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The Year of Chasing Dreams

The Year of Chasing Dreams

4.0 2
by Lurlene McDaniel

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"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


"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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In an unpredictable world, McDaniel suggests that sometimes, things can remain the same forever. Readers will swoon over this story of love despite impossible odds and be captivated by the longevity of the connections."--Romantic Times
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Victoria Quint
Set in the south, The Year Of Chasing Dreams is an easy-to-read romance mixed with family problems. With realistic characters leading realistic, modern-day lives, there is little suspense, to which the writing adds nothing. Comprised of basic vocabulary, the novel is readable, but has some sections with incomplete sentences. Young adults in grades seven through ten who enjoy easy romances may want to give this novel a try. Reviewer: Victoria Quint, Teen Reviewer; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Stacy Holbrook
Ciana Beauchamp is a proud farm girl, determined, like the rest of the Beauchamp women. So when a big-city developer makes an offer to buy her land, she turns it down outright. While Ciana believes she is doing the right thing, the townspeople of Windemere diagree. They watch her throw away a chance to save the dying town, and start terrorizing the farm and Ciana. Luckily, she has the help of her former love, Jon Mercer, and her best friend, Eden. After Eden leaves Tennessee to be with her own love in Australia, Ciana realizes her feelings for Jon. Their relationship has plenty of hiccups, though, the biggest of which comes from her grandmother’s diary and a secret that scarred her family. Readers will enter this novel as though they are reading a sequel to which they did not read the previous book—trying to fill in the pieces of what happened “before.” Eventually many of those pieces are supplied, but the reader is still left wondering about many of the characters and how they came to be. There is a lot going on in this novel—events, characters, issues—which makes the storyline seem rushed and weighty. While much of the dialogue sounds too mature for young adults, this novel may interest teen readers of Lurlene McDaniel, romance, or southern tradition. Reviewer: Stacy Holbrook; Ages 15 to 18.
Children's Literature - Natalie Gurr
Twenty-one year old Ciana Beauchamp and her best friend Eden are still reeling from the loss of their friend, Arie. Alone with Ciana’s mother, Alice, the two girls are trying to keep the Beauchamp farm afloat. It is not easy. A new developer is in town and wants to buy out the land. Many of Ciana’s neighbors and her own mother, are pushing for Ciana to sell. Dealing with personal loss and financial hardship is challenging Ciana’s ability to cope and then her old boyfriend reappears. Ciana never thought she’d see Jon Mercer again, but here he is, claiming to still love her and wanting to help her around the property. Ciana is terrified that if she gives in, she will lose another part of herself. Meanwhile, Eden discovers a letter from Arie, written before she died. Arie urges Eden to go after her own heart and track down the man she fell in love with on a trip to Italy. Eden decides to take a chance and chase down her own dreams. Just when things appear to be looking up tragedy strikes. Ciana and Eden learn that there is always more to lose, but hope can always be found. Picking up where The Year of Luminous Love left off, this novel will appeal to fans of the series. While the characters act much older than their indicated ages and the book is heavy on the drama, it is still great for readers looking for a simple romance that does not require much thought. Reviewer: Natalie Gurr; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
HL720L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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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The Year of Chasing Dreams 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    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. 
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
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!