The Names They Gave Us || ARC REVIEW

I received this book as an ARC via Netgalley. I hadn't actually read anything by Emery Lord before but the cover drew me in and then the synopsis sounded so intriguing. I'm a big fan of contemporary's at the moment, and after reading a ton of positive reviews I was really excited to pick this book up!

Author: Emery Lord Series: Standalone Published: 16th May 2017 Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Format: E-ARC Source: Netgalley, Bloomsbury Children's Books
Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?
My Rating
My Review
Okay, so let's just get this out of the way right now. I LOVED this book. I have a feeling this might not be so much a review, and more me flailing and desperately trying to explain why I loved it. So if this review comes out incoherent, I apologise in advance!

Now, Lucy. She was such an amazing character. In the first chapter or two I wasn't sure if I was going to like her because she and her family are all religious, which isn't something I can't relate to. I was worried that the religion aspect in this book was going to come across as pushy or judgemental, but it didn't at all. Lucy actually struggles a lot with her faith throughout the book and it was really nice to see that, because often you read about unwavering faith and I think this book showed that you don't have to be 100% sure, that's ok. I actually ended up really loving some of the sections in this book that used religious terminology, I thought they were beautiful and impactful.

I stand before the wall of faith, a line of talismans representing so much more. And I say a final last prayer, this one in gratitude that there are people in the world who will protect kids with a fire that makes them sprint after cars, fight systems, curse with rage. It's enough to make you believe. Maybe not in symbols; maybe not in Gods. But certainly in people.

The friendships in this book blew me away. I loved every single one of the characters and I loved that they accepted Lucy into their already close knit group with open arms. Anna was one of my favourite characters because from the minute she met Lucy she was nothing but nice. That's what I want more of in books! I don't want that bitchy mean girl trope, I want amazing friendships like this. I also want to note that this book is very diverse, so top marks for that!

The love interest...what can I say other than SWOON. Jones is just the perfect guy but not in the boring way. He was so funny and I found myself smiling like a schoolgirl when he and Lucy were flirting with each other. He was such a good guy and I LOVE HIM OK. 

The other major selling point of this book for me was how strong Lucy's family dynamics were. She was so close to her mum and her dad, so when her mum's cancer comes back she is heartbroken, and I felt it reading this book. Emery Lord did such a good job of putting me in Lucy's shoes, that every time she was upset, so was I, and it was incredible. 

I felt so many emotions reading this book. I laughed and cringed and cried. I cried a lot. But, it was amazing to feel those emotions. I loved the writing style of this book, there were so many beautiful quotes I highlighted that I could probably make a whole post out of them. But I won't, that would be weird I know. Basically, what I'm saying is read this book as soon as you can. It was beautiful.

Some extra quotes
I like her even more than that cookie from earlier. Or, it's a tie, anyway.
Hasn't Daybreak shown me, day after day, that people can outlast unbelievable pain? That human hearts are more like noble little ants, able to carry so much more weight than you'd expect. Hasn't my mom shown me that, every day of my life? 
I have always felt loved. But I have only recently learned just how lucky that is. 
Have you read this book yet? Or any other of Emery Lord's books. I certainly will be now!

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