Review: The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith


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Title: The Girl and the Grove
Author: Eric Smith
Publisher: Flux
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 320 Pages
Published May 2018


Summary: Teenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she’s never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve. But the voices in Leila’s head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn’t working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park. 

I received a copy of The Girl and the Grove by author Eric Smith in exchange for an open and honest review. And you guys, I really loved this book! It hooked me right from the start. So without any further ado, let's get into the review!

As the summary explains, Leila is a teenager who spent most of her life in the foster care system, and now she's settling in with her adoptive parents. While trying to get used to that routine (and trying not to worry that her situation is only temporary), she's also super into the environment and conservation efforts. Throughout all of this, Leila is hearing voices in her head that are calling her into Fairmont Park, and she does her best to ignore them -- but suddenly, she can't ignore them anymore. So she follows them...and what she finds is not anything you could have predicted.

What I loved most about this book is how it turned out to totally be something that I wasn't expecting, in the best of ways. The book caught me right from the very beginning, with Leila hearing the voices and her love for the environment and her struggles with trying to get comfortable in her new life. And then, as the story goes on, things start to pick up, and then before I knew it, I was flipping the pages so quickly and I was unable to put the book down because I kept wanting to see what would happen next. There was so much drama, lots of friendship, some flirting, and even some sadness and thrills. This book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, and you're not going to want to let go once you get on the ride!

As far as characters go, my favorite character in the entire story was Sarika. She reminded me a lot of my best friends -- always loyal, funny, kind, and all kinds of sarcastic. She kept me laughing throughout the book and added some levity to some of the more serious situations in the story. She was definitely my favorite character, especially because she was so loyal to Leila and it was clear how much she loved her.

Another thing that I really loved about thus book was how much it dealt with the conservation of the environment, which is something that I haven't seen become a major focus in any YA books that I've ever really read. It was really inspiring to see Leila and her friends care so much about something and fight so hard for something that many people in a town wouldn't necessarily regard as "important" (which is sad and I totally disagree that it's unimportant!!). But yeah. They fought hard, even when it seemed like everyone else was against them, because they knew what they loved and forced themselves to stand up and fight for it.

Overall, I really loved reading The Girl and the Grove. I'm so thankful that I was given a chance to review this book because I ended up finding a brand new story that I loved and will now be recommending to all of my bookish friends. If this book isn't on your TBR yet, I encourage you to check it out, because this is such a gripping, emotional story about so many different things -- love, adoption, and even the environment -- that I think you'll definitely enjoy. 

Hats off to Eric Smith -- I'm so grateful that I was given a copy of this book and I can't wait to sing its praises to everybody, and of course, read more of his books in the future!!





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