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Review: The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith

May 6, 2018

About the Book

Teenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she’s never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve. But the voices in Leila’s head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn’t working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park.

My thoughts:

This is a great book that I really enjoyed. The fantasy elements mixed well with the genuine conflicting emotions experienced by Leila, the young main character of this story. Leila’s adoption (while obviously a massive part of her life) takes second fiddle to the mystery of the voices in her head and the hidden grove she is drawn to.

There is commentary on school bullies, the delicate balance between the environment and development, and also commentary on school groups, friends, romance, social media and coffee. I loved secondary character Sarika, Leila’s best friend. I also loved the characters of Leila’s adoptive parents. This is a great tale that doesn’t focus on the adoption journey but on what happens after. Leila’s emotional journey into accepting her adoptive parents while learning about her biological family. I enjoyed the social media pages of conversations between characters. A great standalone book. A good read.


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