on June 26, 2013
I can't recommend it to many friends due to the level of detailed description of physical intimacy. While the mention of the intimacy is important to the plot of the story, the amount of detail used to describe things was not, in my opinion, necessary to the story itself.
Had it not been for that, I would rate this with 5 stars. I started reading it last evening and finished it about 3a.m.--definitely a page turner. I hope that this author continues to write, but that they are books I can also feel free to pass along to ALL of my friends and not just one or 2.
on October 19, 2012
I absolutely fell in love with Laurel Lake and want to move there! I'm a sucker for coming-of-age tales that trace the lives of close friends from their teen years into adulthood, and Lee Adams doesn't disappoint. The plot largely pivots on one misguided act of betrayal and the resulting fallout, which puts an end to a seemingly idyllic summer. Happily, that lost innocence and love is rediscovered, and Adams ties things up with a satisfying ending. The memorable cast of characters features people you'd want to be friends with in real life-- authentic, likeable, and sympathetic. You connect with them on such an emotional level and care deeply about their fates. They were all difficult to forget after I closed the book. There's also quite a twist at the end. Bravo to Lee Adams for an engrossing, well-told story! I'm eager to see what she writes next.
on October 13, 2012
I was so pleasantly surprised to find another book written by Lee Adams. I had happened upon her book "Donor Girl" when a friend was undergoing an organ transplant and loved Ms. Adams writing style. This new one "Strawberry Wine" did not disappoint. On the contrary, it immediately drew me into the storyline. It was a page turner for me as I reminisced along with the characters of their days in adolescence. Lee weaves humor, suspense and love artfully throughout as she develops characters who become so real to us all as we journey alongside them. I have purchased copies for birthday gifts for my girlfriends this Fall, It is my hope that Ms. Adams is a prolific writer as she has left me eagerly anticipating her next novel.
on August 30, 2013
This book is AWESOME. I loved it. I found myself connecting to the characters on a deep level and I know I will be thinking about them for a long time.
It had every element I could want, along with a few plot twists I didn't see coming at all.
The main character, Tanya, just can't escape her past no matter how hard she tries. Even though 10 years have passed, it still comes back to haunt her.
The question is, can she forgive her old friends and begin a new great life?
The beginning hooks you and doesn't let go.
It is a great read and I highly recommend!
on June 26, 2014
Strawberry Wine is a NA/Adult novel with a splash of YA intermixed as the story focuses on both present day and the not-so-distant past. Revolving around Tanya, a 27ish, put together, self-made music promoter, readers are instantly drawn into her life as the novel opens with the death of her estranged friend Marie, a girl Tanya only knew for one summer during her high school years, a summer that for her is impossible to forget; a summer that changed everything. Almost instantly, the novel jumps from present to past, allowing readers to live through the events of that summer as Tanya begins to fall for Michael, explore the deeper recesses of love, and become friends with Marie, the quiet girl with abusive step-relatives. What starts off cute and carefree, turns jarring and sinister as the summer progresses, and everything abruptly comes to a halt when a few drunken decisions change everything for Tanya and Marie.
Here, the novel once again jumps back to the present, and it is also here that Adams sends readers a curveball, one I never saw coming, but in retrospect, should have. With the death of Marie, Tanya’s entire world is upended, altering the course of her world, should she so accept it, and in doing so, allowing her to go back to those carefree summer days and claim what she lost. It’s a beautiful tale, and I thoroughly enjoyed that present to past to present narration—it’s not back and forth, but steady, almost like a circular novel, but continuing on once it comes full circle to give readers deeper insight into current events.
From carefree to brokenhearted, from on top of the world to uncertain, from safe to vulnerable, this novel spans the gamut of emotions, and they’re a very tangible aspect of the novel. Although the story itself sometimes flows a bit clipped in terms of transitions, it’s well done just the same, and as surprise and fear edge their way into the story, so does the reliance on God—though not preachy. I wouldn’t say this is a religious novel by any means, but when faced with a bad situation, as Tanya finds herself in after the death of Marie, one does tend to rely more on God. For me, this was all a bit sudden, but understandable as the plot thickens, lives are threatened, and a sinister danger lurks on the horizon.
