Friday, February 12, 2016

~*★Review★*~ The Death of Lila Jane by Teresa Mummert

The Death of Lila Jane 
by Teresa Mummert
Release Date: February 9, 2016


Lila Jane is spending her summer vacation preparing for high school. She does everything asked of her, but her parents rarely give her credit for her efforts. She decides to sneak out with a friend to attend a local party and shed her little girl image, to become a woman once and for all. What starts out as a fun escape soon escalates into a life on the run with a boy she barely knows.

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Title: The Death of Lila Jane
Author: Teresa Mummert
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Rating: ★★★★1/2 Stars (Rounded to 5 For Goodreads and Amazon)
Reviewer: Melyssa
I’m going on record now and saying that despite having read the synopsis for this book and being sucked in based on it, the title scared me a little. I had concerns about just how much it was going to play into how this story played out. Thankfully, the title did not have the literal meaning that I thought when I started. In fact, its meaning overall is actually quite fitting considering what takes place within its pages.

From the outside looking in, it appears that this story is about an awkward sheltered young girl and a bad boy who end up going on an adventure together, but it’s so much more than that. Is Lila sheltered? In a manner of speaking yes, but she’s also extremely perceptive for someone that doesn’t interact much with many outside of her home. Is Kaden a bad boy? I suppose in a manner of speaking he is, but for this reader, he was so much more than all of that and it was apparent right from the moment he first makes his appearance.

I think my favorite part of this story was Kaden breaking down all of those preconceived notions about him. Being more than just the “bad boy” everyone on the outside sees him as. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Does he continue to make mistakes in the story? Yes, but in making those mistakes he also has these moments of clarity. Moments where after a whole lot of back and forth with himself, he learns from the mistakes and does what it takes to rectify them. That kind of character makes me happy. I live for some manner of growth in my reading and I got that here with Kaden. From the pain of what he's already lived through to what he experiences with Lila, he was definitely the character I enjoyed most.

That’s not to say that Lila didn’t have her own learning curve, but hers was more centered about coming out of her shell and experiencing life beyond the walls of her house and her family. Even experiencing it away from the one friend she did have and the boy that so obviously had a crush on her that she was completely oblivious to seeing until it was slammed home later in the story. She grew as well but in a different way. But not without having moments where she definitely wasn’t ready for the growth that did occur.

These two and their story of life, love and growth was very well done. I was impressed with the care the author took as she takes the reader on their journey together. It wasn’t easy by any means. There were ups and downs, sweetness and moments of sourness, but even in what I know to be a fictional setting, it felt very real. Reactions based on character age, and life experiences came across very organic to me, even if at times things did seem a little over the top.

The only thing that kept this from being a 5* read for me was the ending. I won’t go into specifics as I don’t want to give details of the story away and ruin it for other readers, but I will say that I felt like that part was a tad bit rushed given the length of time spent walking us through how everything came to be.

In the end though, I got what I wanted most from this after everything that happened to bring these two together and this is definitely a story that I’m glad I took the chance on. I’m eager to see where this author takes us next.

And for the record, I’m definitely #TeamKaden.

My thanks to the author and all others involved in letting me read this story before its official release. It was a pleasure and Kaden and Lila’s journey to happiness was one that I am glad to be a part of.

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