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07 February 2019

Book Review: The Year After You by Nina de Pass *AD Gifted

Ink Road Books sent me a free review copy of The Year After You by Nina de Pass.

This book. This book absolutely blew me away and I had so many feels while reading it. The Year After You by Nina de Pass tells a story that is complicated and a little bit messy, and I fell in love with it all. It left me speechless and aching for more.

The Year After You by Nina de Pass coverAdd to Goodreads button
New Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

Up in the Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But classmates Ren and Hector have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight-talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to. 

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara is quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.

Source: Review Copy

5 Word Review: Friendship, grief, blame, second-chances, forgiveness.

Content Warning: Grief, PTSD, homophobia

This book. This glorious, gorgeous book. It broke my heart and lifted my soul and I really don't think I can put in to words how much I loved it.

I think I'll start with the setting. I am a sucker for boarding school settings, the way that everything is so much more intense in close quarters, how relationships run at a different pace, the family-like quality of the people around you even (especially) if you don't like them or like them more than you think you should. And The Year After You absolutely excelled at manipulating the setting into emphasising the story. All at once the place is remote and lonely, crowded and loud, passions were heightened and everything held a new level of drama.

Hope Hall is like a motley collection of broken people finding themselves and learning to love themselves. It's a place full of hope and a little expectation, with support networks and an incredible view and I want to go there please.

The Year After You has the most amazing characters too. I loved Cara, even if I did find her frustrating at times. She is absolutely an unreliable narrator, and it is done in the best way. I absolutely adored her, but I wanted to give her a huge hug and a good shake and tell her to be honest all at the same time. I emphasised so much with her, and I loved the journey she took within herself between the pages. I felt her fear, her pain, her anger. She is open minded yet guarded, honest yet always lying. She is so incredibly complex and I love her dearly for it.

I loved Ren and her loyalty. She's a soft lesbian Hufflepuff, and honestly so relatable. I want to give her a squish and thank her for being amazing. She doesn't have the easiest time at Hope Hall due, lets be honest, to shitty people. And at times she can be a bit shitty because of it but I don't blame her because Same.

When it comes to the boys in the story, I actually have a lot of time for them both. They're juggling secrets, staying loyal, looking out for each other. They care, and they show that they care. They love their friends and they show that. And sure the road might get a little bumpy, but doesn't it always?

I loved the fake relationships, the half truths, the slow burn, the steady revelations. The Year After You is like the perfect YA novel.

And the writing itself, oh my. Excellent characters, excellent setting, excellent plot, excellent writing. I will absolutely read anything and everything this author writes next. I loved the expression on the pages, I picked out so many quotes. So. Many. Enough that I'll be sharing my top ten after the blog tour. It's lush and expressive, and full of feeling.

Honestly, The Year After You by Nina de Pass is marvellous. It was my first read of the year, and over 20 books in is still my favourite. It will take a lot to knock this beauty off the top spot (I don't think that'll happen).

"People always hurt the people they care about." Her mouth transforms into a pitying smile. "That's why it hurts so much."

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  1. I just chucked this directly onto my TBR - thank you for sharing this review or I'd have never known this existed!

  2. Another amazing post loved this thanks for sharing


  3. Wonderful review! This books sounds really really interesting. I love boarding school settings too.

  4. whilst im not sure this is my cuppa tea, the soft lesbian hufflepuff description is v temtpying ahah, i wanna know Ren

  5. Perfect YA novel, wow. Maybe I need to pick this up! Great review:)

  6. For this to be called the perfect YA, I have to read it. What was the best part or aspect of this book that sold you on it?

  7. This sounds like an intriguing read, great review 😊

  8. This seems like a really heart hitting, but also really sweet read. I definitely want to know more about Ren! Great review :)

  9. Fiction/contemporary is not a genre I reach for often but when I saw friendship amongst the five keywords I will consider reading it. Great review!

  10. It sounds fantastic. I was already interested in reading it but I will now order it today. Really great review Cora x

  11. Never heard of this book before! Lovely review, Cora!😊

    Shirley |

  12. What an interesting premise! And an absolutely gorgeous cover.

  13. This is high on my TBR at the moment!

  14. I love the sound of Ren, she sound so much like me! This sounds like a book that I could really relate to which is so important in a book for me. I love when authors can put things into words that you sometimes can't. I definitely need to give this a read x

    Alice //


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