Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review: As You Turn Away by Molli Moran

Title: As You Turn Away (The Walker Boys #1)
Author: Molli Moran
Release date: March 1st 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 262
Source: Author

Two hearts, one life-changing summer, and a long-awaited second chance...

When Quinnlan Reynolds left home at 18, she escaped her small, Georgia town and her suffocating upbringing. She started a new life as a ballerina, and tasted freedom for the first time. But four years later, her first visit home turns tragic. Reeling, Quinn tries to piece her life back together again. But doing so is easier said than done when sexy Jonah Walker saunters back into her life.

Quinn shattered Jonah’s heart once, so getting involved with her isn’t something he’s sure he’s ready to do again. He became someone he didn’t recognize when he left home. He’s spent the last years burying his pain by keeping everyone in his life at arm’s length. Now he needs to get to know his family again, and finally become who he wants to be.

But neither Quinn or Jonah can stay away from each other, especially when old feelings resurface. Something is pulling them back together, and they can’t deny their chemistry for long. One Georgia summer could change both their lives forever, if they can work through their past to have a future together.

Happiness isn’t in being strong or alone or angry. Happiness isn’t in the past. Happiness is found as you turn away from the past and toward the future you make.
As You Turn Away is Molli's debut novel, and I think she's done such an amazing job with it. It's definitely one of the most emotional books I've read - I don't tend to read many books like this. But I loved the simplicity in the setting, and the characters' interactions.

I loved that Quinn and Jonah's past and present are narrated to us alternately between chapters. We get to see what they're like now, and how they used to be. We also get both points of view, which I always love in romances like this. It was awesome being in both Quinn and Jonah's heads because both have their own demons within them and both are hurting in their own way. We get to see exactly what each of them felt about the huge fight that broke them up all those years ago, and I think that was necessary for an unbiased opinion of their characters.

Quinn and Jonah are both back in Georgia after four years apart, and things start to go wrong almost immediately. Quinn's having a lot to deal with when she gets back, trying desperately to rekindle her relationship with her family - which isn't going so well. Meanwhile, Jonah is back too, but his family dynamics are in clear contrast. They're glad to see him back, though he has to work on his relationship with them too. When Quinn and Jonah run into each other again, things are tense. But no matter how much they try to deny it, they're still meant for each other. And if they can work through their differences, they know they can have an amazing life together.

Initially it was hard for me to connect with Quinn, but over the course of the novel I found myself identifying with her in a way. I get how lost she feels at times, how she thinks she's not good enough. And my heart really broke for her through her grief. There's a lot of loss in this book, even death. Quinn has a lot to get past, especially regarding her family. I just wish she'd confided in Jonah from the start, because she hurt him by not doing so, and in turn that hurt her too.

Jonah definitely stole my heart. He's not broken like Quinn, but he has an abandonment issue regarding her, from the first time she left him. Jonah didn't deserve how Quinn treated him when their relationship was crumbling apart, and she should've let him in. But Jonah's kind of at fault too, for letting her get away like that. I adored him regardless, though. I haven't read much about Southern characters and the countryside, but I found myself really drawn to Jonah. His life in Georgia basically shows you don't need materialism to be happy. I loved seeing his relationship with his family, especially his brothers, Reece and Ethan. I'm not much of a family person, but I loved reading about his.

I think the characters are what makes this book so great. Quinn, Jonah, Reece, Ethan, Darren, Jamie... Jamie is Reece's four-year-old son, by the way. And the most adorable kid ever. It was really sweet seeing Jonah bond with his nephew, especially when there's more grief to come. The characters are all flawed - nobody's perfect. But that made them all the more real to me.

This novel has so much sweetness and hope in it. There's positivity despite everything that goes wrong. Everyone seriously needs to read this one, especially if you feel you can connect to the characters. There was this one song that was stuck in my head while reading this - For the First Time by The Script. There are parts of the song that really relate to this book. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this one. And needless to say, I'm very excited for the next Walker boy's story!

*Thank you to Molli Moran for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

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