It’s popular, in the current climate, for YA to have a big overall message – The Hate U Give was super issue-based, for example, and many of the other books I’ve reviewed recently have included protagonists and characters who are always fighting uphill battles, whether it’s with their sexuality or gender or what have you. Those books are SO GOOD, but they’re heavy sometimes. But this book? Chasing Eveline is light and fluffy and wonderful.
Ivy Higgins’ big connection to her mom has always been through music, and Chasing Eveline was her mother’s favorite band. All Ivy wants is her mom to come back. After receiving a response to a letter she wrote to Chasing Eveline saying they’d get back together for a one-night show if Ivy was ever in Ireland, she and her friend Matt start doing everything they can think of to raise the money and get to Ireland to see them. Ivy is so sure that her mom will be at the show. As with YA contemporary, hijinks ensue on this crazy adventure. It’s so cute and I loved it so much.
3 Things I Loved
- The way music is written about. I love music, and I’ve never read a book that talked about music in such a way that I could feel it. I feel like I know and understand Chasing Eveline’s music now, even though I’ve never heard it. It was so good. Leslie Hauser did a fantastic job.
- Ivy and Matt’s friendship. The basis of the trip and the adventure is rooted in Ivy’s friendship with Matt, who was introduced to Chasing Eveline by Ivy while going through a breakup with the girl across the street from Ivy’s house. (That scene is so cute, by the way.) Ivy and Matt never have any romantic tension, they never almost date, nothing like that. And I love it. I love platonic friendships in YA, because they’re rare! And usually, they make the book so much better. ❤
- Sean! He isn’t introduced until a ways into the book, but Sean quickly became one of my favorite characters. That’s all I’m going to say so I don’t spoil anything. Hehe.
Nothing overtly problematic comes to mind, although there are only white people in this book. The character’s appearances aren’t beat over our heads though, so it wasn’t something I noticed constantly (unlike in some books, where blond hair is constantly mentioned, for example). Something that bothered me, though – HAVE THESE HIGH SCHOOLERS NEVER FUNDRAISED BEFORE??? Like, WOW, what are you doing, were you never a Girl Scout or anything? Haha. That was more a personal annoyance, and it didn’t take away from the cute story, but since a lot of the middle of the book was taken up by complete fundraising failures, I noticed and kept cringing.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good, but not something I’d reread
- Blue = Oh my gosh, everyone should be reading this book
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart
This book is so cute, and I’d definitely read it again just to feel the descriptions of music float around me. I’m giving Chasing Eveline a BLUE rating. Go read it.
This advanced reader copy was provided by Pen Name Publishing in exchange for an honest review. For the purposes of full disclosure, my own debut was published by Pen Name Publishing last month, and Leslie Hauser is my friend. However, these facts do not affect my opinions about the book.