***Note: I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.***A Midnight Reverie by Beatrice Ann Maria Manuel
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Everything was perfect. If Lillian had ever dreamed of a fairytale life, this was it. Everything was falling into place. Her Prince Charming - her knight in shining armor - had captured her heart entirely, and as though that were not beautiful enough, she had his heart as well. She had Matt, and there was nothing else she desired. How could she have known that in one brief moment, her fairytale would turn into a tragedy?
The debut novel of Beatrice Manuel, the story of Lillian Jones is both heartrendering and heartwarming. Forced into an early adulthood to take care of not only herself but the lives that depend upon her, Lillian struggles to heal from her fairytale-gone-wrong and find the love and beauty that still remains in her life.
A Midnight Reverie is the story of how a fragile, broken girl is transformed into a young woman whose battle scars speak of the ashes she once was...and the victor she has become.
Lillian Jones is your typical girl. She grew up in a single parent household and loved her mother dearly. With the help of her mother’s friends, the Richards, they were able to stay afloat after Lillian’s father left. Growing up with the Richards’ children, Adrian, Matt and Amy, Lillian learns to make her way in the world. She faces the usual triumphs and bumps growing up. She has the normal fears of every child going into middle school and then into high school. While in high school, she falls head over hills in love with a man she believes she’ll spend the rest of her life with. Unfortunately, life sometimes throws us a curve ball and it doesn’t turn out that way. Going on an emotional ride with Lillian, we watch as her life falls apart and she learns how to pick up the pieces and love again.
First off, Beatrice told me she wrote this original story when she was 14. Then, to top it off, English is her second language. It comes through in several areas because the sentence structure is a little different than what we’d normally expect. While set in the US, she makes small mistakes like calling ‘college,’ ‘university’ instead. In one spot, she says they were watching ‘football’ then corrects it to ‘soccer’ in the next paragraph.
However, NONE of that stops you from enjoying this book. It’s an intense ride through a turbulent time in a teenager’s life. And with her being young enough to still be that age, she captures those emotions and reactions to a T. I have yet to read a YA book written by an adult that can capture it as well. If you’re an adult, she takes you back and reminds you of how that all felt when you were Lillian’s age. And if you’re in high school, you’ll be able to relate to Lillian and her friends without a problem.
The ONLY complaint I have about this book is the length of it. It does come in at a whopping 382 pages. It could easily have been made shorter and still captured what was most important about Lillian and her story. All in all, it was well-written and a good read, if you can handle the intense emotions that are present in every teen’s life.
Warning to parents: There are a few references to more mature themes in this book. So, I’d put the age to read it at least freshman in high school and older.
Enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program at the time of this review.