I would call this a RE-view, but I didn’t even remember what happened in this book. So it was basically like reading this for the first time. I read this book in my final year of Intermediate school, got my best friend into it and we were obsessed with this book for a while.
11-year-old Aubrey is home alone. Her dad and sister died in an accident and her grieving mother abandoned her. She didn’t mind this lifestyle until Grandma arrived and took her to her home in Vermont to stay with her. Not only must Aubrey come to terms with a new life, but she must come to turns with the past at the same time and how things will never be the same.
This was the first book that made me cry, but I couldn’t remember what about it made me cry. It was ten years ago since I read that book and I had read tonnes more since then. Even so, this held such a place in my heart and I reminisced on the feelings I felt while reading it. There were bits and pieces I remembered of it but nothing stronger than the emotion – the crying and the joy mixed into the pages.
This was a stellar character driven story, perfect for a contemporary novel. You could clearly see interactions and opinions impact characters in such a real way. Each revelation hit hard or brought joy. Each character and their relationships felt real, developed, thoughtful. Contemporary novels in my perspective have some of the richest and most well rounded characters I’ve ever read, and LaFleur’s work is not exception.
Aubrey’s character and her arc were stellar. She had so much dimension, maturity and at the same time youth for her age. That and it felt so relatable and universal. Love, Aubrey revolves around children’s grief and PTSD through her perspective, and even though it relates to her dealing with it that doesn’t consume her or the plot. Her developments are very mature and signify a coming of age.
One thing that brought it down for me were a bunch of cliches in the language of this novel. You can expect language cliches in middle grade novels, the same metaphors and similes you see all the time. And seeing cliches of ways to describe things doesn’t usually get me mad. But when they come in this huge quantity it does made me think less of the novel. You couldn’t think of any new ways to describe that river? Or that feeling in your gut? I know how wild a child’s imagination can get, and this wasn’t it.
But don’t let that take the rating of this fantastic book down too far. This is still an incredible story for anyone to read, so make you cry and warm your heart all at once.
Love, Aubrey gets a score of 4.5/5. Enough emotion and purity to last me the rest of the year.
Yours in writing