4 out of 5 stars
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In An Upper West Side Story by Rachel Cullen, three young women, strangers to one another, find themselves facing the same issues at the same time, searching for a place to live or a person to live with. In a string of unrelated events, all three women end up meeting themselves, and as a result, a strong bond of friendship is formed.
Jessica's plans get destroyed after she finds her boyfriend cheating. Tory, the rich trust fund kid, struggles with her decision to move out of her toxic parents home and stand on her own. Robin, reluctant to accept reality, pushes finding a roommate to the last possible moment. As they find their way to each other, join these women on their journey to learn about love, forgiveness, and courage.
I loved that this book clearly captures the struggles of being a young woman trying to find her feet in the world. There is a lot of information embedded in the book. With Tory's mother, we are able to learn about abuse. We get to understand how a cycle of abuse could be created and what forms emotional abuse can take. I think this would speak to a lot of people facing abuse. Rachel's ability to create a connection in the lives of different characters successfully is commendable. Sufficient background information regarding how the three women got to the point of their needs was provided. The book encompasses betrayal, friendship, love, and, as earlier mentioned, abuse. This book was also professionally edited; I found only one error in it.
I, however, disliked that the book seemed very slow at some points and then very rushed at others. In the beginning, for instance, the book progresses very slowly, and halfway through the book, the main characters barely know each other. On the other hand, in the last 3 chapters, the author condenses so much information and wraps up the book. I also felt like the development of the characters could have used a bit more work. Zach only gets a detailed description of his character when he talks about his trauma. There is also almost next to no information concerning Ethan.
Because of the negative points stated above, I give this book a rating of four out of five stars. Overall, I did enjoy reading this book, and I could not rate it lower as the positive aspects greatly outweighed the negatives. Every young woman trying to balance a career, a social life, and a love life should read this. I would also recommend this book to victims of abuse. I think this book will serve as a beautiful encouragement.
An Upper West Side Story
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