No Filter by Orlagh Collins out on March 6
Overview: Emerald's summer is ruined on the last week of junior year. Her best friends betray her, her mother gets admitted to rehab after Emerald is forced to revive her, and her father ships her off to Ireland to stay with his mother, who Emerald hasn't seen in five years. Though she goes unwillingly, when she meets rising college freshman, Liam, her summer, and possibly her life, starts to take a turn for the better. The two lovers, unwittingly Romeo and Juliet, face plenty of challenges, both together and individually, as they fight to love each other. Overall: 4.5
Characters: 5 I absolutely loved reading about Emerald and Liam. The duel narrative is very successful here. Emerald has remarkable growth throughout the book from a girl who sees the world through Instagram filters to a young woman open to taking it on for herself. She must deal with her mother's addiction, her strained relationship with her grandmother, and the freshly developing controversy around her father.
Liam has another set of relatable problems. After his dad lost it all when his construction company bankrupted, his father has expected Liam to study and follow in his footsteps. He's deluded himself and Liam, partially, into thinking that if Liam can be a successful contractor, the generations of family business lost won't have been for nothing. But Liam wants to be a musician, even if he won't allow himself to realize it. He needs an outside prospective like Emerald to awaken his mind to the possibilities the world has to offer.
Plot: 5 I had a hard time putting this book down at night to go to bed. The pacing and alternating chapters were set to perfection. There was the perfect balance of fulfillment of expectation and surprise, and the course she set her characters down allows for fresh trials to replace those they manage to conquer until the end where the reader learns just how much can be overcome for the chance of a happy ending.
Writing: 5 I'm a huge fan of Collin's style. As I mentioned above, she nailed the mechanical aspects of writing. She managed to perfectly execute the duel narrative structure, as I mentioned above, which is far from an easy feat. Liam and Emerald both have such strong narrative voices and authority to have a part in sharing the story.
*I received this book for free from NetGalley thanks to Bloomsbury Children's in exchange for an honest review*
Check back this Friday for my early review of The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk.