In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira ARC Review

Release date – 6th March 2018

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I must admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Love Letters to the Dead – I read it while I was in hospital, and I literally can’t remember a thing about it aside from the fact that I struggled to finish it. But now I’m thinking I might try it again, because In Search of Us is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. It made my heart soar and then drop and then break, and I am going to shove it in everyone’s faces because I love it so much.

This story is set in two different time frames; Angie in present day, and Marilyn, her mam when she was seventeen and met Angie’s father, James. We follow Angie as she hunts for information about the father she never knew, and we also get the story from Marilyn as she falls in love with James.

Do you ever read about a couple and they just make your heart burst? Because that was me with Marilyn and James; their love was sweet and beautiful and pure, and I adored them. I was legit scared towards the end of the book because I just wanted them to have their happy ending so badly. Theirs is a story I will hold in my heart and my thoughts for a long time.

Angie, however, I struggled with. She was so wrapped up in her grief and in her problems that she often came off as selfish – running away from her mother, leaving her on her own, without telling her anything? If I did that, my mam would literally kick my arse. My life wouldn’t have been worth living.

One thing that did really stick out for me in relation to Angie was the fact that, as a mixed race child, was often believed to have been someone else’s daughter, not Marilyn’s, who was white. I literally cannot imagine how difficult that would be for a child, and it made my heart hurt.

Ava’s writing blew me away; it’s so vivid and enchanting. There were times where I swore I could smell hot dogs and the sea and sand. The descriptions were so beautiful, it made me want to pack up and move to LA to experience them all for myself.

Another thing I really loved was how little things played a part in both stories. I loved the little parallels between Angie and James, and I loved how Angie would see something, like a black swing dress, and then we would get to see the history behind it and when Marilyn would wear it.

I loved all of this book, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. I would recommend In Search of Us to everyone – I will most certainly treasure it.

*thanks to Readers First for providing a review copy*

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