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Estelle: The Gap Year by Sarah Bird

The Gap Year by Sarah BirdThe Gap Year by Sarah Bird ( web | tweet )
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Pages: 320
Target Audience: Adult Fiction
How I found out about it: A scrap of paper in my purse.

Summary: Cam used to have a close relationship with her daughter, Aubrey. But ever since she started dating Tyler, Aubrey doesn’t seem very interested in anything anymore. Namely, college – something Cam has worked very hard to make happen for her daughter.

Once in awhile I am lucky enough to read a book I cannot stop thinking about. I want to send carrier pigeons and take out an ad on TV just to inform people of its pure genius. After reading over 90 books so far this year, The Gap Year easily fits in my Top 5 of 2011.

First, writing style – Bird alternates chapters between Mom (Cam) at present day and daughter (Aubrey) exactly a year before. The imagery is crisp and the sentence structure flows perfectly in its simplicity. (While this book is description heavy — something I normally don’t love, it is engrossing here.)
Second, the mystery of how these two stories will end remains until the very end. It doesn’t seem like the kind of book that would remain predictable for so long but Bird has carefully created these characters and their histories so much that the drive to discover them is always existent.

Mother and daughter relationships are never easy, and to watch Cam obsess over the navigation of her daughter’s life – and for Aubrey to have some major life epiphany during her senior year of high school – is completely intense. From start to finish. As a reader, I could relate to both on many levels and at the same time I was frustrated by their actions.

And regret. Many write it. It can easily fall into the realm of cliché. But both of these women (and the other characters we meet throughout the course of the novel) have their own unique responses to it. That’s what makes The Gap Year so real: Bird is able to take the complexities of this trying year in this particular household and consistently express them in such a down-to-earth manner.

Easily a favorite for life, I’m looking forward to reading more of Bird’s work, as well as urging everyone I pass on the street to pick it up n o w!

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February 28, 2014 - 8:00 am

Something Old & Something New (Big Kids' Table) - […] I Loved: The Gap Year | New Title: Above the East China Sea (May […]

November 8, 2011 - 9:36 pm

Estelle - So glad all of you are going to give this book a try. I wish I can remember just where I heard of it because I sincerely have to thank that person! With candy!

Jamie, I love a good mix of reading. I try not to do that many YA in a row, although it’s hard now because there is so much YA out there I want to read! Look for a nice combo of just about every kind of book on RBR, for sure! Also happy to hear you have a Nook. So do I! 😉

Sam, this is definitely a book I would have really related to in my teen years so I would suggest picking it up and giving it a test drive. I know that I would have really understood where Aubrey was coming from, and maybe even gave my mother a break for once. (Sorry Mom!)

Meg, I totally agree. I’m 26 as well and I think “a gap year” sounds very tempting. Would be nice to sort of go off and explore without responsibility. Although I was surprised the daughter in the book, who is 18, was already in need of her own gap year. You’ll see when you read it!

November 7, 2011 - 3:57 pm

Meg - Love the premise of this one, and any book that gets such a glowing recommendation definitely grabs my attention! Like Jamie, too, the idea of a “gap year” really intrigues me… though I’m 26 years old and graduated from college four years ago. Ha!

November 3, 2011 - 1:55 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - You’ve definitely made a convincing case for this book! I want to read it now 🙂

November 3, 2011 - 2:01 am

Samual @ Books For All Seasons - I like this book cover! The book sounds very interesting. I’m a big fan of mother and daughter relationship, but it is an Adult novel. Hmm…I might have my friend to read it and tell me how she thinks about the book since my policy states I won’t read Adult book. My friend loves Adult novels. Thank you for sharing this lovely book here! Great pick!

Sam

November 2, 2011 - 6:31 pm

Jamie - So I saw the title of this and I clicked right over here because I totally want to take a gap year…even though I’m graduated from college. lol. I’ve been reading travel blogs like crazy lately so I’m itching to go travel for a year. ANYWAYS…that was my initial reason for clicking on the review to see what it was about. And I have to say that I love you ladies even more because I LOVE ADULT FICTION TOOO. I feel like I’m in the minority in the YA blogosphere but I read both so YAY. Also, this sounds amazing and I’ve never heard of it. I’m always so ticked that I can never find good college/twenty something MCs so I’m EXCITED. And mother/daughter relationships are something I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading about. THey are just so complex! Not going to lie, I’m buying this on my Nook right after I get off here! For serious, this sounds right up my alley!

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