Title: A Walk in the Sun
Author: Michelle Zink
Series: No Series – Standalone
Published: May 3rd, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5)
The summary of A Walk in the Sun from Goodreads:
In this Bridges of Madison County for teens, Michelle Zink weaves a magnetic tale about summer love that stays with you long after the seasons change.
Rose Darrow never wanted to spend her life working on her family’s farm. But when her family is rocked by an unexpected tragedy she has no choice but to put her plans for the future—and dreams of escaping her small town—on hold.
Bodhi Lowell left home as a kid and hasn’t looked back. Years of working farm jobs has given him the one thing he wants most: freedom to travel without answering to anyone. He’s already looking past his job at Darrow Farm and plans on leaving in September—until he meets Rose.
Neither Rose nor Bodhi can deny the sparks flying between them, but with the end of summer looming, they must decide if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all….
I’ve never read The Bridges of Madison County, nor have I seen the movie, so that similarity isn’t what drew me into the book. I was intrigued by the line “summer love that stays with you long after the seasons change.” There’s a lot of potential in that kind of story. There are happily ever after ways the books could go and there are directions that might make my heart ache. Either way, I wanted to read this book. It was sweet and lovely and hopeful…I loved it.
Rose Darrow is an admirable character. Farm life was never what she wanted for her life. She wanted to travel, to experience life away from her little town. However, after her world is upended, she makes herself work hard on the farm. Her father is grieving, unable to work like he used to. Rose feels like it’s her job to make life easier for him, to pick up where he left off. She does it without much complaint because she knows it’s what’s good and right. She’s not entirely happy with the direction her life has taken, but she knows there’s no sense in fighting it because she can’t change the past, only adapt for the future.
Bohdi has been on his own for several years. He left home knowing that his home was more dangerous for him than trying to figure out how to take care of himself. He’s left his old life behind and is focused on working and experiencing the world. He’s got his future planned and all he wants to do is finish this last job before he begins the next part of his life. He’s a hard worker who understands that most of the time, life isn’t going to hand you everything you want; you’ve got to work for it.
Their romance has a slow build that just feels sweet. There’s an instant attraction, but that’s all there is between them for a while. Bohdi doesn’t want attachments and Rose doesn’t feel like opening herself up. But they start to work together, get to know each other. That little bit of attraction turns into a romance, albeit with a little help from some pushy friends and family. It was refreshing to read about a relationship that grows slowly, unfolding each new layer like it’s something special.
I Didn’t Like:
There’s not much I didn’t like. I just wish the ending had been a little bit more. I don’t mind the uncertainty of their future, so much, but the last little bit felt a little rushed and I didn’t feel as content with the ending as I had hoped.
This was a wonderful contemporary novel. It had a sweet romance that was a slow simmer until just the perfect moment. There’s just enough drama to make your heart beat fast, but it doesn’t feel overdone or excessive. It’s a great summer read.
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Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.