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. – Goodreads.com
This charming tale is an interesting blend of contemporary and fantasy, with a main character I just wanted to hug throughout the entire book. Leila is a mature young woman with strong convictions who struggles with questions about her past, while also learning to trust her new family and find a sense of belonging. And everyone should have a best friend like Sarika – that person who always supports you and has your back no matter what – who is also a snarky, talented coffee barista with a loyal Twitter following. Leila’s dad, Jon, is the perfect concoction of worried, overprotective father, with an endearing, dorky sense of humor.
I loved the emphasis on environmental awareness and the interactions between the group on the message board. Raising awareness in any way can only have a positive effect.
Although the romantic relationships felt somewhat rushed, hovering near the ‘insta-love’ airspace, I appreciated the way Leila realized early on that some relationships are just incompatible, but that doesn’t mean the friendship has to end. It caught me off guard when Shawn’s character seemed to change abruptly from one scene to the next, and I was also hoping for a little more information about Leila’s biological father.
The Girl and the Grove is an entrancing story with strong themes of family, friendship, and trust. This book is scheduled for release May 8th, 2018.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.