Mini Review: From This Moment by Lauren Barnholdt

I’m going to do something a little different for the next three books. Written by Lauren Barnholdt, the Moment of Truth series looks at one trip through three different perspectives. Each book deserves its own review, but I also think the series as a whole should be reviewed. So I’ll be giving each book a mini review, and a full series review on Monday, April 11th.

From This MomentTitle:
 From This Moment
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Series: The Moment of Truth Series
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: July 12th, 2015
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

From This Moment summary from Goodreads:

Before graduation, I will…learn to take a risk. In the final book in the Moment of Truth series, readers will learn if Aven is willing to take the ultimate gamble.

Aven has had a crush on her best guy friend, Liam, for years. Now with graduation looming and a week of nothing but sun, sand, and countless hours alone with him, Aven has decided that now is finally the time to see if he could possibly feel the same way about her.

Each book in this paperback original series is told from the perspective of a different girl—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. When the emails get delivered on the first morning of their senior trip, all three girls will spend the next three days trying to keep the promises they made to themselves four years ago. While each book follow’s one girl’s life-changing adventure, you have to read them all to get the whole story, including why they’re no longer friends and whether they can get their friendship back on track.

Smart, hilarious and full of heart, the thrilling finale to the Moment of Truth series is the perfect conclusion to an irresistible trilogy.

I can’t really think of a way to describe Aven. She’s sweet and determined, but she’s not as vocal as Lyla or as single-mindedly driven as Quinn. She’s the kind of friend every person should have because she’s there to to be supportive, but also known when you need a slap to the head.

As opposed to the previous two love interests, the love interest of this book is more important. Liam has been friends with Aven for years. And Aven has had a crush on him for nearly as long. This was finally going to be the year she told him how she felt, but the situation is more complicated. Now Liam has a girlfriend, Izzy, who Aven is actually kind of friends with, too.

Aven doesn’t have quite the same amount of self-discovery to accomplish as Lyla and Quinn. She understands who she is, but she also knows how she wants to change. And facing a fear and telling Liam how she feels is one of the more important things she wants to accomplish. She knows that telling him puts a lot at risk. Her friendships with Liam and Izzy could be ruined. But if she doesn’t share her feelings, she’ll struggle with not knowing the truth. Whatever the outcome, she knows things will change.

She also wants to mend her friendship with Lyla and Quinn. She knows she played a part in their fight, but she also knows that one fight shouldn’t destroy a friendship like they had. She wants to use their trip to try and bring them back together.

Out of the three novels, I think I liked Aven’s story best. She was putting a lot on the line with all her relationships. If her attempts at reconciliation with Quinn and Lyla backfire, she might never be able to connect with them again. She could lose her friendships with Liam and Izzy just by admitting something she’s held close for years. It might not be the same as losing the chance at Stanford or the outwardly perfect relationship, but she stands to lose a lot.

This was a very satisfying conclusion to the series. We finally get to see how the cliffhanger-ish endings of the first two novels end. It was like getting to take a nice, deep breath.

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