Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review: What Scotland Taught Me

What Scotland Taught Me
Published By: ireadiwrite Publishing
Release Date: September 2010
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Provided by Author
Audience: Mature Young Adult

This book has consumed my every waking moment all weekend long. I could not manage to get these characters and their stories out of my mind. As a result, I spent every moment of free time curled up somewhere with my Kindle voraciously reading. What Scotland Taught Me is a coming of age tale in which Eva must learn who she is and how to manage her heart. In spite of Eva's flaws, I still find her to be an incredibly lovable character. I loved watching her evolve throughout the story. The romance in the book also kept me captivated. Molly Ringle has a gift for creating relationships of both the endearing and steamy variety.

What Scotland Taught Me follows four childhood best friends from Oregon who have decided to spend six months in Scotland before heading off to college. Eva, the main character, is a likable, fickle girl who wants to experience everything Edinburgh and love have to offer. However, there is a slight problem with her plan, since she has a boyfriend back home. Shannon, Eva's cousin, is along for the trip in spite of the guilt she feels for leaving her family. Shannon has always been the dutiful daughter and this trip will be the first time she has done something completely for herself. Amber is running away from her life of poverty in hopes of finding her father and adventure. While, Laurence is along for the ride to serve as the protector and to experience European life before buckling down to his Science studies. Along the way, each character learns things from their time in Scotland - some of the knowledge will come with a heavy price. Also, because these are college age students some of their experiences are a bit more explicit in nature. 

I saw a little bit of myself in each of these characters which made me love them more. Every time Eva fell in love, I fell right with her. I struggled with how much to say on that topic because I really don't want to give anything away. I think experiencing things along with Eva is the best way to read this novel. I related to Shannon because I am currently living 2700 miles away from my family. I understand the guilt she feels, but like her, in the end I had to choose based on what was best for me. Amber and I have the least in common, but I liked her spunk and tenacity; I hope that I have some of those elements from time to time. Finally, Laurence and I have the same sense of humor. I love that all of these characters meant something to me by the time I was done reading. I didn't want to let them go - their stories don't seem to be finished.

The setting was also something that kept me totally enamored. I have always wanted to visit Scotland and fully intend to get there one day, but until then I loved seeing the locale through these characters' eyes. It made me wish that I had done something similar before heading off to college, but I didn't have a chance like this one. I can't even imagine how much fun it would have been, however, the hostel didn't sound like much fun at all. I would have needed my own room and reliable heat.

Molly Ringle is a wonderful writer who breathed life into her characters and kept me transfixed on her every word. I loved the banter between Eva and Laurence. I actually laughed out loud several times - gaining myself a few eye rolls from my husband. I am excited to get my hands on more books written by Molly. What Scotland Taught Me is going to be a treasured, well loved favorite of mine for sure. This is a book that I would reread just to spend some more time with the characters.



One Last Gripe: I want to know what happens next for these characters. Is there a sequel????

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The characters & setting

First Sentence: Amber slid a note onto my knee, jarring me out of my obsessive thoughts.

Favorite Character: Laurence

Least Favorite Character: Amber's Dad



Fresh out of high school, Eva Sonneborn is headed to Scotland with her best friends: scholarly, sarcastic Laurence; gorgeous, ghost-seeing Amber; and responsible, sweet Shannon. They plan to spend the next six months in Edinburgh, enjoying an adventure-filled work-abroad journey before parting ways for college.

But when Eva meets Gil, a local bartender, she figures a little innocent flirting won't hurt her relationship with Tony, her ever-faithful boyfriend back home. But just when things turn less innocent with Gil, the trip starts throwing curveballs at not only her but her friends too. By the end of the trip, they've all fallen in love, sometimes with the wrong people - and with consequences that may tear their friendship apart forever...



3 comments:

  1. This sounds great. I've not heard of it before, but I'm going to be adding it to my list. I love to travel, although I've never been to Scotland, I love reading books about far away places. Thanks!

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  2. Wow, thank you so much! What a delightful and well-thought-out review. And spoilers were successfully avoided, too. Well done. :) I'm honored!

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  3. @Annette - I really enjoyed it. I think Molly did a great job of giving you a taste of Scotland. Happy reading!

    @Molly - Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment on the review. I am so glad you enjoyed the review. It was really important to me not to spoil any future readers, but I certainly can't wait for others to read it so I can discuss some of those juicy tidbits.

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