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Dani Deane #3

Almost There

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Paris, the City of Lights. To seventeen-year-old Dani Deane, it's the Promised Land. There, her widowed mother’s depression will vanish and she will no longer fear losing her only parent, her arty New York life, or her devoted boyfriend.

But shortly before their Paris getaway, Dani’s tyrannical grandfather falls ill, pulling them to rural Pennsylvania to deal with his hoarder horror of a house. Among the piles, Dani finds disturbing truths that could make Mum completely unravel. Desperate to protect her from pain and escape to Paris, Dani hatches a plan with the flirtatious neighbor boy that only threatens the relationships she most wants to save.

Why would God block all paths to Paris? Could real hope for healing be as close as a box tucked in the rafters?

309 pages, Paperback

Published May 17, 2016

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About the author

Laurel Garver

14 books115 followers
Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, and Celtic music. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurel...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurelGarver

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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Robyn.
Author 2 books34 followers
August 1, 2016
Almost There by Laurel Garver is a story of grief, yet it's filled with inspiration and encouragement in a world where both are desperately needed. It's a book that you will not put down until you come to the last page. And then you're upset because it's over. Ms. Garver has her eye on the problems that affect teen girls, and that is half the battle when writing a story anyway. You have to write authentic characters.

From the opening pages, I felt like I was a part of the story. The setting is written with beautiful detail. I stand amazed at Ms. Garver's sense of the world she is writing. I wanted to hang around in these pages long after the story ended.

The characters are natural, and they act and react in natural ways. They feel so real that you will be convinced you are a part of the story. These characters seem to be drawn from real life experiences.

Almost There is engaging and will capture your heart. Take it from me. It's a book for the ages.

I was given a free book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1 review
June 9, 2016
SYNOPSIS: This is a really well written Christan YA Novel by Laurel Graver. The story itself circles around the main character Dani, a 17 year old girl who is living a normal teenage life, dreaming about going to Paris and trying to maintain a pure relationship with her boyfriend.
Drama ensues when her grandfather becomes ill and Dani has to navigate going to stay at his house in Pennsylvania. During her time there she learns a great deal about love, truth and what it really means to be alive.

( I realize that I am giving you a pretty short synopsis of the book that is because I honestly think you should read it for yourself!)

WHAT I LIKED: As I said this book is really well written with a good message attached to it, The characters are really fun and supremely real, particularly Dani's boyfriend Theo, who is very sweet and loving, even through some of Dani's not so loving times. I knew before hand that this novel would be pretty clean, and even read some of it aloud with my 3 children around, though I am sure that they didn't understand exactly what was going on, they laughed at some of the funnier parts, and my 8 year old said he could visualize some of the descriptions. I honestly love the journey that is taken by the main character! She starts out as an angsty, drama driven teenager and ends up in a much better place.

WHAT I DIDN"T LIKE: I have to say that honestly there wasn't a whole lot in this book that I didn't REALLY enjoy. I will say that at the beginning Dan is a little dramatic I actually found myself rolling my eyes a few times at her. BUT this is normal teenage angst, so really that isn't a negative point. ( she really reminded me of myself as a 17/18 year old) This also is not a bad thing really, but the author gets a little wordy, and very descriptive, and I felt like the book itself might be better suited as for adults rather then teens. But again that isn't really a bad thing.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you like a book with a lot of description and well developed characters I would definitely say you should read this book. It is a fun and very interesting read. There are some heavy parts but this is balanced out well. There is nothing in this that you need to beware of with language or sex and the message is great and easy to follow!!! Give this one the time it deserves!!!

If you are interest in reading more reviews check out my blog here:http://bbeyondtherainbow.blogspot.com

Or watch my youtube channel here :https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC72t...
Profile Image for Tessa Hall.
Author 15 books364 followers
July 27, 2016
Almost There made me fall in love with the YA genre all over again. This is the kind of teen fiction I enjoy: An authentic and inspirational novel that accurately portrays the teen life. Throw in a romance thread, family drama, teen angst, beautiful wordsmithing, an artistic element, and weave them together to create an original, page-turning-worthy plot.

