to get so little page-time in the end when she’d come so far, well, damn it, it made me sad. I know it’s not something to get all gripe-y about, but I can’t help how I feel and I wanted more from this one thing.
♥ Teaser Quotes: Father-daughter convos in this book were my absolute favorite and probably the biggest source of my very loud cackles. I don’t think I could narrow it down to just one, so sue me. (But don’t really sue me, just ask me to take down the quotes if you find their presence problematic. *nervous laughter*)
“Ah, I like this boy. He gave you a really divisive dessert right off the bat.”
“I love coconut.”
“As do I, but some people operate under the impression that it tastes like sunscreen. I like this boy already. Is he cute?”
“No, really. Not that it matters. Even a little bit. But do we think he’s cute?”
I think about it objectively. “Society would think he’s cute.”
“And what does Sloane think?”
“Sloane thinks her dad is a creeper.”
“I creep because I care,” he says, and then reaches for the cake.
–quote taken from the eARC of This Adventure Ends at 12%
“What’s Jickey up to tonight?” I say, sinking down into the rocker next to his.
“Jickey is resting,” he says. “They just had a bunch of sex.”
“Ew. Ew times a thousand.”
He shrugs. “Jickey’s gonna do what Jickey’s gonna do. And that’s each other. All the different ways.”
“Healthy discourse on sex! This is a sex-positive family!”
–quote taken from the eARC of This Adventure Ends at 60%
|Book Rating Breakdown|
|General Book Feels|
♥ Rec It? Yes, I would! For some reason (the main one probably being that it’s just a really good book), I couldn’t put this one down once I picked it up. I read it all in a couple of hours and it left a smile on my face after I finished. Even typing this review, thoughts of the book are still stirring up several emotions in me, and I always feel like that’s a mark of an excellent read.
♥ A very special thanks to Henry Holt & Co. (BYR) and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.
*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.
I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥
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