Sunday, October 12, 2014

Book Review | On the Mountain by Deirdre Riordan Hall



Modeling contract? Check.

New Louboutins? Check.

Drinking and dancing at the hottest NYC clubs? Check.

Friends with benefits? Check.

An unsettled feeling about the future? Um, check.

Pressure to begin college and an epic blowout with her best friend, turns Baskia Benedict’s party life toxic. Late nights bubble with drama, her relationship with her “not-boyfriend” fizzles, and failing to meet her parents’ expectations results in an escape to the family cabin in the mountains.

Unexpectedly, her brother’s friend Trace appears, seeking refuge from his own obscure problems at the rural hideaway. All Baskia needs are a few days to get her head clear, but Trace distracts her with his smile—always on the edge of amusement—and infuriates her with his seductive charm. When the rumble of his motorcycle fades, Baskia focuses on figuring out her future and nursing a not-so-healthy crush on Trace.

As days turn into months, Baskia stubbornly remains at the cabin, determined to find her purpose and secretly hoping for mysterious Trace to return. After she meets locals—including getting snowed in with her cute neighbor—learns how to cook, and mends past relationships, she discovers the simple life might just save her from herself. Although Baskia transforms and gains independence, Trace returns and stirs up trouble, challenging her to follow her ultimate bliss.

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Pre-Order Linkhttp://amzn.to/1w0LaJV


My Review 
Biaska (LOVE HER NAME!) is spiraling down. Perhaps some would envy her status, considering she’s on top of the world – having a modeling career, wealthy parents, great apartment, not to mention an admission to every Ivy League school she applied to – but deep inside she felt hallow, and lost. She didn’t know what to do. Her mother was no help too, constantly comparing her to her friend who can’t do anything bad.

It was constant party, hook-ups, and some booze, until her mother found out and dragged her back to their house and forced her to choose the school she wanted to be in. She found her escape in the family cabin in the cold mountains in Vermont. The reprieve she badly needed was momentarily disturbed when her brother’s old friend appeared.

Trace is like a bubble – he’s there, and then he isn’t. I wonder what his story is. I would have loved to read his POV. The mystery of his character had me hooked on him, it wasn’t until the end until I finally knew what his story was, and I was glad, he came to her when he was ready too.

But in fairness, even without him, I would have loved this book. What caught my heart, and my attention is Biaska and the transformation of her character.

It’s a journey of a girl who was at the peak of everything, yet still felt something is missing. She didn’t know what to do with her life, and she just wanted to take a break. Despite the cold weather and the solitude, not to mention the not-so-constant showing up of Trace, she managed to make it.

It wasn’t rushed, which made it more real. There was a struggle, a relapse, and some lonely moments. She might not have the decision her mother was looking forward to at the end, but after what she had accomplished, and all the friends she had gained – she felt contented with her life, and it feels like she was ready to face whatever was thrown at her.

It’s a beautifully-written story of self-discovery, friendship and romance. 

•Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.•


Excerpt
The smell of lasagna baking in the oven lured Baskia into the kitchen a couple hours later. She uncorked a bottle of wine hoping to chase away reminders of her headache. Trace had set the table for two and candlelight burned softly between the place settings.
“Will you join me?” he asked.
“How’d you know my favorite?” Homemade lasagna had the potential to earn  him forgiveness.
His rough around the edges appearance and moody demeanor didn’t keep with details like candles and cloth napkins. If she’d been anywhere else, she’d have said so long to him, but there was no escaping him in the cabin, she was rooted there. And the meal smelled irresistible.
They didn’t say much while they ate, but Baskia noted the silence wasn’t awkward like with Wes. Of course, she wanted to ask what he’d meant when he said he was dealing with some shit, but instead they made conversation about her return trip to New York after Thanksgiving, a few of the books they’d both read, and their wine preferences. By the time they were done and the grandfather clock struck twelve, Baskia glowed with the satisfaction of a good meal shared in good company.
“Thanks,” she said before retiring to her room.
“No, thank you,” he said, meaningfully. With that, he blinked off the light.





Meet the Author


Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, writing (what else?!) at the custom-made desk her husband crafted, or seaside, pretending to be a mermaid. Click here for the long author biography.  

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Want to read more? Check out book one: To the Sea and two: Surfaced book three: In the Desert and book four: Mirrored, and coming this December, Kindled in the Follow your Bliss series; they can be read in order or stand-alone. 


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