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Book Review: YA Book: When You Least Expect It…

When You Least Expect it by Lorna Schultz Nicholson. Published 2021 Red Deer Press.

If you’re looking for a book for either yourself or your teen, look no further. This book is one dealing with shattered dreams, tragedy, and hope all wrapped into one.

I love reading young adult (YA) fiction and this one ranks high on my list of great reads.

This book has depth beyond the main character and in turn, offers a realistic portrayal of a seventeen-year-old girl who finds herself in situations that she wasn’t able to anticipate, let alone navigate.

Holly is a young athlete who still has a lot to learn. In When Your Least Expect It, lessons are coming fast and furious at every corner and this will be the summer that she never forgets.

Holly wants to be a championship rower.

She has her future mapped out and planned…

She’s going to make the national team, get a full scholarship to a top school, and enjoy a career and accolades of an athlete.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way.

Devastation hits when Holly is the last athlete cut from the national team. Now what? Forced to deal with her failure, she faces an unplanned summer living in a house with her mom’s boyfriend and his seemingly bratty kids.

Can life get any worse? Oh, it sure can, and does.

Holly faces many changes, choices, and frustrations that she didn’t see coming.

She also meets a stranger who offers to coach her in a single scull. Who is this intense and demanding person who loses himself in moments of pressure and stress? What has Holly gotten herself into?

Schultz-Nicoloson weaves chapters of lyrical prose throughout the book that offer a glimpse into the mystery and tragedy that continue to cast shadows. Well done. Loved it.

The characters are real and relatable. Sometimes cranky, cheeky, or disrespectful, but real, raw, and age appropriate.

Great read. Highly recommend. Brava Lorna Schultz-Nicolson.

You may also want to check out Denial by Lorna Schultz Nicholson.


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