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Porch Swing Girl

(Tradewinds #1)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  102 reviews
What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a
Paperback, 303 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Mountain Brook Ink (first published 2018)
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The Outsiders by S.E. HintonOrder of Chivalry by Mihir DhawanPorch Swing Girl by Taylor BennettThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Teen Authors
46 books — 15 voters
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
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Abigayle Claire
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, arc
4.5 stars

This was a really sweet and refreshing summery story that might have put me in a summery mood. (Not a huge summer fan here.) I could see the amazing Hawaiian setting the whole time, and I was more than happy to be immersed in that culture and Olive's life. All of the characters had this sweet side that made them lovable even when they were predictable or I couldn't relate. It was neat to see Olive's struggle with faith, the hardships around her, and the shift in her mindset. That last o
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“What if friendship cost you everything?
Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.
With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack
Age Appropriate For: Ages 13 up for thematic elements and mild romance
Best for Ages: 13-20

Ask me what my least favorite storytelling type is, and I’m quick to tell people the first person, present tense is at the top of my list. Example: I go through the door and stop where I stand. I’m more a third person or at least past tense kind of girl. However, this book got five stars despite being written in my least favorite style. That alone says a lot.

Taylor Bennett has the polish and the skills of a
Lisa Elis
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing

trying to review this amazing book won't be easy XD it's too good to express in a few words -- you just need to read it yourself. i was so honored to receive an arc and get to be a part of the street team so ... a big thanks to the author for that!!


- this book is by a 17-year-old author and traditionally published at that - i mean, that's impressive! and anything like this immediately perks up my curiosity and i'm asking, "so how good is it really?"

- its cover is is just plain gorgeou
Micaiah Saldaña
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Official Rating: Four Stars
Porch Swing Girl was one of my most memorable summer reads. Taylor Bennet's debut has left me wanting even more of her writing!

What I Loved...
The setting. Hawaii, shave ice, sandy beaches, sunshiny days, scores of tourists, plenty of coconut and pineapple and so much YES. Enough said. <3
The message. I believe that the message of Porch Swing Girl is one that everyone must hear, for it is one that can change one's life and bring hope and healing. <3
The characters. I L
Olivia Jarmusch
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it

Lookout YA Fiction World: Taylor Bennett is one talented wordsmith. Taylor might be a teen author, but that doesn’t make her debut offering any less professional. In fact, her writing style is far more polished and creative than books I’ve read from authors triple her age. The fact that she’s only seventeen, and can write witty, vivid, snappy, YA-ish, sentances, makes me excited for her future. This book embodies everything you’d expect light, YA, Christian fiction to be. I
R.F. Gammon
This book was incredible, to say the least. Taylor is such a sweet person, and to know that she is so young and still getting TRADITIONALLY published, with such a great debut's amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get on to a smol personal review XD (which will probably be long and fangirly).

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked this book up. I knew vaguely that it was going to be about Hawaii but not how, or wh
Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)
I am so impressed by this book!!

Porch Swing Girl is told from the point of view of sixteen-year old Olive Galloway. Olive’s voice is so strong! Olive is angry. Snarky. Sarcastic. Stubborn. Sad. Olive is realistic and relatable. She’s determined, sometimes to a fault. Olive is also generous, kind and caring. She’s a really awesome character!

Olive is a Christian, but her faith is wavering after the death of her mother. She finds herself surrounded by many devout believers who remind her to tur
Elizabeth Dragina
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memorable
YA Christian Contemporary . . . .

This is not my usual genre. In fact it's an almost-gone genre, so why you ask did I give it a try?? Well, *smiles timidly* It was free, a lot of my friends gave it high ratings, and I was coming out of a reading slump . . . so I was in the mood to DNF if I felt like it. :P

My feelings changed toward the book though, instantly. I fell deeply in love with the writing style and Bennett's way of weaving her faith throughout the story. It created so many sweet emotion
Amanda Tero
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
What would it be like to lose your mother quickly, unexpectedly, and tragically to cancer? Then, what if your dad left on top of that? These are the issues that Olive faces as she stays the summer with her grandma and younger sister in Hawaii—except, Olive isn’t planning on staying in Hawaii. She’s determined to earn money for a ticket to Boston to join her dad and prevent him from throwing out all their memories of her mom.

