ARC REVIEW: Awakening Foster Kelly – by Cara Rosalie Olsen

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Title: Awakening Foster Kelly
Author: Cara Rosalie Olsen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: June 22nd 2013
Finished reading: September 5th 2014
Pages: 672
Rating 3,5

“To me the stories were magic. When I was in their world it felt right. I felt right. Leaving was often very difficult, and I would cry. The moment school, meal or bath finished, there was only one place I wanted to be: the place that wanted me too.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
(Guest Reviewer Program) ***

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Before I start this review, I want you to keep in mind that I’m not a big fan of the romance genre, and this might have influenced my opinion of Awakening Foster Kelly in a negative way. Because I have to admit that this novel is definitely beautifully written. Awakening Foster Kelly is not an easy read and for some the prose might be a bit dense, but in general I truly enjoyed the extensive descriptions Cara Rosalie Olsen used to describe the life of Foster Kelly. The quote at the beginning of this post could have been written to describe my own feelings when I was a teenager. Foster in general has a lot of similarities to my teenage self, and I guess that explains why I could understand her character so well. A few things felt a bit ‘off’ and not so credible, but Olsen manages to explain those anomalies at the end of her story. In fact, Olsen dropped a big twist bomb at the end of her book and I was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out to be (although part of it was a bit too cheesy for my taste).

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Seventeen year old Foster Kelly doesn’t have an easy life. Not only has she unruly hair and a tendency to be very clumsy, she also has no self esteem and believes she doesn’t belong anywhere. She has two friends, the twins Jake and Emily, who help her survive the worse part of the bullies… Although even Jake and Emily don’t know a lot about the ‘real’ Foster; she prefers the life of a wallflower and above all a life full of half-truths. Things take a turn for worse when she bumps into a new guy named Dominic. He treats her horribly that day (I wanted to slap him in the face SO bad at this point), and afterwards just disappears… But their ways cross again when Foster manages to hit his car.

The attitude of Dominic has changed completely since the last time they met. He tries to apologize for his behavior even though he doesn’t want to explain yet why he acted the way he did that day. Foster accepts the apology being the sensitive and kind-hearted girl she is, and Dominic now constantly tries to protect her from harm. Emily is not convinced though with this unexplainable change, but tolerates Dominic for Foster’s sake. (I still didn’t like Dominic at this point.) Slowly, a friendship is starting to grow between Foster and Dominic. Foster actually is starting to be more confident about herself and her incredible singing thanks to Dominic, although she still cannot believe a guy like him is interested in being around her… But Dominic doesn’t leave her side, and soon his intentions become clear. He has a secret though; something about his past that he thinks will change everything. And things change indeed when the truth finally comes out…

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Some parts of Awakening Foster Kelly didn’t work for me, but in general it was a pleasant read. I would definitely recommend this novel to those who enjoy the romance genre and appreciate beautiful prose.

5 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Awakening Foster Kelly – by Cara Rosalie Olsen

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