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Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nick: What a charming little book this was! I was hooked on the characters from the very beginning. After the amazingness that was Emma Mills’ debut First & Then, I knew that she was a talented new author, and with This Adventure Ends, she just solidified that opinion.
Nereyda: Having really enjoyed Emma Mill’s First & Then, I was looking forward to this book. I have been struggling with YA contemporaries this year because I’ve found them lacking, but This Adventure Ends was exactly the kind of that I’ve been looking for! With the perfect blend of friendship, family and just a touch of romance, This Adventure Ends hit all the right notes for me.
Nick: Man, Emma Mills is so good at characterizations. These characters in this book just gave me so much life. The best part is that they feel so real. Take Sloane, our protagonist, for instance. She’s a totally normal teenage girl with totally normal teenage girl issues and I’m sure that most girls will be able to relate to her character. She’s got a bit of a dry humor that gave her a spark and made her really come to life for me. Moving to Florida was obviously a bit of an adjustment for her, and it was really lovely watching her go from struggling to find her place to finally finding her place. She wasn’t always comfortable with emotions, but we see her evolve a lot in that department in the book. Sloane wasn’t the only likeable character in This Adventure Ends. In fact, the whole cast was pretty darn fantastic. What’s so great about them was that even though Sloane was the main narrator, it almost felt like their stories were given equal attention.
Nereyda: Sloane was such a great MC, I loved her. I loved that there was nothing particularly unique about her. She was just a normal girl, with normal interests who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and was maybe a bit uncomfortable dealing with her emotions and being a part of a group of friends who care for each other fiercely. I love how she just sort of fell into her group of friends and acted like she wasn’t as invested as they were at first, but you can totally tell they were winning her over. I loved how she hid uncomfortable moments with her dry humor (which I found very funny) and I especially loved how much she grew as a character and a friend.
Friends That Quite Possibly Rivaled The F.R.I.E.N.D.S Gang As Our Favorite Fictional Friend Group
Nick: At its heart, This Adventure Ends is a beautiful story about friendship. I love the kind of budding friendships that were explored here because they always prove to be exciting and fresh. While there, she befriends Vera, Gabe and Remy, a charming group of friends, who not only stole her heart but also mine. Sloane has a very different relationship with each of them and I loved them all. Like I said before, she was a little closed-off at the start of the story, but her new friends help her grow up and be more comfortable with her emotions. Plus, I loved how they helped her realize how friendship can be an amazing part of a girl’s life. The best part about these friendships were just how real they were. They had their ups and downs and I thought the balance made the relationships very dynamic.
Nereyda: I always love great friendships, especially a big group of friends that are really close. In YA books, that isn’t always easy to find (a shame) so I love being able to find a book with a really great friendship dynamic. Sloane was a great character on her own, but when Vera, Gabe, and Remy came into the picture, they brought all brought out the best in each other. I loved how everyone was close with everyone. Yes, Sloane and Vera were the closest, but Sloane also had a fantastic friendship with Gabe and Remy and they all had great friendships with Vera and each other. I absolutely loved how this gang became a fixture in not only Sloane’s life but in her family’s life too. They get close with her mom and dad (who is the best) and her little sister. I don’t know how it is with other people, but when I made close friends, those friends were very familiar and close with my family too so I loved how realistic that was. Although this story is primarily about Sloane, I love how involved everyone else was and how we got to see their growth and journeys too.
The Sloooowest of the Slooooowest Romance <3 <3 <3
Nick: Emma Mills is the queen of subtle romances! I was really excited for the prospect of Sloane and Gabe and I was not disappointed. I loved that these two started off as friends who slowly developed deeper feelings for each other. I think what I liked the most about this budding romance was how natural the progression felt. Given the struggles that Gabe was facing in his life, it made sense for their relationship to develop at a slower pace than you would normally expect in a YA book. I love a good slow-burn romance, so this was easily one of my favorites because it was done well. I guess the only complaint I would have about this one, and it’s a very selfish one at that, is that I wish, Sloane & Gabe had more kissing scenes!
Nereyda: I normally prefer my contemporaries with a stronger romance, but there are exceptions where other fators are just so damn perfect that I don’t even mind romance taking a smaller part. This was the case for This Adventure Ends. The friendships and family aspect was so freaking perfect and enjoyable on its own, that I didn’t even mind that the romance was very slow burn and toned down. Would I have loved seeing some more kissy scenes between Sloane and Gabe? Definitely, but I thought their friendship-romance progression was so good and enjoyable at its own pace.
Families Make Books Better
Nick: Family was also a big part of This Adventure Ends. I loved the bond between Sloane and her writer dad. It was funny and heart-warming and made me smile like a goof. I loved watching the two interact, with Sloane’s dad asking her to read fanfiction of his characters. They share some great banter and I can guarantee you that these will make you laugh. We also see a very different side of family with Vera and Gabe’s one and I thought it was interesting to see the contrast.
Nereyda: Ahhhh, if there was one thing I loved more than the friendships in this book it was Sloane’s family, specifically Sloane’s dad. Oh man, he was a hoot! I loved his relationship with Sloane and the dynamic between all the family in general. As an author struggling to find his next story, Sloane’s dad becomes obsessed with a teen show called Were School (like werewolves). He becomes addicted to the relationship between the two main characters and their romance and the fanfics inspired by the show. He even saves his favorites for Sloane to read and writes some of his own Were School inspired fanfics. I loved how Sloane and her friends helped him through his writer’s block and how close they all were.
Nick: I’m in freaking love with this book and Emma Mills’ writing. I just want her to write more and more and forever because these are absolutely the kinds of YA contemporaries that I want to be reading – stories with heart, charm and full of smiles.
Nereyda: Since I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut when it comes to YA contemporaries, I wasn’t expecting to love this one as much as I did. But I really loved everything about this book. It was sweet and addictive and I ended up reading most of it in one day. I’ll be eagerly anticipating Mill’s next book!
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