3 Aug 2019

Review: The Art of Falling In Love



'' ''The world's always gonna be bigger than what you can fit in your hands. Being connected to the world around you is how you see all the art it has to offer.'' ''


★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


From Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Claire Haynes always spends summer vacation at her family's beach house in Florida, sketching and dreaming of art school with her biggest fan--her Opa. But when Opa dies right before summer break, all Claire has left besides her memories is a sand-sculpting contest application with her name on it and the lingering question of why Opa filled it out in the first place. Claire has never even made a decent sandcastle, but she reluctantly turns in the entry forms, hoping the contest will help her navigate the grieving process by honoring one of Opa's last wishes.

When she meets Foster, a teenage boy with a talent for turning recyclables into abstract sculptures, the two join forces to win the contest and salvage the Summer of Art. They spend the humid summer days shoveling sand, devouring ice cream, and exploring Florida's art scene. Just like Opa, Foster understands Claire and her overwhelming need to create, but he has a secret that threatens to ruin everything: he's homeless and hiding from an abusive brother who would have him believe family trumps all.

When Claire's parents find out about Foster's homelessness, they offer him a home along with their hearts. But even picture-perfect families like Claire's can harbor an ugly side, especially in the aftermath of Opa's death. When someone close to Claire spills Foster's secret, they're both forced to choose between love and familial obligation. If Claire can't break through long-held beliefs and prove family is more than shared DNA, she could permanently lose Foster and a chance at the sand contest to honor Opa.

A grieving family's summer in Florida sunshine. Claire has made a vow to herself to keep her grandfather's memory alive since she feels that no one else in her family will.

Claire is in turmoil after her Opa died. She thinks she is the only one feeling the pain in her family of seemingly perfect parents and a rebelling sister. She has dedicated the summer for her Opa's memory, doing all the things they were supposed to do together, even participating in a sand-sculpting competition. Meeting Foster and getting to know him becomes the new focus for Claire. She just can't solve the mystery of Foster's background. 

Claire is a very selfish character, but if you get past it, you can enjoy the book better. She acts very much like a typical teenager who thinks they are the centres of the world. Her family deals with grief differently, and to Claire, they are not doing it right. She doesn't act out but has her own quiet mutiny. This mutiny lasts almost through the entire book, so be prepared for that. 

I have to say that I could really relate to Foster. He seemed to be the most 'real' character in the book, maybe that's why. Foster's backstory is not the most glamorous one. His past is catching up on him and he can't hide from no longer. 

The synopsis is a bit too revealing, in my opinion. You can actually see everything that will happen in the plot from it so don't get your hopes up for huge surprises. The synopsis also spoils the book a bit, since Foster's background is a mystery to Claire which she tries to solve. It's a bit of a let down for the reader when they know the truth already, and the characters are fumbling around still solving it.

Without ever reading the synopsis this book would've been a pretty good summer read. 

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