Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: Tastes Like Winter by CeCe Carroll

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Tastes Like Winter
   by: CeCe Carroll

Publication Date: Sept. 16, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 300 pages
Order Links: Amazon
My Rating: 4/5 stars

When home no longer feels like home - where can you go?
When your best friend won’t listen - who can you turn to?
When love makes you feel weak - how do you protect your heart?

With constant fighting at home, Emma decides working at High Street Books and practicing avoidance is the best method to save her from more heartache.

She doesn’t expect to meet Jake, the shop owner’s nephew,
who makes her stomach do crazy things.
But Jake is intent on pushing her away, and Emma must ask herself:
Is he scared? Or is he hiding something?

Tastes Like Winter is a story of love, family, and friendship and,
when everything is uncertain, trying to figure out where you fit in.

One of my absolute favorite movies is Life as a House. It is a beautiful film about a troubled young teen navigating the waters of teenage life who is forced to spend the summer with his father tearing down and rebuilding a house. There is this one scene in particular that gets me every time. Hayden Christenson's character is watching his divorced parents dance to a song on the radio and the look on his face is a bittersweet one. It is through his facial expressions that we see just how much their divorce has affected him, as they were happy once. The reason I bring this up is because Tastes Like Winter evoked many of the same feelings as that particular scene in Life as a House.
I commend CeCe for bringing such a difficult issue to light as I feel divorce gets overlooked these days because of how common it is. The reality is, kids are incredibly affected by hearing their parents fight and we see that firsthand with the main character Emma. She is tired of their constant bickering and the fact that they both try to use her as an excuse. She wants to run away from the discontent at home and not feel the weight of her parents' problems. Emma's relationship with both her mom and her dad are very prevalent in this novel and we see how she navigates those waters, as well as deal with other changes that are emerging in her life.
I enjoyed Emma's character. She is realistic, but still a teenager at the same time. Not only is she dealing with her parents, but she is also starting to feel some distance growing between her and her best friend Genna. Genna is her confidant, but lately, Emma feels Genna just doesn't get what's going on with her family situation, as she has two parents who are very in love and happy. Instead of just being an ear to listen, Genna tries to find an explanation for everything, and that is something that Emma really struggles with. Genna will also be going off to college in the fall, and as much as Emma wants them to remain close, sometimes friendships drift apart.
While Genna is involved in sports, Emma ends up spending most of her time working at a bookstore. It is here that she meets Jake Addler, who is her boss's nephew. Jake, while a couple years older, gets her and the two form a bond over literature and start an easy friendship. However, the more time they spend with one another, the more the lines of friendship start to blur and soon Emma finds herself falling for Jake. However, Jake is a pretty complex guy. He has known tragedy in his life and has never truly come to terms and accepted what has happened in his past. He feels an immense amount of guilt over it, which causes him to keep people at an arm's length. I think he wants to let Emma in and just when you think he will, he ends up pushing her away and retreating. This is how Emma and Jake's relationship goes for most of the novel, which drove me a bit crazy. Just when Jake would do something sweet and I'd be in full on swoon mode, he would pull away and confuse Emma even more. To be fair, he does try to warn Emma off saying that he wouldn't be good for her, but he can't stay away from her either.
The realistic nature of this story is what really stands out for me. I love that Carroll has tackled topics so prevalent for teens. Family problems, crushes, disconnecting from friends are all a part of growing up and Carroll really brings those things to the forefront of the novel. The ending is a bittersweet one and it definitely leaves things open for a sequel, as I feel there are some things there that need to be resolved.
The writing is very detailed and very matter of fact, and I typically prefer to be shown instead of told things. However, this is something that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel and the story that Carroll has created. I am looking forward to reading what she writes next!

CeCe began writing as an escape from her days as a corporate slave laborer. She grew up splitting her time between the beautiful beaches of New Jersey and the bustling city of New York. Currently, she lives in Massachusetts with her super handsome and talented husband and two adorable, but often-sassy cats. CeCe gets excited easily, mostly about travelling, food, and of course, her first love: books.

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  1. I love it when authors include things that may seem "commonplace" but actually have a major impact on teens. Glad you enjoyed this one and great review!

    1. Yes! Me too! That is what made this such a win for me, especially since I work with teens.

  2. Yay! I'm really excited to read it - i've been meaning to!! I like that it seems to have very realistic with themes that are so common in teen lives. Can't wait :)

    1. That was what really sold this for me. I'm really proud of CeCe!


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