#BookReview: A Cold and Quiet Place by @AlisonDeLuca #amreading

I read many books, and while most novels have some redeeming qualities, a few stand out as stellar. A Cold and Quiet Place by Alison DeLuca is one of those.

While I no longer have the time to put out a weekly book review blog, I do still review the books I love, and when I come across one that is worth sharing, I will gladly share it here.

Everyone who was ever a teenager knows the years between childhood and adulthood are fraught with danger, as the social skills we form either help or handicap us, and the traumas we suffer haunt us forever after.

The novel opens with a girl on the edge of adulthood and takes us through a powerful coming-of-age story.

But first, THE BLURB:

A Cold and Quiet Place by Alison DeLuca

Publisher : Myrddin Publishing Group (December 27, 2020)

Publication date : December 27, 2020

Language : English

Print length : 183 pages

The deepest scars can be invisible. Lily’s swimming career is jeopardized when she dates Tyler, her attractive teammate. At first he seems like the perfect boyfriend. But Tyler’s insults and demands increase, and Lily has to decide if her relationship is worth the emotional torture. Between Tyler, the pressure of competition, and an anonymous online bully, Lily risks losing everything she has fought for as a 15-year old swimmer. A Cold and Quiet Place is a YA novel about competitive swimming and the dark world of emotional abuse.

MY REVIEW:

This book is an emotional rollercoaster, powerful and deeply moving. DeLuca’s prose is lean and evocative, and her narrative transitions smoothly from scene to scene. The story is so compelling I was halfway through the book before I knew it.

This is a novel of achievement and despair. It details the chaotic mystery of Lily’s situation and the cold calculation of her abuser, laying bare the toxic high school relationships that are a terrible rite of passage many young people go through in their teen years.

High School in the US generally encompasses grades 9 through 12, and ages 14 to 18, with some variations depending on the school district.

When I began reading this novel, I knew nothing about competitive swimming other than as an Olympic level sport, one I watch every four years when the world meets to compete. I knew nothing of the athletes’ personal journey to get to that place.

Now, I see the humanity of each competitor, the person who has a life apart from their sport. Yet with each event, they challenge themselves to be better than their previous best.

Lilly’s story as an athlete and young woman is both heartbreaking and empowering. When I finished the last page, I felt as wrung as if I had lived that story, and in many ways, I had.

There is no blunting of the trauma, no dancing around the issues. DeLuca takes us into Lily’s world and tells a gripping story that has to be read to the last page. This is a powerful story of a girl growing into womanhood.

I give A Cold and Quiet Place by Alison DeLuca 5 stars.

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