Blog Tour: Relative Strangers – Review & Give

April 12, 2018 ARC, Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway 0

I received this for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: Relative Strangers – Review & GiveRelative Strangers by Paula Garner
Published by Candlewick Press on April 10, 2018
Pages: 368

Why is there a gap in Jules's baby album? A wry and poignant coming-of-age novel about finding the truth in lies, salvaging hope in heartbreak, and making peace with missing pieces.

Eighteen-year-old Jules has always wished for a close-knit family. She never knew her father, and her ex-addict mother has always seemed more interested in artistic endeavors than in bonding with her only daughter. Jules's life and future look as flat and unchanging as her small Illinois town. Then a simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Reeling from feelings of betrayal and with only the flimsiest of clues, Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past. What she finds is a wonderful family who loved her as their own and hoped to adopt her -- including a now-adult foster brother who is overjoyed to see his sister again. But as her feelings for him spiral into a devastating, catastrophic crush -- and the divide between Jules and her mother widens -- Jules finds herself on the brink of losing everything.

I’m so pleased to be the next stop on the blog tour for this book! Check out my review and scroll down for a giveaway and the other stops on the tour!

My Thoughts:

I have heard really great things about Paula Garner’s debut Phantom Limbs. That alone had me excited to check out Relative Strangers. Once I saw those beautiful colors on the cover and read the summary I knew I had to make it a priority!

The relationships in this novel really shine. The friendships, the family relationships… they’re not perfect and are often broken in some way, but they are just so real. I loved that.

From the description you can tell that Jules and her mother have a bit of a strained relationship. Seeing how that was affected by the events of the book was so interesting to me. Jules learns so much about her past and it drastically changes the way she sees her world.

I really loved the friendships depicted in this story. There are a few different kinds and I thought they were all done so well. I liked how Garner showed that our perceptions of friendships can often be wrong. We assume things, even about those closest to us, that are not always true.

And of course there’s Jules’ relationships with the foster family she never knew she had. These were just so heartbreaking. They were there to provide stability for her when her mother was in a really bad place. All this time they’ve known about and missed her, but she didn’t even know they existed. And the new and confusing things she begins to feel for them, especially Luke? Oh man. As I said, this aspect really shines.

Relative Strangers by Paula Garner is a quiet book that will really touch your heart. Jules is a character I won’t soon forget.


Thanks to the publisher I have TWO finished copies of the book to giveaway. US/Canada only. Must be 13 or older to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

4/9 – Cracking the Cover

4/10 – Chelsea Palmer Book Reviews, Recommendations & Hauls

4/11 – Bound to Be Bookish

4/13 – Swoony Boys

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