Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: Signs of You by Emily France

Signs of YouTitle: Signs of You
Author: Emily France
Publisher: Soho Teen
Release Date: July 19, 2016

Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.

When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.

When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.

I always have such a difficult time with reviewing contemporary books.  But I suppose this one fits more into speculative fiction.

We start off with Riley's experience of seeing her mother in the grocery store.  Except that her mother has been dead for two years.  She knows it's crazy to see someone who is dead, and she thinks she might be hallucinating.  But the woman recognizes her.  Riley decides she can't tell anyone, because she must be going crazy.

That is, until one of her best friends, Jay (who she has a huge crush on), has a similar experience.  So we end up with three friends that have the same experience, and one who disappears.  much of the book is centered around the search for Noah.  The rest is about the mystery of why these three friends are seeing spirits.

I wasn't sure how to feel about Jay or Noah at first.  But while I like them both as characters, and Jay was definitely interesting, Noah was more compelling to me.  He was smart while still dealing with his grief.

I love how grief and the slight bit of romance was dealt with.  And the ending was left open enough for me to wonder how everything was going to turn out.

Reasons to read this book
1) Ghosts and spirits!
2) Unrequited love
3) Bits of romance thrown on
4) Compelling characters with awesome stories
5) A really intriguing and mysterious plot

Reasons not to read this book
1) Lots on religion (in the historical sense)
2) Ghosts and spirits? (if that's not your thing)

Even though I picked this up thinking it was a contemporary (I didn't read the synopsis), I totally loved it.  I read it in one session.  I definitely recommend it if it sounds like your type of read.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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