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Porch Swing Girl

(Tradewinds #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  73 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 moneysomething 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. HintonThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankPorch Swing Girl by Taylor BennettFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyA Cactus in the Valley by Olivia J. Bennett
Teen Authors
44 books — 11 voters
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  124 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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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
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 moneysomething 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 Im 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. Im 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 an
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
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
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 doesnt make her debut offering any less professional. In fact, her writing style is far more polished and creative than books Ive read from authors triple her age. The fact that shes only seventeen, and can write witty, vivid, snappy, YA-ish, sentances, makes me excited for her future. This book embodies everything youd expect light, YA, Christian fiction to be. Its
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. Olives voice is so strong! Olive is angry. Snarky. Sarcastic. Stubborn. Sad. Olive is realistic and relatable. Shes determined, sometimes to a fault. Olive is also generous, kind and caring. Shes 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 turn
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
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
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
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
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 Hawaiiexcept, Olive isnt planning on staying in Hawaii. Shes 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
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.
Victoria Goodbrand
Absolutely LOVED this! Such a cute summery YA book with some fantastic Christian elements!! *buys Sand Castle Dreams*
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

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
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
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
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 moneysomething 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
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
Eliza Noel
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Olive hates Hawaii. Why? Because shortly after her moms death her dad decided to leave her and her little sister Macie in Maui with their grandma. Olive needs a plan, and fast, for making enough money to fly home and stop her dad from getting rid of all of her moms things. But her goals shift a little after she gets to know a spunky island girl named Jazz and a cute worship leader named Brander.

Christian Contemporary YA. So apparently this isnt a popular genre- but its exactly what I like to
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was perfection-and it has completely stolen my heart!!
Chloe (aka Crystal)
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chloe (aka Crystal) by: Mom
Recommended Age: 13+, for minor romance as well as some situations that would be harder for a younger one to understand.

My Review:

So I had the pleasure of being apart of Taylor Bennett's street team. Honestly, it was my first time doing so. I also want to apologize for not posting this review sooner. If you want to see why (if not, just skip): (view spoiler)
Samantha Watson
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
After the death of her mother, Olive Galloway is sent to Hawaii to live with her grandmother for the summer. She wants to go back to Boston, but plane tickets require money. In comes Brander, a youth pastor who, with Jazz, a mysterious girl, land Olive a job. But then Jazz reveals a secret, an expensive secret. To help Jazz means giving up a plane ticket home, and time is running out.

I love this book!! Every character is so well written and developed, there's no way you can't love them. Taylor
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was very impressed. I loved the thematics of the story and I found the writing vivid and alive. I liked Olive, even though she wasnt super loveable. Yes, she was kind of a brat and an annoying character, but she was real, and we still cared for her, and that takes talent to pull off. Extraordinary and authentic, the writing style was unique down to the details. The family dynamics were told very realistically and emotionally for the most part.

On the downside, I didnt connect with Jazz as much
S.G. Willoughby
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I finished this book a few days ago but didn't want to review it until I'd digested it a bit. I loved this book. I honestly didn't expect to, but I did. A lot. It was just SO well written! The setting, the characters, the plot... ahh! So good.

I loved the setting especially because it contrasted so vividly with the plot and things going on internally in the main character. I never forgot that I was in beautiful Maui, and it was fun to step outside of my own Arizona desert world so easily.

Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Olive Galloway's life has been turned upside down and she has been dumped at her Gramma's house in Hawaii, along with her little sister. Her mother just lost her fight with cancer and her dad has deposited them with their grandmother so he can go deal with things at home in Boston. "Deal with things" being something which has Olive in a complete panic that her dad will deconstruct what is left of her world by getting rid of her mothers things and selling their house.

Full disclosure- Olive
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