Title: Chasing Eveline
Author: Leslie Hauser
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Page Count: 300
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser is a young adult contemporary read that is full of emotion and heart. Sixteen year old Ivy Higgins wasn’t even born in the 80s but she holds onto so much from that decade to remind her of her mother who left Ivy and her father a couple of years before. Ivy is especially obsessed with her mother’s favorite 80s band Chasing Eveline.
After Ivy’s mother left Ivy withdrew from her friends and she and her father both struggle to cope with her departure. One night however Ivy hears some loud music outside her home in their quiet neighborhood. Curiosity gets the better of Ivy so she goes to investigate and finds Matt serenading Ivy’s neighbor in a scene right out of Say Anything…. the problem, it’s the wrong song!! To save this strange boy from embarrassment Ivy stops his serenade and explains the problem and the two become instant friends from their love of the 80s and both battling loss in their lives.
Even with Matt in her life and a father that adores her Ivy still is not ready to give up the memory of her mother and struggles between anger and regret. One day Ivy comes up with the idea that if she can just get her mother’s favorite band back together then she might run into her mom at one of their shows. Ivy enlists Matt’s help in doing anything and everything the two can to raise money and recruit the band in Ivy’s grand plan.
Seeing the synopsis of Chasing Eveline I really couldn’t resist picking up this wonderful little gem. From the cover to the plot this one just screams read me to someone who is a fan of the 80s references and music in general and imagine my surprise when beginning to read that the cherry on top of it all was this is set in my state. Ivy was such a fun and likable character too, a bit of an outsider with her friend Matt she’s naive but oh so hopeful, a born dreamer. The story is full of ups and downs for Ivy as she tries to execute her crazy schemes that you can’t help but feel for her and root her on. Great little story that I’d recommend to all the YA contemporary readers.
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Leslie Hauser is a YA writer and middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy.
When Leslie is not living in fictional worlds inside her head, she runs all sorts of distances, tortures her body at CrossFit, and DVRs entirely too many television shows. She dreams of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
Her debut novel Chasing Eveline releases July 11, 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.