Author: Emma Mills
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr
Also by this author: Foolish Hearts
Publisher: Macmillan, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Source: Raincoast Books Teens Read Preview Spring 2016
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
Review: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
This Adventure Ends is amazing. There, I got that out of the way. Like First & Then, Emma Mills’ debut, this book continues the author’s ability to articulate teen life in the most deadpan, honest way. Sloane Finch, the MC, is funny, sarcastic, and deeply kind, able to right wrongs, but unable to break herself out of a bubble of not being engaged in things.
Sloane and her family have recently relocated permanently to their summer home in a small town in Florida. When she meets the vivacious Vera Fuller and her brother Gabe, Sloane ends up charming them with her no-nonsense honesty. For Sloane, this means having a group of friends who accept and love each other, something she’s never had before. And it means a distraction from her family life, which is a bit of a mess at the moment.
For her friends, including Vera and Gabe, but also several other characters, it means having an outsider’s perspective on their very close-knit friendships.
Sloane’s father, meanwhile, has always been her closest friend. He’s a Nicholas Sparks-type character, a guy who’s written commercially successful literary romance, but dreams of being Fitzgerald. He’s at an impasse in his career, and he ends up getting big into a fandom and fanfiction – and he takes Sloane with him.
“It’s like my books without the pretension. It’s…unguarded and sincere. It comes from a complete and total love of the characters, and a love of their love–of the idea of love, and that’s what I’m here for, Sloane. Characters you care about. Feelings that are authentic. It doesn’t shy away for one second. I wish I could write something like that.”
Like Sloane herself, the book hides behind its lighter, quippy moments. Yes, there’s hilarity in Sloane’s dad finding out about a teen werewolf show and becoming obsessed with reading alternate universe fanfiction. Yes, I laughed out loud when Sloane’s friends ask her what the celebrity who stars in the movies based on Mr. Finch’s books smells like. Her answer: “Like a baby who’s just done a lot of cardio.”
But at its core, this book, like Sloane, wants you to feel something deeply, and do something about it. This is what Emma Mills does best. She writes about characters who are at crossroads in their lives, trying to articulate what it is they want to do when they’ve spent their lives not really participating. And it felt so real to me, even as a teen who was a “participant.”
Because sometimes, at 16 or 17, you don’t know what you want to do with your life. And because of that, you don’t take chances that you could take to find out what it is you love – or whether you could make it a passion or career or goal.
“We should all find something to be weirdly passionate about, don’t you think?”
That’s what this story is about, more than anything. Passion. It’s about that feeling you get when you find your perfect story or TV show or movie or talent. The one you can’t stop Googling or talking to all your friends about, so much so that you end up on Tumblr, reblogging all the gifs of your ship. And then, if you’re really into it, you start creating your own worlds from it.
This Adventure Ends celebrates that kind of love – the all-consuming passion of finding the one thing or person you’re meant to be with. And if begs you – and Sloane – to admit that you care about it and own it. Take the chance to make it become more and bigger and better – so that you can become bigger and better, too.
The Giggles: This book legitimately made me laugh out loud a few times. Emma Mills has the incredible ability to articulate, in the most precise, unusual and funny way, the weirdness of a situation, and it’s a joy to read.
Kick-Arse Secondary Characters: This is one of those books where every secondary character is so real and has so much screen time that you can barely call them secondary. Sloane, her family and her friends are all on their own journeys, but the way they intersect, help and hurt one another? Those connections made this book an incredible read.
It’s A Quest: This Adventure Ends includes a quest of sorts. I can’t tell you much about it because it’s really nice when you figure out what it is! Like all quests, this one lands the characters in weird and funny situations. But as you keep reading, you realize that the quest is so much less about what’s at the end than the journey.
Heart-Squeezing Romance: I admit, I didn’t get QUITE as swoony with This Adventure Ends as I did in First & Then (EZRA 😍😍😍). But still. This is some serious slow-burning romance, guys, and if you’re here for that, you won’t be disappointed.
Book Theme Song:
It seems fitting to be putting in a song from a movie that had a huge fandom. And the lyrics totally fit, too.
Living in my own world, didn’t understand
That anything can happen when you take a chance
I never believed in what I couldn’t see
I never opened my heart too all the possibilities, oh
I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
And right here, tonight
This could be the start of something new
It feels so right to be here with you, oh
And now, looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart the start of something new
The Final Word:
This Adventure Ends is definitely a funny read with great, distinctive voices. But more than that, it’s a book where you savour every moment you get to spend with it. It’s a book where you revel in friendship and family and finding the ability to engage in something so deeply that you take action. What that thing and action are is up to you, but This Adventure Ends appreciates that passion – and makes you want to find it and never let go.
THIS ADVENTURE ENDS is out in bookstores now. Will you be reading it? Have you read Emma Mills’ first book, First & Then? And are you part of any fandoms? What do you love about them? Let me know in the comments!