As you guys know – or not and you find out now – I read Hearts Lie by Kestra Pingree a little while back. [Although that book was published under Felicity Kross.] You can find that review here.
When I received Hearts Lie, I also got Awash with Summer Roses, written by her as well. Reading the blurbs, they both sounded completely different, yet still equally amazing so you can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out I got to read both!
Avery drives me crazy. Everyone thinks I’m the troublemaker, but he’s the one sneaking out at night.
Let’s start from the beginning.
My name is Ri. I was supposed to spend the summer hanging out with my boyfriend and my band, but that wasn’t what happened. On the first night of summer, we had a gig at an adult club we’ve played at loads of times before. That just happened to be the night all hell broke loose, and we got caught by the cops. I’ve never gotten in trouble with the cops before, so I guess the whole fiasco was a pretty big slap in the face for my parents, who never pay me any attention. You know what they did? They sent me away to a small town called Fairgarden to stay with grandparents in the middle of nowhere countryside for the rest of the summer—and they expect me to work in their rose garden!
Then I met Avery.
Avery is 17, a year older than me, and he works for my grandparents. They absolutely love him and his dumb dog like they’re family. Why a teenage boy is willingly working in a rose garden is as good a question as any, but it’s not the strangest thing about him. I was convinced he’d be as boring as the rest of the town. It turns out I was wrong. Avery is blind, but he can do basically everything I can do. He goes anywhere he wants and does anything he wants, like sneaking out at night into some cursed forest that’s supposed to be off limits. He’s cute with his lopsided grin, but he’s such a jerk sometimes. He tells me not to go into the forest, and he pretends like he follows the rules, but I know better. Avery has secrets, and I’m going to find out what they are.
Let’s just start with the frustrations I had during the first part of this novel.
As some of you might have picked up, I felt like strangling Moriah at a certain point – yes, Moriah, because she hates being called that and I want to annoy her as much as she annoyed me!
She’s the kind of MC that I can’t connect with whatsoever. Egocentric, selfish, naive, childish, rude and a lack of [self-]respect. That’s how I’d describe this rebellious teenager.
She obviously likes him – which I’d say is lucky for him. How many girls are going to fall for a blind guy? I wouldn’t.
The whole story is solely written from Moriah’s perspective – which might explain why I felt like strangling her so often. And yet… I didn’t consider DNF’ing this novel once. Not once!
I can turn this any way I want, but it just goes to show that I’ve started to love Kestra’s writing style. She gives detailed descriptions of everything, adds original twists to her stories and finds a way to make you read on and on, even when you’re having doubts.
Her stories.. flow. I’d like to compare them to a river with the wild turns, small waterfalls and beautiful views. You never really know what’ll be on the next page.
I’m going to do my best to be difficult for my parents, so maybe the whole thing won’t be so annoying after all. Maybe they’ll leave early.
Honestly, even though I disliked Moriah with a passion, I started to like her at a certain point. She was turning herself around, was finding herself and started changing her attitude. Yes, her earlier self shone through sometimes – who’s to blame; we all have our bad moments, no? – but she didn’t get on my nerves anymore.
On the contrary. I started connecting with her and that, my friends, is something that I’d given up on entirely.
Of course I have to talk about Avery, because… God, it’s Avery. I’m starting to get a thing for characters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or blind. In Avery’s case? Blind. Kestra portrayed him so well that I felt like I understood him, even though you experience everything from Ri’s POV – yes, Ri. I like her now.
He’s had his own struggles, problems and carries around secrets. You sympathize with him, admire him for going about life the way he is, even when you barely know anything about him.
I hoped we would have at least one chapter in his point of view though. It seemed like something interesting to read, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
We all put on a show for the world, and no one knows who we really are until we’ve gone in deep. Sometimes it isn’t worth it. And, sometimes, even after giving everything you are to someone, they’ll still surprise you and betray you, do something you never thought they would.
The biggest surprise, for me, was that Kestra added a dash of fantasy to this novel as well. Truth be told, the blurb doesn’t say anything about that so it caught me off guard, but in a good way. We all know I like my fantasy, don’t we?
It made me love Away with Summer Roses that little bit more.
Honestly, the second half of this book practically saved the the first part, haha. I thought I’d end up disliking it with a passion, but the opposite happened. That itself is an accomplishment!
I remember giving Hearts Lie 3,5 / 5 and I’m still not sure whether or not I like this novel more, less or equally as much… – I really stared at my screen for like five minutes here to figure out what to do, haha!
Okay. Because of my frustrations at first and my huge shock when I started to like Awash with Summer Roses eventually, not to mention the originality of using a blind character… I’m going with 4!
As for the munches… I’m going with the rose-theme and use a rose-themed cupcake I made a little while back. I couldn’t have found anything that fit better – and yes, it was yum and messy to eat, haha.