The Year of Chasing Dreamsby Lurlene McDaniel
"Readers will swoon over this story of love despite impossible odds."--Romantic Times
From the author of Don't Die, My Love comes this young adult novel that intertwines a family saga with a grand love story. This novel stands alone or can be read as the companion to The Year of Luminous Love and Wishes/i>/i>/b>/i>
"Readers will swoon over this story of love despite impossible odds."--Romantic Times
From the author of Don't Die, My Love comes this young adult novel that intertwines a family saga with a grand love story. This novel stands alone or can be read as the companion to The Year of Luminous Love and Wishes and Dreams. For fans of Sarah Dessen's The Moon and More and Ann Brashares's Forever in Blue.
Ciana Beauchamp hasn't seen or heard from Jon Mercer in months. Until now. He's back in Windemere to see her. Deep down Ciana is filled with joy and relief. She has never stopped loving him. It's proof of Jon's love that he has returned, but what will their future be?
When tragedy strikes, almost no one in town is left unscathed. Tragedy has a way of bringing people together, but it can also tear them apart. Ciana can hardly face her choices, but she knows she must, and there are now people who she can turn to if only she is willing.
From the Hardcover edition.
Gr 9 Up—Beginning a short time after The Year of Luminous Love (Delacorte, 2013) ends, this novel finds Ciana and Eden still reeling from the death of their close friend, Arie. Jon Mercer, Ciana's one-time love, offers her his heart, hoping for a fresh start. The months since Arie's death have been good to Eden, since she found a place and a family with Ciana and her mom, helping them with cooking and gardening. When Arie's mother invites the girls over to her house and gives them letters from their friend, they are stunned. For Eden, Arie offers her a possible way to contact Garret, the fun-loving Australian she met while the three friends were in Italy, and for Ciana, Arie gives her blessing to fully continue a relationship with Jon. While Eden finally connects with Garret and goes to visit him, Ciana continues working on her farm while also battling a local developer who wants to buy her property. Ciana's refusal leads to repercussions, and as she and Jon try to figure out how to deal with them, they grow closer together. This is a meandering, episodic book that relies too heavily on melodrama to be fully believable. The characters are less than fully developed and act more like young women in their early 20s rather than girls barely a year out of high school. The men are too perfect, and the plot flits from one crisis to the next. Fans of the previous book may leave satisfied, but others will be left wanting—Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MA
Two 20-year-old best friends enjoy their romances while trying to save the family farm in Tennessee.Ciana's great hope is to preserve her family farm, just as generations of her female forebears did. A developer wants to buy much of her land to build a major new housing tract, but she, nearly alone among her neighbors, refuses to sell, and many in the town turn against her. Jon, her heartthrob from The Year of Luminous Love (2013), arrives to help, firing up the old romance despite the temptations of an aristocratic Italian. Meanwhile her best friend, Eden, tracks down Garret, her Australian love interest from the previous book. The romances seem to be going well until a serious disaster strikes. In life-or-death situations, everyone tries to hold on to their dreams. McDaniel strikes interesting contrasts between Ciana and Eden. Ciana remains a virgin, waiting for her wedding night, while Eden has a past and enjoys sleeping with Garret (offstage). Despite its reliance on wild flukes to advance the plot, the story comes off as more realistic than many other romance novels. Additionally, the author throws in a little mystery: Who is responsible for trying to scare Ciana off her land? Despite its sequel status, the story stands well on its own.A pleasant-enough outing for fans of old-fashioned, relatively clean romance. (Romance. 12 & up)
Meet the Author
LURLENE McDANIEL began writing inspirational novels about teenagers facing life-altering situations when her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Her novels are hard-hitting and realistic, but also leave readers with inspiration and hope. Her books have received acclaim from readers, teachers, parents, and reviewers. Her bestselling novels include Don't Die, My Love; Till Death Do Us Part; Hit and Run; Telling Christina Goodbye; True Love: Three Novels; and The End of Forever.
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I've wanted to read The Year of Chasing Dreams since I read the first, The Year of Luminous Love. I remembered enjoying the characters and even though Arie isn't in this one, I still liked Eden and Ciana. Besides, Lurlene McDaniel is on my automatic read list so, I would have wanted to anyways. Lurlene has a way of crafting characters in such a way that I am so invested in them and she always writes with such emotions. This one is no different although this one didn't have as much of a young adult feel as her normal ones. The characters are 20 in this one though so it could pass for NA I suppose. Though sex and foreplay are mentioned, nothing is explicit so YA audiences wouldn't be appalled. Eden and Ciana are tested in whole new ways in this one, and it made me feel so much for them. They have ideas of how they want their lives to go, but love, tragedies and the unexpected definitely makes them work for what they want and love. Garrett, Enzo and Jon also make repeat appearances, and Ciana is faced with a hard choice, and she has to listen to her heart. I love the southern hospitality and the theme of family and friendship found in these books. Blood family has its strong place, but also the family that you chose, and the people that you let in your life and keep around. I flew through this one and enjoyed and felt for the characters that I've come to love and I am hoping for more books in this series. Bottom Line: Emotional and great catching up with characters I enjoyed.
The Year of Chasing Dreams made me feel a whole mess of emotions. Months have passed since he and Ciana parted, and it's rather shocking to see Jon turn up on Ciana's doorsteps all of a sudden at the start of this book. As we aren't given much context on what has transpired since then, and time jumps around with Ciana unsure of how to deal with his reappearance into her life, it takes some time for the story to warm up. The slow development and Ciana's refusal to confront her feelings for Jon and his betrayal of her made it hard on me emotionally, as I still can't quite find it within myself to forgive Arie... and Jon... for putting Ciana and Jon's relationship through the wringer in the last book. I don't believe in affairs, and it was really unfair of them to put Ciana through all that. Though time does pass in this novel, Ciana and Jon's relationship seems to progress surprisingly fast, especially for a couple that has avoided talking about what happened between them in the past. I guess it works for some people(?), but I would have expected them to need to sit down and work through some things. Getting over my initial disbelief, however, I found myself more and more engrossed in their developing relationship as the novel progressed. There's real chemistry and connection between these two, and I found myself emotionally invested in their relationship. The same goes for Eden and Garret. They're a wonderful couple, and I'm so happy that they find each other again! At the same time, the multiple perspectives didn't work for me in this book. The story switches perspectives frequently between Ciana and Eden, and it can be jarring to jump from one girl to the next. It's disappointing because I love both girls so much and would have liked to spend more quality time with each of them, and I'm not fond of the time lapses in between each turn with have with a girl. There are plot threads that come up and go away without having been given much attention such as the appearance of Garrett's ex-girlfriend, who wants her man back. Some shocking things happen in this book. It's almost as if the worst things that can happen do happen for these girls. Though it also means that the wonderful, beautiful things that find them are all the more beautiful and amazing. Like the amazing, supportive guys they've found in their lives. (The romance definitely gave me a lot of feels in this book!) And the family they find in each other. It does seem like a disturbance has come up in Eden and Garret's relationship, however, and I'm intrigued to see how their relationship progresses from here on out. I'd also love to see more of Ciana and Jon and the life they are building for themselves at Beauchamp. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I'll definitely be on the lookout for another book in The Year saga!