The Forever Girl – by Rebecca Hamilton

October 8, 2012 Uncategorized 2

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.


2 Responses to “The Forever Girl – by Rebecca Hamilton”

  1. Rebecca Hamilton

    Hey! This popped up on my google alerts (ironically for “new adult” not my book or name) :) I just wanted to say you are right about the continuity issues. I got a really HUGE opportunity but had to cut the word count from 110k to about 95k, and I must have made those mistakes when I was revising. My fault entirely, not my editor’s (want to accept accountability so it’s not slogged off on them!). There are different editors going over it now for reasons pertaining to that opportunity (that’s all I can say at this juncture) but I’m SO glad your review popped up on my radar so that I could fix those things.

    I’ll be putting out a new edition this week that addresses those concerns. Your other concerns, of course, will probably remain to be a problem unless I’m told to add that 15k back in haha.(But I totally accept that you can’t write a book EVERYONE will love) Charles seems hit or miss–some people LOVE him, some people can’t put together him playing a “younger” role in life but actually being centuries old; Sophia has also been hit or miss, so it was neat that you liked her! I’ve really enjoyed seeing the range of reactions on this book. You know you’re hitting some buttons if everyone can’t agree :)

    And hey, just gotta throw it out there that I don’t think there is anything wrong with a 22 year old virgin (though totally get why some people would be shocked by that)! I know it’s not common these days, but I know a few and I’m definitely not knocking them for waiting. In fact, I think it’s pretty cool of them! I was married at 18 and a mom at 20, though, so I can’t say I relate personally, even if I sometimes write characters who aren’t sexually experienced.

    Thanks again for the honest review. Maybe one day I can pick your brain about the adult concepts that WERE in the book, so in the future I can do better at highlighting them (ie: selling a home, moving in with a boyfriend–as you pointed out, I skipped over that stuff for pacing’s sake.) I more chose “new adult” as the category because I think new adults will relate to Sophia as a character, where the book’s content is too mature for YA and adults would probably not connect with Sophia’s younger personality. It’s always really neat to hear how other people determine what makes a book New Adult! You can email me anytime, too, if you want. You rock! :)

  2. Julie

    Hey Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love it! I really did like Sophia, she was cool! And I an author too, so any time you want to pick my books apart, I will send you a free copy! Turnabout is fair play and all that good stuff, right? 😉

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