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Right Next to Me Kindle Edition
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This is a great coming-of-age story that really shows the nitty gritty good and bad times of transitioning from a high school student to an adult and college student. The flashbacks also show a pivotal growth time in Sydney's life and how she starts to become who she's truly meant to be.
I couldn't stop reading because I really wanted to see how the characters would handle the situations they each found themselves in and I loved the tight friendships these five characters had with one another. I enjoyed the flashbacks and thought they really added to the story, as they each had a shovelful of information to fill in some of the backstory. There are some hard situations to tackle and there's no skimping on the emotion. Oh, and there are some really cringy moments that left me wanting to hide my face in embarrassment.
I found myself really getting into the flow of the story at times and then suddenly felt that some details were skimmed over or skipped all together, leaving me wanting more. Chunks of time were missing, but I guess that's because I couldn't have every minute detail of Sydney's life or the book would be 1000 pages.
Overall, this is a fun and wholesomely entertaining story and one that I'm glad I read.
Content: mild romance
*I received a copy from the publisher, which did not affect my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.*
At graduation, the five sense the changes that are coming in their lives even though they have the summer ahead of them to still enjoy each other’s company. Several of them work, Gavin is off to Yale, James will go to the local college and live at home due to finances, Sydney’s application to her first choice of colleges, Cal Art, is rejected, so she must settle for her second choice. All of them are facing the challenges of moving in different directions. Sydney and Gavin face the decision of whether or not to try to continue a long-distance relationship with him attending college back east and her being in Idaho with the hope of eventually transferring to California. Some relationships in the group solidify, some drift apart, not everything is as it appears on the surface. Then there are the complications of Sydney and her siblings dealing with their relationships with their father.
This story is a well-written, character and situation-driven story. I empathized with the difficulties and choices they faced as they solved their individual challenges. It held my interest, it captured my empathy, and I recommend it to readers from high school age and up.
I was given an advance reader’s copy of this book and chose to review it.
This new novel is told from the perspective of Sydney, a new high school graduate. She has a perfect boyfriend, named Gavin, a buddy who shares her love of hiking, James, her popular and fun best friend, Piper, and Piper's boyfriend, Sean. They are the best of friends, but life isn't as easy and uncomplicated anymore after graduating high school.
Sydney's family is also continuing to encounter many struggles - a father who left several years ago, and a mother who is struggling to make ends meet. Sydney has to figure out how to have a bright future while also helping her mother with her siblings and their home.
The book is full of decision-making, decisions which are heart-wrenching at times, and definitely confusing. Sydney is a character many of us can relate to. She is funny and quirky, with a devout love of The Princess Bride, talented in graphic design and baking, passionate about hiking and landscapes, and very unsure and worried about making the right choices.
I loved the way the story was told. It wasn't in chronological order. It jumped around to different months and years, offering more insight and memories to help us get inside the heads and hearts of the characters. It wasn't hard to follow at all, and was fun. I didn't love the italics in the memory chapters, but I imagine they were put there in case the reader didn't realize the chapter was in the past.
I could tell from the very beginning how the story would end. It was quite obvious which boy Sydney would end up with, but that didn't keep the story from being engaging and heartfelt.
The book is a very easy read, good for teenagers and above. It isn't as deep as Dear Jane, but that is okay considering the audience. I enjoyed the novel and loved the characters. I felt for them and related to them. I wanted them to be happy and for things to work out right. Check it out!