This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt BFYR
Published: October 2016
Genre: young adult, contemporary
Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.
Sloane was something of an outsider in New York, and she liked it just fine. But she attracts the attention of Vera, a smart and glamorous social media star, and her twin brother Gabe, a rather broody and sarcastic boy. Soon enough she’s enveloped into their friend group, one with code words and intimate social gatherings and intense loyalty to one another. When Sloane finds out about the twins’ mother’s death and the importance of her artwork, she takes it upon herself to find the most important painting of her collection and return it to the twins’ home.
Emma Mills never fails to make me laugh with all the self-deprecating humor and sarcasm, and she never fails to make me think more deeply. Her characters are smart and well-written, and I thoroughly enjoyed this friendship story. The emotional drama in the story was valid in their appearance, development, and resolution, and the strong bonds of unconditional love and respect was deeply moving. It’s not all hunky-dory for this cast of characters, but it’s never too woe-is-me and never too happy-go-lucky. It’s just right.
Though we’re by Sloane throughout the novel, I was invested in all of the characters. Vera’s energy is such a pull, a light in Sloane’s life as she adjusts to Florida life. Gabe may be serious and grouchy-looking most of the time, but he’s immensely loyal to his friends and will do anything for them and their happiness. Remy is an honest and heartfelt guy, deeply emotional and unwavering in his faith. Aubrey is standoffish at first, but she’s not in any way bitchy (which I greatly appreciated) — and you know exactly why she acts this way around Sloane. Even Sloane’s father, a Nicholas Sparks-type author of women’s romance, is hilarious and supportive and has the best — the best — obsession with a werewolf TV show and dives deep into the fandom and fanfiction world.
If contemporary character-driven stories are your thing, Emma Mills is definitely the author to read and follow. And, if you haven’t already, you should read her Jane Austen-inspired debut First & Then as well! Friendship, loyalty, art, and weekend adventures abound in this novel, and I cannot wait to read more from Mills!
This qualifies as book 9 of 12 in the Rock My TBR challenge.