Title: Learning to Live
Author: Annie Cosby
Published: November 2014
Publisher: Write For You Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Myth & Folk lore
Length: 242 pages
My copy of this book was given to me through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
Last summer ended in disaster for Cora. She scurried home, terrified of the secrets she’d uncovered and afraid to be honest with the one person who most deserved it-Rory. But after a grueling year of trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) not to think about what she left behind, Cora finds a surprise on her doorstep. Rory’s little brother, Aidan, has discovered the truth and recruits Cora, along with her best friend Rosie, to go with him to Ireland to explain their selkie heritage to Rory. Desperate to get back the love she couldn’t face last summer, Cora agrees to go. But will Rory want to see her after the way she abandoned him? On a magical dash through the west of Ireland, following false leads and learning the all-but-forgotten myths of that wild land, Cora will learn even more about the O’Leary family than she ever imagined. And, maybe, just a little bit about herself. The magic is back in the second Hearts Out of Water novel!
Perhaps it’s because I haven’t read the first in this series, but I was a little disappointed with this story. I was confused with the plot in the beginning, this book obviously picks up right where the first one left off – it makes it a little difficult to jump in at this point, but I did eventually grasp the basics of what I assume happened in the first novel.
I feel like this story didn’t really go anywhere. Cora has been hiding from her summer boyfriend because of a huge secret she learned about him and his family that she couldn’t tell him, but when his little brother shows up on her doorstep saying that he knows everything, she flies to Ireland to try and help him explain things.
There’s a lot of going in circles and petty arguments between the characters that put me off – it really felt like a drag to read from around the time Rory found out the truth.
Then there’s the romance between Cora and Rory. I have to say that I didn’t like Cora – which is probably why I didn’t like the book so much since she’s the main character. She’s so self-centered that she doesn’t once think of how Rory has felt for the year that she’s been ignoring him. It just irritated me that she was getting upset with him for being cold and distant when she’d spent the better part of a year not even talking to him.
Another thing that sort of bugged me was the constant references to TV shows and movies: Harry Potter, Friends, The Simpsons, Leap Year… they felt like fodder.
The overall story is okay. I think that it would read much better if you’ve read and enjoyed the first one. For me it was jut okay. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it.
About the Author
I’m the YA author of the USA Today recommended HEARTS OUT OF WATER series and the brand new HUMMINGBIRD SAGA.
When I’m not writing, I’m usually freelance editing for awesome clients like Anna Katmore (formerly Piper Shelly) and Month9Books/Swoon Romance!
I split my days between my hometown, St. Louis, and my adopted love, Galway, Ireland.