This is an emotional story of Laila and her group of four guys that she has grown up with as they live out their senior year of high school. They’re best friends. Always have been, always will be. You can feel it in every obstacle, every interaction, and every line of dialogue. They love each other, and you’ll be envious of their tight knit group or find yourself comparing it to a crew you’re a part of. We all have those best friends that we would do anything for, and it makes the entire book hit that much closer to home or heart.
Another aspect of the story that I really enjoyed were the situations they’re placed in, and how Rapp handled all of those. You’ll run the gamut, from sexuality, high school drama queens, and first love to adoption, college applications, and acceptance. But the best part is that it never EVER feels like too much. With the way Rapp paces the book, it flows perfectly. You won’t have one of those, “Really? Now THIS?” moments because it all just…makes sense. It all works together seamlessly.
I also liked the pacing. Sometimes you’d skip ahead a few days and other times a month, but it always felt right. There weren’t any chapters that could have been avoided or ignored, yet it wasn’t just a constant flow of one situation after another. You see the hard choices to be made, but you also experience the sweet downtime with her boyfriend (that shall not be named because you must read and find out lol) or family. You really dive into Laila’s world and all that it entails, but you’re never bored. Ever. It pulls you in and keeps you turning those pages as quickly as your fingers can flip.
Rapp has absolutely found her niche in young adult. If you’ve read her prior released romance novels, you’ll know her writing style. Dialogue heavy, tugs at your heart strings, and can pull out any and every emotion. That still holds true in Finding Laila, but it seems like this just fit so much better. Not that her others weren’t fantastic, because they are. Trey of Mine to Steal still makes me squeal, Ryan and his Jeep still make me swoon. But this one had an entirely different feel to it, and it seems like it worked out for the best so far.
Overall, I had no doubt I’d love this book. It’s T.K. Rapp, of course I’d love it. But I had no idea how much I would connect to this story and these characters. I feel like everyone will be able to relate to this story in some way. It’s emotional. VERY emotional. You’ll laugh, find your heart melting into a puddle, feel hopeful, and be brokenhearted. If you’re a fan of young adult, don’t miss out on Finding Laila. It’s a top read of 2014 for me, and foresee it being reread often.
(P.S. I hate you still a little bit T.K. In a very loving way, of course.)