This was emotional and heavy and so, so good.
IN SEARCH OF US follows Marilyn and Angie, mother and daughter, at seventeen years of age. And let me just say, right off the bat, that multigenerational stories are my absolute favorite. Marilyn’s story is set in the ninetees and Angie’s in modern time, and one of the many things I noticed and loved is that the time periods are described with their own unique characteristics (ie, pink panther ice cream).
This is what I want from stories such as these: the opportunity to flip between one period to another and feel transported back and forth.
Marilyn and Angie are truly interesting leads. They are each developer equally in strength, to a point where I honestly did not find myself favoring one POV over the other (which is rare for me!). Their voices are distinct and so are their personalities, so that even if the chapters weren’t labeled and if the text was out of context, I’d easily be able to tell which POV was which. #MasterWriterAlert
Ava Dellaira’s writing is truly lovely. There were many passages I couldn’t help but take note of and mark because they’re just … beautiful. Marilyn is a photographer, and I found Dellaira’s description of the photos and the sunsets and the beaches art in and of itself.
My only objection, though, is the irregularity of the pacing, particularly in the first third or so of the book. The timelines within timelines keep switching, giving an opportunity for background info to be shared. But this felt like an excuse to infodump. The plotlines intertwined insanely to a point where i had to flip back and make sure what part of Angie/Marilyn’s story was what. The tenses change within transitions, but that made it no easier to tell what was happening. Chapter breaks might help? But I don’t know. This was only an issue in the very beginning, though, before the convoluted plot finally straightened.
All in all? I loved loved loved this one. Yes, this is my first Ava Dellaira book, but I enjoy her style, so I’ll be checking out LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD, too.
If you like multigenerational (!!!) stories and emotional plotlines, this one is definitely for you.
Thank you, FSG, for the ARC!