Sunday, December 21, 2014

Book Review: Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting

*I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* 

Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.

“Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.”

From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.

Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.

Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…

It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
There are very few books I have read that have moved me to tears. This one had me crying such big crocodile tears that I had to step away to collect myself. I wish I could have blamed the emotional outburst on hormones but it was most definitely this book. Frances Whiting is an amazing writer and did such an amazitastic job developing the characters to make them seem like real people. 

I adored Lulu and her family, relating very well to having a mother like Rose and a friend like Annabelle. Lulu's mild nature that she sees as a weakness really becomes her greatest strength as she carefully and lovingly takes care of the people around her. Instead of feeling like I was reading about an event after the fact, I felt like I was really there, really in that moment with Lulu and Duncan and Barney when they all laid down together. And I felt the heartbreak when he was gone. And again when Rose left.

 I loved how easily the book transitioned from Lulu's childhood to adulthood. I think that her relationship with Duncan was probably one of the most important events in her life because he forced to her to not only leave what was familiar to her but also to forgive herself for not being the person she thought she should be. Lulu's journey into adulthood is a rocky stumble through love, heartbreak, and the act of forgiving herself. 

Such a truly amazing story about love, friendship, forgiveness, heartbreak, and really finding one's happiness.

Find Walking on Trampolines here: 

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