CHASING SPRING by R.S. Grey (ARC review)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Publication Date: February 1st, 2016
Pages: 249
Song I Played While Reading: All My Friends by Snakehips
Rating: 4 stars

I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.

I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved. 

To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.

I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved.

I've never read a book before that's left me so peaceful. I'm literally sitting here, just basking in the warmth and heartbreak and overall goodness that this book was. 

"I love secrets and I'm good at finding them. For the last two years, I've sat and waited and watched. I've learned to collect secrets, one by one, because secrets are flames and no place deserves to burn more than my small town."

Lilah was great for so many reasons; she didn't give a shit what anyone thought of her, she was content with being alone and reading and gardening, and she was simple. Broken, but still so incredibly simple. Instead of being the kind of person who drowned her sorrows in alcohol and drugs, Lilah stayed mostly away from those (for a good reason), and she didn't lash out at people. Sure, she did ignore some, but it wasn't out of an overall hatred of the world, which annoys me endlessly in characters who have difficult pasts. Just because you were dealt a shitty hand in life doesn't mean you should take it out on everyone. 
Chase Matthews was a GOD. Sign me the hell up, I'll take fifty of him. Though I struggled not to picture him as Chase Matthews from Zoey 101. 

But seriously, he would do the sweetest things for Lilah, even if she gave him some attitude in return. And it would be the kinds of things that wouldn't seem that major to him, because he didn't even realize was doing it. It was purely instinct to help Lilah in some way, or to be around her. The banana peel in her garden? I SQUEALED. If I snag a guy even half as selfless and kind as Chase was, then I'll never complain for the rest of my life (just kidding, I totally would, but future-hubby-Chase wouldn't mind because he thinks its cute). 

"Maybe she knew as well as I did that there's power in shining light on other people's secrets; it makes it that much easier to hide yours in the shadows."

The pacing and plot of this book were perfect. I was never bored, and was extremely caught off guard when all the shit hit the fan. I don't want to spoil anything, but SERIOUSLY, TRENT? GO ROT IN HELL. Another fantastic character was Harvey. You can never, ever go wrong with a dog. Especially a gold retriever. It's fitting with the golden boy vibe Chase had going on.
I really enjoyed the other supporting characters too, especially Kimberly, who could've been that cliche, bitchy mean girl who wanted the hot guy for herself and for Lilah to get the hell out of town, since she wasn't a part of the cool club anymore. But she surprised me by being considerate and kind, which I was so thankful for. I can't handle petty girl drama. Us ladies need to stick together! 

"Ten little white pills. Molly. I'd never met her, but I'd tried her friends, always hoping that one of them would answer my question: which little white pill makes mothers forget their daughters?"

The few issues I had were the ending and a specific scene where, without even talking about it or acknowledging it, Lilah and Chase were suddenly dating. It was never spoken of, and it wasn't made obvious, so I was totally caught of guard when she called him her boyfriend. I wish that had been cleared up more. And with the ending, honestly it's not very surprising. I'm a very picky person when it comes to endings. I have no idea why, and it's really annoying because it often brings the book down for me. A prime example would be November 9 by Colleen Hoover. I ADORED the first 70% of the book. And then the some things happened and it ended and I was just like, "Huh. Okay." Some endings are never enough for me. Either they're rushed, they don't have enough information to satisfy me, it's an open ending (*eye twitches*), or it's just... uneventful. Don't get me wrong, I got the ending I wanted in CHASING SPRING, but it was a little boring for me. I never know how to put it into words, but I always just want something more. 
But I refused to let that get to me, since CHASING SPRING was such a fantastic novel and so tender and beautiful and heartwarming. This was a wonderful coming-of-age story about self-acceptance, first love and complex family dynamics. I highly recommend getting your hands on this!

"Loving Chase wasn't a choice. Every day, I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, took a deep breathe, and shouldered the weight of my love for him. Even after everything we'd been through, that was my biggest secret, the one I tried to drown in my journal."

Picture and summary from Goodreads

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