[It] begins in the first person perspective of Aden, a 21-year old Bible camp counselor. After her father is in a life threatening accident, Aden is compelled to return to the sleepy town of Holden, where her family now calls home.
…As a character, Aden is wonderfully complex. She wants so much more from life, and yet searches for it in God, boys, drinking, and even her family’s acceptance. Her stubborn vulnerability will grasps at readers’ heartstrings, masterfully composed by Carter’s vivid descriptions and down-to-earth dialogue.
Carter interweaves varied perspectives and points of view, switching from the present to past memories, and back again. She also begins each chapter with a play list of songs from all genres that masterfully provides the tone and backdrop for the plot to follow.
As the novel continues, readers will be drawn into a colorful cast of small town characters and Carter’s realistic yet creative details and descriptions. Aden soon becomes the reluctant center of intrigue and attention at the heart of this small town. She loves, loses, and loves again. She matures, painstakingly becoming the woman she has always longed to be. Readers will be ensnared by her joys, her ambitions and her struggles, wishing for her happiness and holding their breaths in anticipation at each lonely step along her way.
…The novel authentically reflects real every-day life in this way, and in one moment, everything changes. This is a memorable coming-of-age tale that all can relate to.”
– Julia Sorrentino for IndieReader
Can I brag that I finished your book today? I feel like I’m so late to the party on this thing – but it was outstanding! I really enjoyed it. Your writing style is such a pleasure to read, and I love the technique you used — sometimes slowly revealing which character was narrating each chapter.
I only wish I could go online and easily download the songs you listed. Awesome work!
528 pages in 3 days. I haven’t read like that since college. I haven’t been moved to read like that since before then. Excellent character development and the story just keeps bringing you in deeper until finally you tell yourself it’s time for bed…after just one more chapter. At first the chapter layout strikes one as interesting and unique, but as the book continues the stories interweave with one another in ingenious fashion. An excellent and thrilling read, I’m excited to see what more develops from the mind of Ms. Carter.
– Scott Stuglemeyer
The dialogue from the characters was beyond superb and so very natural that it may be the highlight of the book. But the way she told the story, weaving it from character to character with a deft hand you wouldn’t expect from a writer’s first effort, truly elevated the book.
– Jeff Cordes
We all remember the struggle to find our self during our late teens and early twenties. Thinking back we cringe at every hurtful thing we said to our parents and friends, count our blessings that we didn’t end up pregnant or in jail, and over analyze how every decision we made led us to where we are currently. While reading this book you will relive your own process and feel nostalgic for that period in your life. A time when you could stay out late, work a stress-free job, date half of the town, and most importantly, discover who you are. Amber successfully created a main character we all knew; our best friend, our co-worker, our crush from down the street, or maybe even our self. Congratulations on a fantastic read Amber…I look forward to your next one!
– Matt Minor
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