A Story of Now, by Emily O’Beirne
Publisher: Ylva Publishing (July 10, 2015)
Page Count: 405 pages
Genre: Lesbian (F/F) YA Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5
Summary: Nineteen-year-old Claire Pearson knows she needs a life. And some new friends. But brittle, beautiful, and just a little bit too sassy for her own good sometimes, she no longer makes friends easily. And she has no clue where to start on the whole finding a life front, either. Not after a confidence-shattering year dogged by bad break-ups, friends who have become strangers, and her constant failure to meet her parents sky-high expectations.
When Robbie and Mia walk into Claire’s work they seem the least likely people to help her find a life. But despite Claire’s initial attempts to alienate them, an unexpected new friendship develops. And it’s the warm, brilliant Mia who seems to get Claire like no one has before. Soon, Claire begins to question her feelings for her new friend.
My Thoughts: I would call this a bildungsroman for the university student. A Story of Now follows Claire, who is not the most easily liked person you’ll ever meet, as she starts to grow and become her own woman. So far, she’s spent her life doing everything her parents don’t want her to do, rather than doing the things that she wants to do, and at age nineteen has no idea what she’s really doing with her life.
A warning in advance: this is the first in a series, with the second novel out in December 2015. I didn’t realize that when I’d started. But the novel does conclude satisfactorily, with no cliff-hanger.
There’s a really slow-build relationship between Claire and Mia. The two meet and are opposites who somehow understand the other’s sense of humor. Claire is upfront to the point of being rude, and aimless in life. She works nights in a bar, studies French with no plans to use the degree, and constantly battles with her parents on every subject. Mia is a bio-med student planning to be a doctor; she’s smart, quiet, and a bit geeky, but has a great relationship with her parents and a solid goal in life.
The introduction of a romantic element to their friendship comes really organically. They’re both scared and confused, and afraid to lose their relatively new friendship. Neither is out, except to their mutual friend Robbie (himself gay), and there are misunderstandings and a lot of difficult feelings to work through for both of them.
I would have given this novel a five out of five if not for two things: one, the narrative is written in present tense. Not the best decision, in my opinion, and not very well done. The other issue was Claire’s style of speaking; specifically, she ended her sentences and questions in Mia’s name over and over, in what is a really unrealistic method of speaking.
But this was a great novel, and I’m really looking forward to the second book in the series! I think getting to see Mia and Claire’s relationship evolve, as the two of them continue to grow as young women, will be really fantastic to see.