Just letting y’all know, WordPress isn’t letting me upload any graphics at the moment so I’m sorry for the lack of color! I’ll hopefully have it fixed soon!
Gracie’s Song by Michelle Schlicher was my first author-requested book review. Michelle was so sweet to contact me and send me a signed copy of her new novel in exchange for an honest review. I was a little nervous about it, worrying about if I ended up not enjoying it and then having to explain why. Luckily, that was not the case!
“Everything can be undone.” That’s what someone tells Gracie Brannen, but she’s doubtful. After graduation, she walked away from everyone she knew with barely a word. Ten years later, she’s back. Even as familiar places and faces bring back old pain, Gracie finds hope in rebuilding old ties and forging new ones. Maybe everything can’t be undone, but perhaps everything can be overcome.
Gracie has spent the last 10 years of her life, disconnected from everyone she’s known, including her mother and sister, Hannah. No one knows why she left or where she went and the only communication she’s had has been with a few exchanged emails with her mom and sister over the years. But when Gracie’s mother dies, she has to suck it up and return to Glenwood and face everyone and everything she left behind, including the love of her life, Finn Miller.
I really enjoyed Schlicher’s writing. It had a really nice flow and pace that matched the tone of the story, beautiful and simple. There were times when it would get a bit confusing though as Gracie would have these flashbacks and so all of a sudden we would get thrown into an old memory of her childhood. I think it was just a bit hard to realize this was occurring due to the way the book is laid out and could be fixed quite easily with a little symbol in the breaks between scenes. But other than that, I never had any problems. The flashbacks were a wonderful add to to see the differences between the old Gracie and the new one. They also were really powerful, especially the scenes with her family interactions. Her dad was a piece of work, lemme tell you.
I really enjoyed Gracie and watching how her strength grew as the story progressed. She was an interesting character. I really connected with her because I come from a really small town where no one ever leaves, just like her. So I recognize the need to get away and feeling of suffocation when you stay. The mystery surrounding her disappearance was very well drawn out and I could feel myself understanding why she chose to do what she did. Though it took me towards the end to completely agree with her choice (thanks to another great flashback). But she never whined or was bitter which I really appreciated because I honestly expected her to be that way, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that she wasn’t. I also loved the relationship she rebuilt with her sister, Hannah, and Hannah’s daughter, Cayla. It was so sweet. The flashbacks also helped explain a little bit of the background between them two which was nice to see.
I’m not gonna talk about Finn Miller. I don’t want to ruin him for you all before you get a chance to read about him yourself. Just know that he is amazing and sweet. 😉
All in all, I thought this was a great book and I really recommend it. I think the only issue I had was that it did fall to the miscommunication trope that most contemporaries use as the source for the conflict in the story. That just happens to be a minor pet peeve of mine because I’m just a really honest person and I don’t see why people don’t just say exactly what’s going on with them. But regardless of that, this was a great read and I’m glad that I was able to experience it.