Honestly, this is the best YA novel I've read in a while. The plot was well-paced, and the story was a quick-read, but mainly because it was difficult to put down. The characters weren't stereotypical; instead, each character, including the supporting ones, were unique and three-dimensional. They weren't perfect, either. Even the Christian characters came with baggage and flaws, yet they were willing to admit their wrong-doings.

I thought the author did a perfect job of reflecting today's teen angst, dialogue, and struggles. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the well-written descriptions. Many books today are either too description-heavy in a way that distracts from the story, or they're too bare bone, lacking any details to aid in painting my imagination. Laurel Garver wove in setting and character details in a way that planted me in the scene without interrupting the flow of the story, and she did so in a way that made me feel as though I were watching a movie. The overall story itself was unpredictable. In fact, there were certain threads that pulled me along and kept me guessing until the very end. I also really appreciated the use of humor in the story, especially in the scenes that could've otherwise come across as emotionally heavy.

If you're searching for a quick contemporary read that is original, realistic, inspiring, well-written, and does not lack in depth, Almost There will not disappoint!

See full review: http://christiswrite.blogspot.com/201...
Profile Image for Kellyn Roth.
Author 27 books908 followers
June 28, 2016
Almost There is a descent contemporary Christian fiction novel about a teenage girl who wants nothing more than to get her mother away from the hustle and bustle and pain and terror of their life and take a trip to Paris which, she is sure, will heal all her mother’s old wounds.

I’ll start with the plot. It was original and well-paced; it kept together and ended perfectly. I found the subplot with Laughlin to be a little distracting … and it made Dani sound a little … I don’t know, shallow. Perhaps that’s not the right word, though. I’ll talk about it more in the character section.

However, for the most part, the subplots were nice and didn’t interrupt the main story too much.

I especially liked learning about Dani’s grandfather Daniel Tilman’s backstory. It was creative and dramatic and perfect. It touched my love for sadness just right. I know that sounds ridiculous – a love for sadness. Maybe I should say I was empathetic, but it’s not completely true. I do love sadness in novels … you know, as long as there’s a happy ending. Happy-ending dramas are the only ones I can bear.

Read the rest of my review on my blog.

~Kellyn Roth
Profile Image for Jaime Lynn.
10 reviews
June 26, 2016
Almost There is even more absorbing than Never Gone, and I couldn't put it down. Dani's evolving relationship with her sometimes prickly Mum gains even more nuances as Dani begins to see Grace (Mum) as a person with a history, especially because that history is more troubled than Dani ever realized. Dani's bond with Theo endures some strain, and their struggles to work through the baggage that each of them brings to the relationship are both moving and realistic. Never Gone focused on the immediate aftermath of a loss, while Almost There shows the ongoing grief that people carry with them (sometimes decades later, as Grace and David demonstrate). That said, it is a very hopeful book, and Dani and Theo find ways to draw strength from their faith to help them face their fears and make affirming decisions. The cast of secondary characters feels especially strong here, with Grace's brother David, Theo's sister Beth, and potential antagonist Laughlin providing foils for Dani and Theo. I finished the book a few weeks ago, but I haven't been able to get the characters out of my mind. I look forward to spending more time with them!
Profile Image for Ana.
3 reviews1 follower
June 12, 2016
This is one of those books where you fall in love with the characters and find yourself relating to more than one of them in various ways. The problems the characters faced were realistic and reminded me of my own teenage angst moments growing up. I especially love how Dani is so concerned for her mom and wanting to take care of her. I can remember feeling similarly about my mom and I'm sure my kids will one day feel this way about me. The readiness that supporting characters showed in going to God in prayer for help, reminds me to do the same in my life. I also recommend reading Laurel Garver's first book in this series, Never Gone.
Profile Image for Tyrean.
Author 49 books86 followers
July 14, 2016
Beautifully written, Almost There by Laurel Garver continues to explore the tough realities of grief and healing of Danie and her mother that was started in Never Gone. Dani's dreams of healing her mother through art have hit a stand-still, and the trip to Paris can't seem to come fast enough. And then, Dani's cranky grandfather needs help and the Paris trip is put on hold. Dani struggles for direction and discernment, floundering to find a way to heal herself and her mother. She's such a realistically written character that as a reader, I found myself drawn into Dani's life and her situation within the first few paragraphs.

