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Sunday, 7 August 2016

#SummerImpulse Review: Put it Out There by D. R. Graham

Welcome to day 7 of the #SummerImpulse Readathon. Thanks to the magic that is weekends, I've finished my third book and have already hopped onto book four- thought I doubt somehow that I'll manage to finish that off today!

So - book three... Put it Out There by D. R. Graham is the first of the brand new Britannia Beach series, and something a bit different to my normal reading habits. With a cast of teenage characters, I'm guessing that this series could be classed as both Young Adult and, with the older characters preparing for jobs and college, New Adult. I wasn't sure whether this would be my kind of book at all, but I absolutely loved it.

Our main character, Derian, has just come out of an extremely tough year having lost her father in an accident and being pulled away from her hometown of Britannia Beach to live with her mother in Vancouver. She's now back and living with her granddad at the Inn where she grew up. Derian has enough on her plate with her granddad potentially having to sell the Inn and her fears of losing her precious childhood memories, dealing with her grief and fitting back into her old life, without the appearance on the scene from not just one, but three hot guys vying for her affections. Question is, which one will you be cheering on? Personally, I was team Trevor all the way. And then there's the fact that Derian has to contend with intuitive visions of accidents that will happen in the future...

I loved spending time in the Britannia Beach surroundings- so different to our own gentle British countryside. The characters and their struggles were very real- and this made the paranormal side to the story completely believable- I just accepted it as a part of who Derian is. D. R. Graham's writing is fresh and fluent, she nailed the high-school setting and the story really rattles along. I found myself unable to put the bloomin' kindle down and I flew through the second half of the book in one sitting.

I have to mention how refreshing it was to have a book that was inclusive- there are unusual family units and characters of different ethnicities and abilities - one of the key secondary characters, Kaylin, has Down Syndrome. I work for a charity for learning disabled youngsters, and it's always great to see them represented in popular culture - and Graham has done this naturally and realistically without an ounce of sentimentality. Kaylin is a feisty, fully rounded character and I'm looking forward to reading more of her story in the next instalment.

Normally, I'm not a fan of a cliff-hanger ending. If I'm reading a story, even if it's part of a series, I want most of it tied up in a neat little package. But for some reason, it didn't bother me in the slightest in this instance that this was left wide-open. I think that's because I knew from very early on in the book that I'd be reading the whole series, no matter what.

A brilliant read that is fast-paced, fresh and something a bit different.

The Blurb:
Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.
Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for— bolder, more experienced – but is that who she wants to be?
With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

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