Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt

Heat of the Moment (Moment of Truth #1) by Lauren Barnholdt
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Before graduation, I promise to...learn to trust. In the first book in the Moment of Truth series, Lyla discovers that trusting her head might be easy but trusting her heart is a whole other matter.

Lyla, Aven, and Quinn—former best friends who wrote emails to their future selves back in freshman year about one thing they hope to accomplish before they graduate. Lyla McAfee had all but forgotten the email that she wrote to herself freshman year and scheduled to be delivered right before graduation—the one promising that she’d learn to trust by the end of senior year. But when she receives it the first morning of her senior trip to Florida her life is sent into a tailspin. Soon she’s questioning her seemingly perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Derrick; her attraction to the school player, Beckett; and whether ending her friendship with Aven and Quinn, her former BFFs, was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

I am such a huge fan of Lauren Barnholdt books, and this one was no exception.  At first, I wasn't sure if I would like Lyla.  She seemed a little self-centered and kind of stupid actually considering some of the things she just seemed to be completely deluded about.  However, as time went on, she definitely grew on me.  I started to think back at how I used to think when I was a teenager and I kept thinking, yet, that was me.  So she was definitely a pretty believable character.  And therein lies one of the major talents that Barnholdt has... the ability to create realistic characters.

I loved Beckett.  It took me a little bit of time to get into him as well, only because I didn't really feel like I knew him right away.  But that was part of what made me love this book.  I got to know both of the main characters gradually.  Layers were pealed back slowly to where you really got to see who they were underneath.  Then, you realized that what you thought you knew of them was just the surface, and that there was so much more to them than that.

Aven and Quinn are going to be a larger part of the story as the books progress, since this is a trilogy, but each book stands alone.  They were a part of this book, but their scenes with Lyla didn't overtake the story.  The ones they were in though were some of my favorite scenes in the book.

Lauren Barnholdt knows how to make you remember what it was like to be a teenager, and she knows how to make these characters come alive.  Her writing is so real, the settings so realistic, and the feelings so nostalgic that you feel like you're back in high school with the characters, reliving things.  Another winner!

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