In The Forever Girl – Sophia’s Journey by Rebecca Hamilton, Sophia is a twenty-two year old woman, let’s call her a woman, who lives alone in her familial house after her mother died. She lives in the Rocky Mountains, near Denver. She’s a Wiccan and apparently is (or thinks she is) responsible for her mother’s death and possibly another person in town.
First what I liked about this book:
Sophia. I really did enjoy this character. She’s tough, she’s interesting, and she drives a Jeep! She’s not afraid to be herself, although she is afraid to tell her secrets even to her best friends. She has some fun dialog in the exchanges between herself and Charles, unfortunately, most of these come early on in the book and it doesn’t keep that same charm throughout.
I also liked the setting – as someone who lives in the Rockies, not very far from where this books is supposed to take place in fact, I enjoy reading about this area. There are a few details that Hamilton got wrong, cardinals, for instance, are not really found in Colorado. And really not in the mountains at all. She’d of done better with a local bird in my opinion. (I’m a bird freak, so I’m probably the only one who noticed this, so no biggie).
Ok, where it needs to improve:
The biggest issue I had with this book was the pacing. It is really skewed and we go from day to day activity to skipping weeks at a time. Important weeks! The weeks where she MOVES in with Charles!!!! I mean, this is a big deal, what did they do the first night? Where is she sleeping? How did they divvy up the chores?
Other little things occur in the story that tell me maybe this book did not get the attention of a really great editor. For instance, after moving in together Sophia gets off work and sees Charles waiting for her. He starts making some advances towards her, which is new to them apparently (oh and BTW, this was like three weeks after the moved in together or something – weeks we were never told about). Anyway, they pull themselves apart; Sophia gets into her cool Jeep and drives home, only to be met at the door by Charles. Maybe I missed something and she stopped for groceries, but I don’t think so.
This was not a bad story, the author has talent and Sophia is interesting.
But I agree with some of the other reviews that Charles was not well developed.
I couldn’t get into him, plus he was sorta described as cool and young, but then acted stuffy and old.
It was a weird combination.
Here’s my thing about the new adult genre – I have high standards. Don’t just give me what I can get from young adult and hike up the age bracket. Sophia is a 22 year old woman, yet she’s a virgin (I’m sorry, this one made me stop reading for a while. Really? I’d much rather have Sophia already have found her own sexuality and get on with the angst, then have this be an issue when she is 22. Just my 2 cents.)
Anyway – New adult is new enough that there are no real rules, and I’m certainly not looking to make any, but I expect adult problems in a new adult book.
Still, I think this author has promise and I will probably pick up book two because, like I said, I enjoyed Sophia as a character. 3.5 out of 5.