Saturday, 28 March 2015

Review: Narvla's Celtic New Year by Therese Gilardi

Narvla’s life is as precisely choreographed as the routines that have made her a national step-dancing champion. She has a loyal best friend, a devoted boyfriend, and a lock on admission to her dream college, the University of Notre Dame. Until her mother is named U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, and her life unravels. First Narvla receives a disturbing picture of her boyfriend and her best friend. Then she struggles to qualify for the Irish elite step-dancing squad, and her grades plummet.

But the biggest obstacle in Narvla’s new life is Dublin Boy, a cheeky musician with a disdain for academics and a distrust of Americans. Although Narvla is upset when she’s paired with Dublin Boy for the most important semester of her life, her real concern is the growing attraction she feels toward him. As the Celtic New Year unfolds, Narvla is pushed to abandon her lifelong need for control and embrace the charm of the unexpected.

Expected publication: April 6th 2015 by Therese Gilardi
Terri's Thoughts
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is April 6th 2015.
I enjoyed this book more than I thought it would.  I originally chose it because I thought it would be a cute light read and did not have too many expectations.  I was correct in that it was cute and light but it was more interesting than I thought it would be.
As the reader you see the struggles of Narvla as she is transplanted to Ireland and struggling with her life plan that has been set in stone for as long as she can remember.  She goes from suddenly being the best at everything to one of many who is finding a way to get by.  She learns that her chosen path may not be as easy to follow as she expected.
Then comes in Dublin Boy.  Why do these stories always have the best potential love interests?  He was utterly adorable in the handsome, unapproachable, sensitive sort of way.  I was drawn to him the same way Narvla was.  I particularly enjoyed his Narvla playlist.
I'm not sure if this story depicts what it is actually like to be a high school senior in Ireland as I have never been there but I really loved the sense of community and close friendships.  People looking out for friends and family and gatherings at the pub was interesting as well.  If it was playing to stereo types then it is the type of stereotype I would want.
This story will appeal to the YA audience who wants a good love story/growing up and finding your way kind of book.  I was along for the journey with Narva and hoping that everything would work out in the end.  I am glad I stumbled across this book.

About the Author

Therese Gilardi is a poet, novelist and essayist who lives in the hills above Los Angeles with her Irish Man, fluffy dogs and Viennese hare. Therese adores blue cameos, Irish pub music and the Paris metro. Therese's work appears online in "Literary Mama", "Punchnel's", "The Mom Egg Review", "The Dirty Napkin", and "The 13th Warrior Review". Therese's essays about her life in Paris, France appear in the anthologies "Knowing Pains" and "So Far And Yet So Near: Stories of Americans Abroad". Therese's short fiction and poetry can also be found in print journals, as well as in the recently released collection, "Matrimonial Mayhem". Therese's paranormal romance, "Matching Wits With Venus", about a Hollywood matchmaker and the Roman god Cupid, was released by Astraea Press. Therese's poetry will appear in the upcoming edition of "Onthebus".


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