Summary (from the publisher):
Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorne College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
While I continue to mostly read YA, I’m always on the lookout for a great adult novel. I’ve found that within the adult genre, I’m most interested in contemporary that explores friendship or family dynamics with the right amount of lyrical prose. Enter Elizabeth Ames’ The Other’s Gold. This debut novel follows best friends Lainey, Ji Sun, Margaret and Alice. The four are assigned to the same suite during their freshmen year at Quincy-Hawthorne College and their friendship carries them through college and into adulthood.
The Other’s Gold is officially one of my favorite books of the year! I freaking loved this book so much for Elizabeth Ames’ beautiful and captivating writing style and story. Her writing and the way she explores all four characters totally captured my attention and made me not want to part from this book for too long. But at the same time, I found myself wanting this book to never end and kept trying not to read too much at a time!! Which rarely happens to me (although I did end up reading the last 150 or pages straight through for about two hours).
As some of you might know based on my love for college YA novels, there’s something about a college storyline that always gets me. The four main characters meet as roommates during their freshmen year of college and turn into fast friends. Their tight-knit friendship from the get-go of the book really worked, especially since all of the girls continue to reveal secrets about themselves. There’s no doubt that the four girls’ relationships are complicated, especially with the addition of each of the girls’ ‘mistake.’ The Other’s Gold is split into four sections based on each girl’s secret. I feel like Elizabeth Ames could have easily dedicated one character to each section, but I love how we constantly get all of their third person perspectives throughout the book. I’m so glad that she went with this choice.
I really liked the years dedicated to their college years because it showed off college life, but also because the girls really explore some social and personal issues. Yes, there’s the classic college partying and drinking, but there’s also much exploration about sexuality, relationships, and family. While their college years take place during the early 2000s, there is a sexual harassment case at their college that felt very real in comparison to today’s conversations. Lainey is the bad-butt feminist and protestor of the group, and throughout her storyline, she is always combatting social issues. I think she grew to be my favorite character, especially because I loved her relationship with her romance interest. Her story definitely gets bizarre in the book’s last section (which I won’t name for the sake of spoilers), but I thought it actually worked well and yes at this point, I was already too in love with the book. Perhaps not at first glance, but Alice and Ji Sun were very multi-layered and complicated characters themselves. Margaret was definitely the enigma of the group, and while she could be the most frustrating, I still liked her role in the novel.While the first two sections are dedicated to the college years, the books last two sections delve into more ‘adulting’-like issues such as work, marriage, and pregnancy.
Overall, I loved The Other’s Gold for Elizabeth Ames’ addicting writing and story. I found myself thinking throughout that this book would make for the perfect mini series. While the book does tackle some adult and mature themes, I think YA readers will also really appreciate and enjoy this one.
The Other’s Gold comes out on August 27, 2019.
This review is based on an advance uncorrected proof. By no means did receiving this copy affect my thoughts or opinions.
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