New Release Review: Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey

I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.

I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.

To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.

I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved. 

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It's official. The first book of the year to make me weep uncontrollable tears? Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey. This is the kind of book that just goes straight for your heart and pierces it so deeply. My eyes were red and welling with a river of tears, chapter after chapter after chapter, with a constant lump in my throat. Rachel simply took my breath away with her stunning words! Chasing Spring was a beautifully written, heartrending tale about loss and the equally devastating grief that follows--the anger, the pain, the denial--but also, it's about hope, and healing, and acceptance.
I had thought you couldn't be mad at a ghost. I had thought once someone died, it'd be hard to look back in anger. 

I'd been so wrong.
Lilah Calloway is a troubled teen making a reluctant return to her hometown, subjected to gossiping whispers and judgemental gazes. It's also clear from the very beginning, though, that Lilah left town in the first place to escape something dark and tragic. The effects of that event still linger, like an infected wound that refuses to heal. As Lilah herself says, "...the bandages were rotten and so easy to tear." The author brings us into Lilah's mind and shows us that hurting young girl on the inside, lost in her past and her suffering. The reader is taken on that haunting ride, right along with her.
I'd been obsessed with uncovering the lies of Blackwater, Texas because I had a theory I desperately needed to prove: no one was as happy, as perfect, or as good as they were pretending to be.

...We all tell lies. We all live in delusions.
Then there's Chase Matthews, Lilah's childhood best friend and the town's golden boy. He's handsome, athletic, with a bright future ahead of him. However, the truth is that a heavy weight is pushing down on Chase's own shoulders, and the so-called 'perfect' boy has demons of his own to face. Lilah and Chase's past and pain are so closely entwined. I loved watching as all of the details unraveled.

I actually feel like this was more about that journey, figuring out their ghosts together, than about falling in love or being in a relationship. Rachel gives the story just the softest touch of romance. I enjoyed the glimpses of humor, the bright spots amidst the sorrow, and I really felt the nostalgia and longing between two childhood best friends. There's this simply sweet, yet strained bond between them. 
I felt a slight sting in my chest, like someone grazing my heart with the edge of a knife.
I also loved the unexpected darker side of this novel, the suspense created through carefully laid out flashbacks and changes in point of view. I was immediately intrigued, and it felt like slowly unlocking a mystery, painstakingly assembling all of the pieces of the puzzle. Rachel's profoundly evocative storytelling kept me immersed in these characters' journey, every step of the way! I wanted to hold Lilah close, give Chase the biggest hug. Their young ages only amplified the emotional upheaval. Tears! I'm telling you, the tears flowed for Chasing Spring!
I gardened because I was obsessed with the notion of finding beauty in the dirt. Dirt is chaos, gritty, full of bugs and decay, but from that dirt comes such immense beauty. Roses, tulips, tomatoes, peonies, raspberries, oranges, magnolias...and even me. I wanted to be made new. I wanted a fresh start.
Even if you don't typically venture into the young adult genre, Chasing Spring is worth the read! This was such an eloquent, emotionally striking novel that I devoured in a matter of hours! I so enjoyed this different side to Rachel, an author I usually turn to for laughter and cheer in her romantic comedies. :P This is a wonderful sign of her talent and versatility, and I look forward to many, many more books!


I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

***ARC provided in exchange for an honest review***