Title: Sunburn

Author: Chloe Michelle Howarth

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Verve Books

The Blurb

Sunburn is an astute and tender portrayal of first love, adolescent anxiety and the realities of growing up in a small town where tradition holds people tightly in its grasp. An atmospheric LGBTQIA+ love story and coming-of-age novel with the intensity of Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation, the long hot summer of André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name and the female friendships of Anna Hope’s Expectation.

It’s the early 1990s, and in the Irish village of Crossmore, Lucy feels out of place. Despite her fierce friendships, she’s always felt this way, and the conventional path of marriage and motherhood doesn’t appeal to her at all. Not even with handsome and doting Martin, her closest childhood friend.

Lucy begins to make sense of herself during a long hot summer, when a spark with her school friend Susannah escalates to an all-consuming infatuation, and, very quickly, to a desperate and devastating love.

Fearful of rejection from her small and conservative community, Lucy begins living a double life, hiding the most honest parts of herself in stolen moments with Susannah.

But with the end of school and the opportunity to leave Crossmore looming, Lucy must choose between two places, two people and two futures, each as terrifying as the other. Neither will be easy, but only one will offer her happiness.

The Review

One of my favourite tropes in books is the trappings of friendship. This probably stems from constantly struggling with friendship groups throughout my life but enough about me. Sunburn by Chloe Michelle Howarth is the story of Lucy, a young girl on the verge of womanhood who is struggling to find her place among her friends. The things that she knows she should be interested in don’t seem to hold her attention and the things that she knows should be forbidden are all she can think about. Especially her best friend Susannah.

Essentially Sunburn is a coming of age story about two friends exploring their sexuality, first love, small town mentality versus the modern world. It is a sumptuous tale that reads like a warm summer day. Hazy and introspective in all the right parts and I really enjoyed the story.

Sunburn by Chloe Michelle Howarth is available now.

For more information regarding Chloe Michelle Howarth (@ChloeMHowarth) please visit her Twitter page.

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