Olive was a very believable, hurting girl. Yet, she also took the believ
4.5 stars

Wow! This book was awesome! I really want to add it to my bookshelf. I'd recommend this to girls 12-18, due to interest/maturity level, though the book is perfectly clean.

I loved the characters. They were dynamic and relatable. I want a Tutu Bonnie, Macie as a little sister, and a Jazz and -- you get the picture. Olive's actions were surprisingly understandable; even a usually-happy person can gain an attitude when it seems like everything is falling apart. Anyone who's grieved over the
This was exactly what I wanted it to be, oh my goodness. The setting, the characters, the faith content, it was just perfect.
Things I loved:
- Brander (*heart eyes*)
- Jazz (I want to be her friend please)
- Macie (she's the cutest)
- Olive (eventually. she had to grow on me)
- The setting (even though I haven't been to Hawaii, I felt like I was there!)
- The Shave Ice Shack (can I go there please?)
- The way Taylor handled grief. I have to talk about this. As someone who has lost a parent, I
Ah, how lovely to be transported to Hawaii in the summer with shaved ice, hot sunny days, and good friends. I took awhile to get around to read this sweet book because honestly, I didn't think I would enjoy it. But overall, it's such a lovely book that deals with characters that are real and settings and events that drew me in. If ya need to get away this summer, Porch Swing Girl will be the perfect choice <3 ...more
Absolutely LOVED this! Such a cute summery YA book with some fantastic Christian elements!! *buys Sand Castle Dreams*
Aloha, dudes! I just got back from being transported to Hawaii and it was the best.😍🌅

I absolutely loved this book!! Initially what caught my attention was the name of it (I love porch swings!) and the cover. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while now. I’ve been following Taylor on Instagram for months now and just from knowing her virtually, she seems like the absolute sweetest person!!

There’s so much I loved about this book... so I guess I’ll make a super random list because I’m pretty sure
Rating: 3.5 stars

I picked up this book during its Black Friday sale last year and waited until springtime to enjoy this warm weather read.


Hawaii Setting
I'm a huge fan of Lilo and Stitch, so I was excited that this book was set in Hawaii. The setting was vibrantly described and I felt like I was there along with the characters.

Unique Plot
The plot was refreshing for YA, as it doesn't focus primarily on dating or cliques, but instead on godly friendships. I appreciate the values Bennett
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest, I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I am not a huge fan of Hawaii as a book theme, but this book made it work so well.
Olivie's struggle was so understandable, and I related to her attitude issues so much. Her little sister was portrayed so perfectly. All the characters were so vivid, and the relationships realistic.
I have rarely ever read a book that let the spiritual element unfold so naturally and slowly as this book, but it made the whole book amazing.
I rare
Rebekah Morris
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
I have mixed thoughts on this book. There were things I liked and things I didn’t like.

Things I liked.
Most of the characters were enjoyable and I liked how different they all were.
I enjoyed the setting since I don’t read many books set in Hawaii.
The parts about learning to trust that God has a bigger plan for everything was well done.

