Thursday, June 9, 2016

ARC Review: Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi

Author: Lauren Gibaldi
Publication: HarperTeen (June 14, 2016)

Description: From the author of The Night We Said Yes comes a fun and heartfelt YA contemporary tale. When Maude decides to search for information about her birth mother, she finds out more than she expected. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Susane Colasanti.

Family. It’s always been a loaded word for Maude, whose birth mother died after giving her up for adoption. With her best friend, Treena, in college in the same town where her birth mother grew up, Maude decides to visit and explore her past. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena doesn’t seem to have time for her—or for helping with her search. Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude, she starts to realize that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

My Thoughts: Maude is seventeen and has decided that now is the time to find out more about her birth mother who died when she was born. She has a great relationship with her parents but she also has many unanswered questions. She feels that she has holes in her life that only this information can fill.

She takes the opportunity to visit her best friend Treena at college during a school break both because she has been missing her and because it is the town her birth mother came from. She also has a school assignment to do a photography project about family.

The first thing she discovers when she arrives to spend time with Tree is how much she has changed in just the short time she's been away from home. She seems to be trying to remake herself to be more attractive to new boy in her life and has less time to spend with Maude. Luckily, Maude is befriended by one of Tree's study partners and Bennett aids her on her quest to learn more about the mother who died after giving her up for adoption.

This was a fascinating story about growing up. Maude changes a lot as she discovers more and more about her mother. She tracks down some of her high school friends and gets a whole lot of often contradictory snapshots of her mother through their eyes. Maude has to deal with how much she is going to let these new facts influence her own life.

Fans of contemporary YA fiction will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
It's this deep yearning I've always felt in the pit of my stomach to know more about the other life I could have had, the mother I never knew. And this is the opportunity to explore that. If blood makes a person, am I more her than my real parents? Or maybe blood is just blood.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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