Friday, September 12, 2014

ARC Review: Contessa

Contessa by Lori L. Otto

Publisher: Vook, 2014 
616 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Book one of the YA/New Adult Choisie series by the author of Emi Lost & Found!

When she was four, a generous couple welcomed orphan Olivia Sophia into their lives. As she grew up, her parents made good decisions for her, raising “Livvy” to be an intelligent and creative young girl. Now sixteen, three people influence many of her choices: her first love, her second father, and a third man who speaks to her through his artwork.

Livvy’s father is practical and steadfast; even-tempered and quietly observant. She’s an artist who acts on her emotions and thrives on attention. Unhappy with their differences– and misunderstanding her father’s methods– Livvy chooses to focus on the similarities she shares with an enigmatic painter from her mother’s past. Her overactive imagination leads her down an obsessive path– one that only stands to hurt everyone around her.

The distraction of a new boyfriend has the potential to end her search and reunite her family, but his involvement in her life could be just as devastating, taking Livvy away from her father for good.

Mature YA for limited sensual content.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book. Lori L. Otto does an amazing job at taking us through a young girl's first love as well as her first real teenage rebellions. This book brought back a lot of memories for me.

The family dynamic described in the book is also great. Parents can also make mistakes and Lori does not shy away from showing this. Raising a teenager seems to be to one of the most daunting things a parent can face and Lori shows this wonderfully too. The family fights are so heartbreaking, but the making up is so heartwarming. No family is perfect. Even the most picture perfect family has it's problems.

Teenagers always want to grow up too fast, and perhaps the thing I loved most about this book (and related to so much) was the pushing, pushing, pushing of Livvy, and to a certain extent Jon, and the struggle of Emi and Jack to give enough freedom but not too much. Both teens realised that they were asking for, perhaps, more than they could realistically handle. And I loved this growth of character.

The romance is sweet and envy enducing and the family life is wonderful and realistic. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone from the age of 16 and beyond.

My Rating:

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