Colleen Nelson’s Finding Hope is a quick read, but by no means an easy one. The story is told in two voices — Hope and her brother Eric. A promising young athlete, Eric’s life goes south after he becomes addicted to meth. His addiction leads him to run away from home, and his sister is both his only ally and desperate to get away from responsibility for his welfare. Hope escapes to Ravenhurst Academy, a boarding school where she befriends the school’s resident mean girls and finds a caring online boyfriend.
Nelson tackles quite a few hard-hitting contemporary issues in her story — drugs, bullying, sexual assault — but not in a heavy handed, moralistic way. Nelson’s prose has a light touch that seemingly barely skims the surface of the depths of the characters’ emotions, which keeps the book from being too depressing. Still, as we learn more about the experience that led Eric to drug use and as we become ever more aware that Hope’s happiness at Ravenhurst is poised to unravel, we find ourselves holding out for hope almost as much as the characters are.
Finding Hope is a good read for anyone who likes realistic YA, and the ending manages to be satisfying without being unrealistic. One note that bothered me is that the puppy Eric adopts, who was such a character throughout his storyline, appears to have been forgotten altogether in the final chapters. What happened to the dog?
Virtual Launch + #PinkShirtDay
The book hits shelves on March 19th, and Colleen Nelson will also be holding a virtual launch on that day. Visit colleennelsonauthor.com on March 19th and you can redeem bonus gifts for purchasing the book on launch day.
As an awesome bonus, $1 from each sale via Colleen’s website will be donated to #PinkShirtDay, a charity that works to end bullying. Check out the list of awesome anti-bullying initiatives that #PinkShirtDay supports, and read Finding Hope to see why initiatives like #PinkShirtDay and its fight against bullying matters.
Thank you to Dundurn Press for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and an invitation to join this blog tour.