Monday, 1 February 2016

Chasing Spring by RS Grey - Review

I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.

I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.

To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.

I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved. 

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

Where do I even start with Chasing Spring, I had grown accustomed to Grey's quirky yet heartfelt romances, and I was expecting more of the same, I was expecting light and sexy, while still packing an emotional connection that I often find in her work, and instead I found so much more. Lilah left her old life in Blackwater Texas, sure that she would finally be free of the guilt, pain and sorrow she felt there, but when he father advises her that she has to return home to finish her final year of high school, the new carefully constructed life Lilah had created for herself looked to be slipping away, not only was she back home and struggling to hold on while the inner turmoil she felt was threatening to pull her under, but her once best friend, Chase Matthews was now living in her family home, with only hallway separating them, Chase had always been the golden boy, and Lilah was determined to steer clear of his light, instead preferring her own darkness.

Everything about Chasing Spring stole my heart, breathtaking in it's entirety, Grey's words eloquent and inspired, I left my preconceived expectations at the first page, and took the journey that Lilah and Chase begged me to take with them, Chasing Spring is a poignant, often times heartbreaking coming of age story, that showcases how resilient the human spirit is, with moments of sheer brilliance where Lilah can see past her mother's sordid past, past the lies and deceit, past the guilt and fear, to the golden boy that she's always loved, to the man that's standing before her now, begging her to give him a chance, to give them a chance, to cut the ties that bind her to a future that can only be filled with heartache and misery, as it threatens to shackle her to a past that is not her own. These characters may be young, but they have both faced more than most of us will in a life time, with a wisdom that surpasses their years, Chasing Spring's raw emotion, it's ability to sucker punch you right in the feels, to break your heart, and simultaneously piece it back together for me came from Grey's ability to show that dichotomy of not only Chase and Lilah and the way they face their collective pasts, but the warring sides of Lilah's mind as she seeks to protect herself, with almost a devil may care attitude, while also holding Chase above all else, her need to ensure his heart is protected is tantamount to a sacred oath she made with herself.

"I thought you said you wanted to give me a happy ending?"

"Maybe instead I have to satisfied with a happy middle." 

Grey shows her depth here, while I have LOVED every book of hers, the fun, the quirky, the sexy, the emotional, nothing has gripped me the way Chasing Spring did, the way Chasing Spring has, because it's been days since I finished, and I find myself idly reading quotes, smiling wistfully as I remember moments, that so perfectly detailed the joy and heartbreak of first loves, of love in general, Grey has publicly spoken about the two years that she's been working on Chasing Spring, the fear that she had of ever publishing it, and I have to say, Ms Grey, your fears may have pushed your limits, but Chasing Spring will stay in my mind for a very long time to come.

"Think about it. Does the ending even matter? Shouldn't the middle be the happy part? It's the biggest chunk of our life..."

About RS Grey:

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

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