Summary: When Sloane moves from New York to Florida for her senior year, she doesn’t expect to fall in love with such a tight-knit group of friends, layered with private tragedies and secrets. Sloane becomes closest with Vera, a social media star with a big heart, and Gabe, Vera’s quiet and serious twin brother. When a painting by Vera and Gabe’s mother goes missing, Sloane makes it her mission to find it, creating a journey that takes her deeper into her, her friends, and surprisingly, her father’s, lives.
Cover Lust: This Adventure Ends cover designer, please teach me your ways! I seriously would love to be able to paint like this. The cover scheme also matches the book really well, giving me both night-sky and ocean vibes.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Emma Mills is a much-loved contemporary YA author among many of my fellow bloggers. My 2019 reading plan is all about prioritizing books and authors that I’ve really been meaning to read. This Adventure Ends, following Sloane’s incorporation into a tight-knit friend group after moving to Florida, met my expectations and more, making Emma Mills a new go-to author for me.
While This Adventure Ends takes place during Sloane’s senior year of high school, the book takes place in my favorite setting, a beach town! It was cool that Opal used to be Sloane and her family’s vacation spot, although I do wish we got a bit more on why her family moved there. We can only assume it was for Sloane’s dad, who is a famous, yet struggling literary romance author. Even though I would classify This Adventure Ends as more as a friendship-focused read, I did like Sloane’s relationships with her family, especially her little sister. When it comes to family, there are heavier topics, with Sloane’s dad dealing with depression and writer’s block, while her friends Vera and Gabe have recently lost their mother.
As much as I usually love reading about fandom and writing, the somewhat major element I didn’t like about the book was her father’s fan fiction writing. It was definitely funny at times, but his excerpts, and even the excerpts from his books, took me out of the story. While I can’t speak from experience, I also thought it was a little weird that Sloane read her father’s books so much.
Now on to the best part of This Adventure Ends: the friendship! This Adventure Ends really felt unique to me, in that Sloane finds friendship in a tight-knit and complex group of friends, being the outsider going in. I feel like it’s usually the opposite in a few YA books, as a new friend disrupts the main character’s friendship with the group. I found Sloane’s individual friendships with Vera, Gabe, and Remy to feel really realistic. Through them, Sloane experiences a lot of character development. Sloane and Remy’s art adventure was also fun and unique, and the Frank-sanctioned social events also brought a ton of humor and some deeper moments to the story. In addition, there’s a quiet romance in the book that I fell in love with from the start.
Overall, I loved This Adventure Ends for its focus on friendship and story. I’m so excited to read the rest of Emma’s books! I’m going to first read First & Then and Foolish Hearts before moving on to her 2019 release, Famous in a Small Town.
Have you read This Adventure Ends? Share in the comments!