Summary: It’s the end of her junior year of high school, and Lucy’s life feels pretty good: she has the perfect boyfriend, Lukas, she’s captain of the swim team, her mother no longer has cancer, and she loves practicing her faith with her family, especially at their church summer camp. But everything comes crashing down when her mother’s cancer comes back. When her relationship with Lukas comes to a standstill and she becomes a summer counselor at the camp for troubled youth across the lake, Lucy questions how she’ll make it through each day, let alone the summer. Emery Lord’s The Names They Gave Us follows Lucy’s emotion-filled journey centered around faith, family, and friendship.
Cover Lust?: I want this cover displayed on my wall, please and thank you. I loved the painted look and how the tree is incorporated into the story.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
**WARNING: There are spoilers below for The Names They Gave Us**
The Names They Gave Us had me hooked from the very first chapter. I just fell into Lucy’s story, the characters, and the setting. While the book does have a lot of happy moments, the story equally has its sad moments, as we see Marianne’s health deteriorate and Lucy struggle with her faith. She just doesn’t understand why her mother and her family had to be put in this situation. I appreciated the intimacy that Emery Lord sets up between the reader and Lucy, along with the intimacy between characters. Lucy has such a close relationship with her family, especially her mother, that my heart just broke for her.
My spirits definitely lifted up when Lucy goes to Daybreak, and I loved being surrounded by Lucy’s friends and campers. I loved how the novel primarily took place at Daybreak, adding to its summer contemporary vibes (the best contemporary books are ones that take place in the summer). My favorite part of the novel was Lucy having the summer that her mom wanted for her. She’s too busy to think about all the stress and grief in her life, and she finally makes her own inner circle of friends. I wish I could join on the trips to Tom’s with Anna, Keely, and Mohan in tow—plus the onion rings sounded soooo yummuy. Henry Jones is one of my new fictional boyfriends, and if I were a summer counselor, I would hope that Payton, Nadia, and Thuy would be among my campers.
Personally, my only issue with this book was the ending. When I got to the last page, I had to flip back and forth a few times to make sure that I hadn’t accidentally skipped a few pages. I wanted an ending where Lucy is staying goodbye to her campers, her friends, and Daybreak for the summer, NOT AN ENDING WHERE EVERYONE IS AT THE HOSPITAL AS LUCY’S MOM IS GOING INTO THE ICU. I get one of the points that Emery Lord makes- that no matter what happens to Marianne, Lucy will have her family, friends, and faith to support her and that there is always going to be some sort of unknown in life. It’s just that we built up to so much in this novel and we’re just left on our own to decide what happens—I’m sorry but I just need to know!! Between the story, the emotions, the twists, the charcters, I enjoyed The Names They Gave Us so much.Please Emery Lord, give us a sequel or novella!
Have you read The Names They Gave Us? Share your thoughts and feels in the comments!