First off I want to call a spade, a spade! The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is I beta-read a copy of this book. CeCe is a blogger friend of mine and I love her to bits so if I hated her book it would be awkward but I wouldn’t pretend otherwise. Thankfully I love it and I’m excited to share my thoughts on it today. So excited that I’ve decided to share the love and giveaway a copy, so don’t forget to enter at the end of the post.Tastes Like Winter by CeCe Carroll
Published by self published on 16 Sept 2014
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Family Life, Friendship, Love & Romance, YA Contemporary
Source: Received from Author
When home no longer feels like home - where can you go?
When your best friend won’t listen - who can you turn to?
When love makes you feel weak - how do you protect your heart?
With constant fighting at home, Emma decides working at High Street Books and practicing avoidance is the best method to save her from more heartache.
She doesn’t expect to meet Jake, the shop owner’s nephew,
who makes her stomach do crazy things.
But Jake is intent on pushing her away, and Emma must ask herself:
Is he scared? Or is he hiding something?
Tastes Like Winter is a story of love, family, and friendship and,
when everything is uncertain, trying to figure out where you fit in.
First Line of Tastes Like Winter by CeCe Carroll:
“The wind rushes past me, tickling my cheeks as I soar higher and higher, flying though the air.”
My thoughts on Tastes Like Winter by CeCe Carroll:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it’s relatable. We all know what matters to teenage girls – family, friends and boys – not necessarily in that order! And that’s what Taste Like Winter deals with. First point in its favour is that it isn’t over dramatic but instead focuses on realistic, everyday scenarios such as a family breakup. I don’t seem to read about this a lot in contemporary YA books and seeing Emma’s pain and conflicted thoughts over her mother make for a thoughtful and captivating read.
Emma wants to pull her mother closer but feels she must push her away and make her more independent. It just feels so realistic and made for a very poignant, emotional storyline. Her relationship with her father is even more troublesome but I appreciated that both parents are such a huge part of the storyline. All too often in YA books, the parents are only barely mentioned and I love that the family and friendship themes were just as important as the romantic theme.
I also really enjoyed the romance. It was swoony and tender but a world away from a perfect relationship. It was frustratingly, refreshingly real. I get tired of reading about perfect first loves that have a few ups and downs but eventually sort themselves out. That doesn’t happen in real life. And the push and pull of this relationship feels a lot more authentic to me. Emma and Jake are beyond cute together and have lovely chemistry but with a cargo load of baggage, it was never going to be smooth sailing for them.
Emma is a strong lead; she is smart and witty and I loved that she didn’t change or try to fix Jake. I smile when we see independent characters like this in fiction as they are great role models for younger readers. And Jake is mixed up but thankfully not a macho cliché or a bad boy. I fell for him after five little words….corded biceps and moleskin notebook!
One of my favourite things about the book is that Emma is such a book lover. And I don’t mean she has a token book in her bag or on her locker. We see her read, she works in a book shop, she talks about books and books play a huge part in her relationship with Jake. I think all bibliophiles will love this element of the book. And whatever bad things you might find to say about Jake, he sure knows how to give great surprise pressies.
I did find initially that the pace was on the slow side. However once you really get in to it, the characters just draw you in and then you get drawn into all the romantic ups and downs and then that is the moment when it really starts to shine.
Overall I feel privileged that I got to beta-read this book and got to experience the highs and lows of such a sweet romance. And that moment when I discovered where the title came from made my heart jump with feels. Read it and you’ll know what I mean. The final verdict is two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me.
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read Tastes Like Winter by CeCe Carroll?
I’d highly recommend this to those who like contemporary YA with realistic story lines with lots and lots of romantic tension. Also recommended if you like reading about bookish main characters.
Thanks to CeCe for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.