Friday, 8 March 2013

Grace Grows

Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners
Hardback, 336 pages

Expected Publication: 1st March 2013 by Allen and Unwin UK

Shelves: adult-fiction, arc-or-review, better-than-expected, books-i-own, chick-lit, contemporary, kate-bush, read, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

Like many young women, Grace Barnum's life is a precarious mix of sensible choices and uncomfortable compromise. She dutifully edits children's textbooks that she fears may be more harmful than helpful. She is engaged to a patent attorney with whom she has a reliable relationship. She's wary of her fascinating father, a renowned New York painter, and she prefers her mother slightly drunk.

Always organised, always a planner, Grace carries her life around in a handbag - that is, until the responsibility-challenged Tyler Wilkie shows up, with his warm eyes and a smile that makes Grace drop things. Worst of all, he writes tender, loving, devastating songs - about her.

Tyler reaches something in Grace, something she needs, but can't admit to. Something she wants, but won't succumb to. Falling in love with him would ruin everything. And yet...

Grace Grows is a book that I hadn't heard all that much about when I was given the opportunity to review it - I hadn't seen it around and so I hadn't read any reviews. However, I did like the premise and so decided to give it a go. I am so glad that I did as it was such a fun read.

Grace Grows is an adult chick-lit book, but will definitely appeal to young adult, contemporary fans too. The plot revolves around our protagonist, Grace, and a young man she meets, musician Tyler Wilkie. Personally, I thought that the plot sounded more young-adult than adult, but that's certainly not a bad thing. The story isn't too 'young' by any means - the writing is good, it isn't overly complex and so easy to just sit back and read. I'd imagine that Grace Grows would be a perfect holiday read - it has a relaxing pace and really does manage to hold your attention. The only slight issue I had with pacing was when Grace left her fiancé - I thought that all happened a little too quickly and without much repercussion, making it less realistic. However, that certainly wasn't a huge issue - I got over it pretty quickly as I was so eager to see if and how Grace and Tyler's relationship progressed.

Grace's character was very likeable, surprisingly funny and down to earth, someone that would make a fantastic friend, the perfect word to describe her would be, simply, 'lovely' - this was obviously very important for the book to work. However, for me, Tyler just totally stole the show... Tyler is in no way perfect, but that just makes him even more loveable! I'm finding it very difficult to describe Tyler, you do have to read the book to see what he's like. If I'm being honest, I didn't love Tyler straight away and some of his actions/reactions did confuse me, but I learned that was part of who he was and as we became familiarised, I did start to love his quirky personality. I can't say that I've read a book about a boy like Tyler before and so it was refreshing, a welcome change. This is another reason why I liked reading about Grace and Tyler's relationship - it wasn't instantaneous and it wasn't as typical as most other books. 

Okay, now it's time to fess up: I have to admit that I did become biased towards this book as soon as it mentioned Kate Bush. Anybody who knows me knows just how obsessed I am with Kate Bush (just check out my blog name!) and it came as a fantastic surprise to see her mentioned several times as one of Grace's favourite musicians. Tyler Wilkie, our moody fictional character sings his own version of 'Feel It' to his love interest, in front of a crowd and to say that I swooned was an understatement! So yes, I may have been won over by this, but still, as Kate would say, 'wow.'

To sum it up, Grace Grows was a fun, entertaining and charming read. I enjoyed the story from start to finish and was certainly left wanting more. Sumners is undoubtedly a talented writer and will most likely appeal to fans of authors such as Sophie Kinsella. I really hope that people pick this book up and it gets the popularity that it deserves!

Listen to one of the most mentioned songs in Grace Grows:


  1. Sounds fun and sweet! i'm adding it to my book depository wishlist :D


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