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Review: The Year of Chasing Dreams by Lurlene McDaniel

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Year of
Chasing Dreams

Lurlene McDaniel

Series: The Year #2
Genre: Contemporary
Hardback: 336 Pages
Publication: July 22, 2014
by Delacorte Press


Ciana Beauchamp hasn't seen or heard from Jon Mercer in months. Until now. He's back in Windemere to see her. Deep down Ciana is filled with joy and relief. She's never stopped loving him. It's proof of Jon's love that he has returned, but what will their future be?

Working hard to maintain the family land that her grandmother left to her, Ciana is approached by a real estate developer who offers her a deal that could benefit the Beauchamp estate and possibly the entire town of Windemere, which has seen better days. But Ciana is determined not to sell—for the sake of her heritage and the honor of her grandmother.

When tragedy strikes, almost no one in town is left unscathed. Tragedy has a way of bringing people together, but it can also tear them apart. Ciana can hardly face her choices, but she knows she must, and there are now people who she can turn to if only she is willing.

◆ An ARC was provided by Random House for review ◆

The Year of Chasing Dreams made me feel a whole mess of emotions.

Months have passed since he and Ciana parted, and it's rather shocking to see Jon turn up on Ciana's doorsteps all of a sudden at the start of this book. As we aren't given much context on what has transpired since then, and time jumps around with Ciana unsure of how to deal with his reappearance into her life, it takes some time for the story to warm up. The slow development and Ciana's refusal to confront her feelings for Jon and his betrayal of her made it hard on me emotionally, as I still can't quite find it within myself to forgive Arie... and Jon... for putting Ciana and Jon's relationship through the wringer in the last book. I don't believe in affairs, and it was really unfair of them to put Ciana through all that.

Though time does pass in this novel, Ciana and Jon's relationship seems to progress surprisingly fast, especially for a couple that has avoided talking about what happened between them in the past. I guess it works for some people(?), but I would have expected them to need to sit down and work through some things. Getting over my initial disbelief, however, I found myself more and more engrossed in their developing relationship as the novel progressed. There's real chemistry and connection between these two, and I found myself emotionally invested in their relationship. The same goes for Eden and Garret. They're a wonderful couple, and I'm so happy that they find each other again!

At the same time, the multiple perspectives didn't work for me in this book. The story switches perspectives frequently between Ciana and Eden, and it can be jarring to jump from one girl to the next. It's disappointing because I love both girls so much and would have liked to spend more quality time with each of them, and I'm not fond of the time lapses in between each turn with have with a girl. There are plot threads that come up and go away without having been given much attention such as the appearance of Garrett's ex-girlfriend, who wants her man back.

Some shocking things happen in this book. It's almost as if the worst things that can happen do happen for these girls. Though it also means that the wonderful, beautiful things that find them are all the more beautiful and amazing. Like the amazing, supportive guys they've found in their lives. (The romance definitely gave me a lot of feels in this book!) And the family they find in each other. It does seem like a disturbance has come up in Eden and Garret's relationship, however, and I'm intrigued to see how their relationship progresses from here on out. I'd also love to see more of Ciana and Jon and the life they are building for themselves at Beauchamp.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I'll definitely be on the lookout for another book in The Year saga!

Additional Information
  1. The Year of Luminous Love
  2. The Year of Chasing Dreams
Similar Books
  • Sweet, Texas series by Candis Terry

  • Kissing, making out
  • Sex (not explicit)

This post was made as part of the Year of Chasing Dreams blog tour hosted by Random House

4 comments on "Review: The Year of Chasing Dreams by Lurlene McDaniel"
  1. I think I'd get along great with these girls because I'm a Murphy on my mom's side, so you know the saying... anything that can go wrong, will. I like that the guys are so supportive though to help balance things out.

    1. Yeah, the guys definitely help lighten things up :)

  2. I love when you get really invested in a couple and their success, even if they're not the best at talking about their issues (really, they do need to sit down and talk a bit -- if they don't, it'll come back to bite them!).


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