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Adelaide grabbed my attention as soon as I read the synopsis, but this book ended up being so much more than what I had originally thought it would be. This book squeezed my heart and punched me in the gut, repeatedly. I always say that if a book doesn’t affect you in some way, it isn’t doing its job. Well, Genevieve Wheeler did her job and then some. I felt every moment, every part of this book right to my core.
Adelaide Williams is an effervescent, intelligent, ambitious, caring, loving young woman. She truly is a good person. She loves fast and with her whole heart. She’s quirky and walks to the beat of her own drum, but that’s all part of her charm. It was impossible for me not to adore Adelaide. Did she always make the right decisions? Definitely not. Did she do things with the best intentions for others? Absolutely. I will confess that I did want to give her some strict words of advice and give her a big hug, simultaneously. She tried so hard to be everything to everyone, but she often times just ended up running on empty.
Adelaide was making her way in London. She was working, hanging out with friends, and she was falling in love. I felt every emotion right along with her; the quick rush of attraction and love that encompasses us in our youth, the insecurities, the self-doubt, and the fear that we will never measure up or be enough. It was heartbreaking, honest, raw, complicated, and deeply moving.
I don’t want to delve into too many details of this wonderful novel and spoil the journey for any other readers. Genevieve Wheeler has written a must-read novel. I devoured the words, felt the sting and the heartache, and was on Team Adelaide right from the start. This debut will definitely be gracing my list of favorite books of 2023.