Title: Start Here
Author: Trish Doller
Publication: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Teen, YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.
Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.
From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.
**A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Start Here by Trish Doller was everything I would want in a great teen fiction novel and more. She guided me, the reader, through the emotional ups and downs of two teenage girls dealing with the loss of a best friend, rekindling a relationship, past grievances, and new summer love. I cannot praise it enough.
Taylor and Willa are the two main characters in this book, but we get to know their best friend Finley pretty well even though she has passed away when this book starts. The girls made a promise to sail from Ohio to Key West together, but Finley dies of Leukemia. So Willa and Taylor have to go but they aren’t really all that good of friends without Finley. I love the dynamic here. We have two individuals who know each other fairly well, but don’t really like each other even though they shared a best friend and spent a lot of time together.
This book digs deeper into how people handle grief differently. I love seeing how Willa and Taylor are different in this aspect, but yet so much alike in other ways. The author also did a fantastic job of showing their remorse and their personal growth along the journey. I felt I could see them maturing with every flip of the page. The characters were so well developed and we got little instances of flashbacks from the past to show us why they might be the way they are now.
Start Here is a true coming of age story and I love that it included hard hitting topics like death, lgbtq aspects, love, heartbreak, and so much more. I wish I had went on a trip like this when I was there age. What an amazing thing to do and it was such a joy to read. I would recommend this book to anyone, young and old alike. Made me feel young again just reading it. I’ll be checking out more from Trish Doller soon!
STAR RATING; 5/5
Pick up Start Here by Trish Doller now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check out more books from author Trish Doller on Amazon HERE! Also make sure to follow her on Twitter!