Young Widows Club by Alexandra Coutts
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Published on November 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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First came love, then came marriage, and then...
For seventeen-year-old Tam, running off to marry her musician boyfriend is the ideal escape from her claustrophobic high-school life on the island, and the ultimate rebellion against her father and stepmother. But when Tam becomes a widow just weeks later, the shell-shocked teen is forced to find her way forward by going back to the life she thought she’d moved beyond—even as her struggle to deal with her grief is forcing her to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined.
While the synopsis sounded very heartfelt and meaningful, I have to admit that I am left slightly underwhelmed.
Paige married her first love before she even turned 18. Six weeks later, she finds herself a widow. My first problem here is how easily she seemed to get married at 17. We did not get too much backstory on how that whole situation went down. My next issue is that we never were given a really clear reason why she felt so necessary to drop out of school and get married. I mean, usually when things like this happen, pregnancy is involved. No offense to anyone, that is just realistic. I was in love in high school. We got married…. in our twenties. So I, personally, needed a better reason than “because she wanted too” or “because she didn’t like her step mommy”. It’s not even like she was some big time teenage rebel. I just need a decent reason for this story to be reasonable for me.
Then there is a new love interest. Which I thought was great, because she is so young, and there are going to be other love interests, and she will have to move on eventually. I actually really liked him. There was one glaring problem with them though that was only mentioned once in the entire book. View Spoiler »How about a roughly ten year age difference? I don’t personally think this is the worst thing ever, but the fact that it wasn’t even addressed and discussed bothered me. « Hide Spoiler So there’s that. Also, the way the story between the two of them wrapped up really left me just feeling so blah, like, there was so much potential there.
Paige does manage to learn to deal with her sadness and anger in a productive way, and gets her life back on track. She mends some broken relationships and comes to terms with many things. The story was sweet, cute, and funny at times. Dealing with death is very hard, especially at a young age. I know from experience. So I am sure writing a book about it is pretty complicated as well. I suppose in the end I just was neither super happy or sad or disappointed…. it was just eeehhhh. Like an average YA contemporary, but unique in the fact that we don’t see many protagonists who are widows. I think many YA contemporaries are just not for me, so for people who enjoy YA contemporary, then you may like this much more than I did!
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