Things I didn’t like.
Olive’s attitude toward her father was rude and disrespectful, and she never once apologized or seemed to think it was wrong.
No one se

SO CUTE. oh my word, I read this in literally one day. <3 <3 I finished the book with a huge smile on my face, because of the hope-filled ending. (also, I need the sequel NOW)

what i loved
~the cuteness and sunshine. basically, this book was such a refreshing and sweet read. like an iced coffee on a hot, sunny day.
~COMPLETELY CLEAN. like, no content issues. only romance was a kiss on the cheek + forehead.
~the hope. I loved how Taylor wrote about grief and trusting God after such a
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-authors
Click here for the full review:
An excerpt from the review:
All that I can say is, it's amazing and a really enjoyable and touching read about a teen girl who is dealing with teenage life general along with losing the world that she once knew and nearly loses one that she starts to adjust in after the death of her mum. It was so encouraging for me to see that in all trials, there is a way out, and as Christians, even when all else seems to fail, God is alwa
ryan elizabeth

This was a sweet (but not fluffy) summery read. Taylor is such a talented writer, after reading Porch Swing Girl I will gladly read anything she writes. I will be continuing this series for sure! 😍
Heather  L.L. FitzGerald
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a heartfelt story that teens will love! Well, I did too, although I'm *slightly* older than a teenager ;)
Taylor Bennett is an impressive young wordsmith and did a standout job painting the angst of a teenager in the tropical setting of Hawaii! As a lover of all things beach related (without having been to the Hawaiian islands) Miss Bennett wove an authentic feeling picture of the vibe, the lingo, and the rhythm of life on the island.

The main character, Olive, goes through a terrific an
Emily Grant
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a beautiful story of coming back to God and realizing what's truly important. I didn't quite know what I was in for when I started it; I just knew it was about a girl in Hawaii, nothing else.

Olive Galloway is staying in Hawaii with her grandma after her mother's death. Her dad returns home to "take care of things", which Olive fears is another way of saying he's going to completely do away with her old life and anything that reminds her of her mother. Desperate to stop him, she st
Victoria Kimble
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will be so happy to recommend this story to everyone! Especially to the teens in my life. It transported me to Hawaii and dropped me right into Olive's life. I loved experiencing her journey with her! This was a fabulous debut from Taylor Bennett. Keep your eyes open for this author...she's going places!

I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
Apr 03, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (4/3/2019)! 🎁

What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job a
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I first heard about Porch Swing Girl my initial assumption was, "It sounds like a John Green novel." Given that I like John Green, this was enough to intrigue me even though I don't read much YA fiction, especially not contemporary YA. Having finished the book, I stand by my original impression. Porch Swing Girl is a squeaky clean Christian novel with Christian youth group sub-culture as the background to dealing with issues of terminal illness, chronic illness, and mortality.

You can throw
Mandie Pitre
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for an attention-grabbing, couldn't-put-it-down, thought-provoking fiction read, Taylor Bennett's 'Porch Swing Girl' is right up your alley.

My opinion?
Loved it to the point I read most of it early into the morning because I couldn't stop reading...

Bennett takes you on a trip to beautiful Hawaii, incorporating the culture, lifestyle, and scenery of the islands. The characters are well-written and extremely relatable, and realizing I hit the end and will have to
Hannah Foster
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first started this book, I struggled because it's a YA written in first person and the MC is a complaining, whining teenager. All the things I am not a fan of. So I put the book aside for a while.

Yesterday I was determined to give the book another try and after getting past the first few chapters, I found myself not able to put it down.

Although I am not a fan of books with grumbling angsty teenagers, I was glad to see her attitude improve after a while. I am also not a fan of teen romanc
Abigail Harris
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, this was just so... Wow!

I commonly pass over young adult books since they oftentimes lack faith, this book? Yeah, the elements of faith were so strongly potent that they just seep from the story.

I really love Olive, JAZZ, and Brander and how they became friends even though they didn't start off as friends. I would say that I wish I had read it before, but, I think I read it just when I needed to.

I highly recommend that you try out this book, it is well worth the time. Not to mention, who ca
Rachael (bluestockings_and_books)
I so want to read the next book in this series... and the next and the next and all of them! It was like the Christy Miller series, but without drugs, drinking, and sex which is why I didn’t especially like that series. I love this book so much! It has inspired me to deepen my relationship with God! Please pick up this book and the next one in the series! The only thing I didn’t like about this book was Olive’s attitude during the beginning, but it pointed out that she is not perfect because no ...more
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