It is said that we write what we know, and Adams definitely does this in that Tanya is a music promoter, as is Lee, and a deadly kidney complication comes in to play—something Adams has also dealt with as a donor. Although fiction, Adams’ own personal experiences come through in the novel, adding validity and giving the novel extreme realism, which is an aspect I highly enjoy in my stories. Overall, this is a very well-done novel—and if you’re looking for an alluring summer read, I highly suggest adding Strawberry Wine to your reading pile.
on May 31, 2014
I received a copy of Strawberry Wine through a giveaway at Goodreads, and the generosity of the author Lee Adams.
I found this book entertaining and very informative about kidney disease and transplant awareness. I loved that this was based at the lake...and I could relive memories of my own through the characters (Tanya POV, Michael, Tanny, Marie) I never had summer experiences that lead to this extent of human issues. I really enjoyed moments
When POV (Tanya) befriended Marie, by continuing to invite her along with the original lake group...when she would be jealous in ways because of her sensing a 'spark' between Michael and Marie. This enriched and made characters become real for me. I loved Tanny's letter to her mother.
I found Michael to be written as a female would see a male... but not actually how men act. I have never seen a male ever in real life that would apologize for sexual encounters of any kind no matter who it hurt. I felt the letter he wrote to POV not manly at all...again how it would be if written by a female. I did see strong and believable character portrayal when 'He' felt betrayed when POV didn't tell him of possibility of Tanny being his child.
The characters Paul was not really developed enough for me. Other than being the 'friend' who was gay and now lived in California with his boyfriend.
I really enjoyed this book and would HIGHLY recommend it to readers from early teens to mature readers. A great summer read! Thanks again to Lee Adams for her time and consideration in sharing this story with me.
on February 7, 2016
By Allie Smith
When I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. The fun title, Strawberry Wine, and the beautiful summer-themed cover suggest a light beach read. This couldn’t be further from the truth, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a testament to Lee Adams’ voice that a story about adoption, organ donation, child abuse, with elements of violence, reads like a beach book about a summer romance.
Tanya Smith receives a call from a lawyer who informs her that her long lost friend Marie has died and left her something in the will. Shocked, Tanya thinks about the summer she met Marie at Laurel Lake, a decade before. The first half of the book revisits that summer and we learn how the girls became friends. We also meet Tanya’s family and the summer group of boys she always hangs out with. One of these boys, Michael, is Tanya’s first love. The gang is quick to embrace Marie, who’s had a rough life. At the end of the summer, after a tragic event, the gang go their separate ways and Tanya is left with a broken heart.
In the present day, Tanya learns what Marie left her…and it is quite a gift, let me tell you. Tanya may be a better person than me, because I’m not sure I would react in the same gracious manner that Tanya does to her inheritance. This news brings Tanya back to Laurel Lake for the summer, where she meets up with Michael again. Predictably, there are many unresolved issues. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are lots of things going on at that lake!
I admire many things about this book. There are messages of forgiveness and faith that will resonate with the reader. There’s a spiritual undertone to the book that’s very appropriate, given the subject matter, yet it never feels preachy. The first half of the book is very realistic and made me nostalgic. I felt like I was seventeen again. Ten years later, the characters were accurately portrayed as mature versions of their teenage selves. Their character development was subtle, but authentic. Sadly, I think the events of that past summer had a sobering and lasting effect on the kids of Laurel Lake.
The book is a quick read. It’s only 200 pages and a lot happens in those pages. I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough, which I think affected how I felt about Michael and Tanya as a couple. The young Michael and Tanya had lots of chemistry, but I had trouble getting behind their romance as twenty-somethings. There was so much going on with things I don’t want to spoil that they, as a couple, got lost for me. I think more time spent on their re-connection would have helped me to be more vested in their reunion.
That being said, this is a wonderful book, from a talented author who handled delicate topics with grace. Who doesn’t feel good when hope, faith, love and forgiveness deliver a happy ending?
Thanks to Lee Adams for the book in exchange for an honest review.