The Sum of These Things, by Emily O’Beirne
Series: A Story of Now, Book 2
Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Release Date: December 16, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
In the sequel to A Story of Now, Claire Pearson has already learned a few things this summer. Like falling for a girl is easy. Well, it is if that girl is Mia. What Claire hasn’t learned yet is that now comes the hard part: learning to trust in this new relationship. And that isn’t easy when no one has ever given you a reason to trust before.
Then there’s the pressing question of what to do with her life. Claire’s new volunteer job working with kids offers a glimpse of a potential future, but it definitely isn’t something her pushy mother is going to like.
Still, everything feels hopeful as she embarks on the next chapter of her life, armed with new friends and the warm and funny Mia. But Claire quickly discovers that negotiating this new terrain of adulthood isn’t easy. Over the rest of this momentous summer, the biggest lesson Claire must learn is how not to let anything get in the way of her happiness. Especially herself.
Emily O’Beirne is the kind of writer who writes with emotion, not with imagery. It’s not the visual that matters in her book, it’s the feelings that are evoked, and Mia and Claire’s relationship is sure to make any reader feel everything they do. The way Emily writes is just beautiful, and I found myself highlighting line after line as it caught my attention.
The second book picks up just where the first one left off. Claire is struggling with what she wants to do with her life, and Mia is nervous about her own future. Together, though, their relationship is growing stronger, and they’re able to worry less about what’s to come by focusing on what they have now.
And Claire finds herself smack bang in the midst of one of those overwhelming waves of feeling that besiege her sometimes. One where, no matter how tired and bedraggled Mia looks right now, no matter how little she has seen her this past week, she feels unbearably, fatefully, smitten with this girl.
I did struggle a bit with the length of the novel. Because it’s a slow, emotional journey, the novel’s longer length did wear on me a bit. But when I was able to find a quiet place and just sink into the story, I could let it wash over me like ocean waves and just enjoy the slower pace.
At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy Claire. She seemed impulsive, and I couldn’t relate to some of her thoughts and actions at all. But even that, eventually, became something I could absorb and enjoy, and the reason behind her actions does soon become clear.
Another really gorgeous novel from Emily, and one that makes Mia and Claire feel more like real people, with real struggles, just trying to keep their heads above water. I can’t wait to read what happens next in their story!