I have two teenage daughters so there’s always a fresh supply of YA romance books lying on their carpet of clothes, shoes, makeup brushes, makeup wipes and Primark bags. Teenagers struggle to keep anything above floor level so you find most things by simply lifting up your slipper. While they party the night away, I sit in their bedrooms (wracked with mother anxiety) and devour their fiction books.
YA fiction with its banter filled dialogue, emotional journeys of teenage self discovery and pages of heart wrenching romance is becoming one of my book reading pleasures.
This particular book, with its attractive pastel coloured cover and engaging blurb called out to me from the floor of my daughter’s bedroom.
The stand out for me with this book is how believable the romance was. I was rewarded with little bursts of teenage nostalgia and for a few days I was whisked back to those intense days where I was desperate to catch a glimpse of the love of my life and I clung onto smiles, stares and snippets of conversation.
This book was about a romance developing away from the glare of social media and this made it feel real and true to life. The romance developed gradually as well which is how things used to be when I was a teenager. Okay, I’m going to say this, but it made me feel like the good old days of romance – for me the early 90’s.
Here’s the blurb:
Emerald has grown up in a privileged world – the beloved daughter of a wealthy family, friends with all the right people, social media addict. But Emerald’s family has secrets – and when Emerald finds her mum unconscious on the bathroom floor, no one can pretend any more. Now she’s being packed off to stay with her grandma in Ireland while her mum recuperates and her dad just works and works and works.
Grandma’s big, lonely house is set back from the beach, and there’s no phone signal or wifi. It’s going to be a long summer … Until she meets Liam.
When you’re falling in love, it’s hard to tell someone everything. Even if you’ve got nothing to hide any more. And when secrets and lies are all you’re used to, how do you deal with real love – brave and true – with no filter?
Here’s my review:
I loved the alternating views from both Emerald and Liam. Out of the two of them I did gravitate more towards Liam; the Irish boy, with a lovely thick accent, his life choice not to be on social media and the boy who doesn’t want to follow in father’s footsteps as he wants to do something different with his life. Emerald was a slow burn character for me. At the start she’s consumed with social media and her passion for ‘filtering’ parts of her life. As her love for Liam grows and she confronts some painful family issues, she becomes starts to embark on this journey of self discovery.
‘Instead of falling down the rabbit hole, I seem to have crawled back up it and found some kind of life that’s even more.’
The romance is cute. I loved their sneaky little island trip and how they watched the sunrise.
Favourite romantic quotes:
‘It’s been fifty-nine hours and I’m still smiling inside.’
‘I open my eyes to his and it’s just us. We’ve shut out the world; all of its sharp edges beautifully blurred.’
This book is not only about first love, but it is also about what it is like to be a teenager in this fast changing world influenced heavily by social media. As a mother of two teenagers and someone who dabbles (a little too much) with social media, I could relate a lot to this book.
The family issues Emerald and Liam dealt with alongside their simmering emotions were realistic too. I did feel sorry for Emerald after everything she had gone through with her mother’s addictions at the start of the book.
There’s a fabulous twist in this book and I won’t give it away but it follows the theme of filtering out bits of our lives that we don’t want others to see.
Overall a really good read!
You can check out this book by clicking here.
If you don’t follow me on Instagram, now is your chance to do so and enjoy filtering at its best! 😂 Click here.