I highly recommend reading Laurel Garver's latest Dani book!
Profile Image for Audrey Rich.
Author 25 books815 followers
May 31, 2016
This book had enough romance, teenage angst, and secrets to keep me interested. The unexpected twists were believable and sometimes depicted how people think of themselves without caring how their actions affect others.

It was fun to see the drama that both the teenagers and the adults had to deal with and how they came up with some of the solutions. The teenage characters were as flawed as the adults, which made them real.

I'll be interested in reading other books from this author.

The author provided this free book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kim.
137 reviews7 followers
June 27, 2017
This is an excellent read. Even though its aim I believe is the YA audience I found it compelling and highly insightful myself. Its also great that its a clean read because so much literature( among other things) targeted for young people today isn't . Its story manages to tackle difficult life issues with tact and wisdom and not a little bit of faith.The characters were all believable and relatable I could see them as a movie in my mind as I read along .Overall it was brilliant .Kudos to Ms.Garver for creating a book worthy of both teens and adults to be able to delve into and get intrigued by the characters lives .There is not much in my opinion that qualifies as such so this is refreshing.I read it in one day because I had to find out what happened to Dani and all those she loves.If you start this novel you will do same I'm sure .
Profile Image for Rachel John.
Author 34 books433 followers
March 8, 2017
I'm so used to reading books driven by a romantic plot, or fantasy adventure, that it took me a little while to get used to this one. I would categorize it as YA Christian Family Drama. Dani has a flawed family she's trying to keep together, and big dreams. Her boyfriend Theo has his own issues, but he's seems to own them and share them in a way that Dani can't yet.

I loved the fact that when Dani makes a mistake, it comes back to bite her, and she must unravel it on her own, rather than somehow getting resolved through unrealistic machinations like in many other books.

This book felt real. All the characters are working through their own stuff, good and bad. My only caveat was the grandfather. I had a hard time dealing with the fact that everything in the book revolves around helping such a horrible person.

Well edited, interesting, and hard to put down, a definite recommend. 3.99 for Kindle. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lynn.
63 reviews3 followers
June 29, 2016
Almost There continues the story of Dani Deane, a New York city teenager with aspirations to be an artist including spending her summer vacation in artisan Paris with her widowed mother. The plans are derailed though, when Dani's eccentric grandfather falls ill and she follows her mother to Pennsylvania not knowing if the immediate needs he requires will be completed prior to their scheduled flights to Paris. Can she rely on God to figure out things, or does she need to take matters in her own hands?

Like Never Gone, the first book of the Dani Deane story, this is a modern day inspirational teen novel that deals with the growing pains of transitioning into adulthood. The novel also deals with teen romance, grief of a loss of a parent, and forgiveness of past hurts in families. There were a lot of story lines (drama) going on in Dani's life, and at times I did get confused, however today's teens may easily relate to Dani especially concerning family dynamics in our current times.

Two of my favorite characters were Dani's best friend, Heather and her boyfriend, Fletcher, their relationship showing what happens when you just be yourself. Another theme so necessary for teens in our social media saturated society.

The story moved along quickly with dialogue being the majority literary technique.

I would recommend this book for teens 14 years plus, and adults who enjoy contemporary YA. I was given this book to read by the author for an honest review.

Profile Image for Carrie Westmoreland Kurtz.
319 reviews8 followers
July 30, 2016
This book was so refreshing to read! I have read so many really intense books, fantasy and scifi, super action packed and dramatic books... this was just what I needed.

Not that Almost There didn't have its serious, dramatic moments. It did. But, I guess there was just something about the writing that made it so refreshing to me. I think I just really needed to read something different from what I have been reading lately. I've been in a bit of a slump and this book was just what I needed.

I didn't know that there is a prequel to Almost There until after I finished reading it. I was able to jump right into the story even without reading the first one though. As far as the characters go, I really liked Dani and felt her pain, confusion, and need to help so much! My heart ached for Dani's mom but I don't think I have great feelings toward her grandfather at all. Her boyfriend, Theo, was sweet (most of the time) and I loved her friend, Heather!

There were references to God and church but none of it was shoved in your face (for those who don't like to read "religious" books) or anything like that. It was just a wonderfully written book that came just when I needed it! Thank you, Laurel Garver, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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