by - May 01, 2018

I know I'm bomabarding you with reviews right now, but! It just so happens that great books are being released at the same time!!

Today it's the birthday of Porch Swing Girl, an amazing contemporary by Taylor Bennett which you really really need to read! I haven't been talking about it as much as I'd like to because #hiatus, BUT HERE NOW IS YOUR OFFICIAL REVIEW.

I was ridiculously honored to be part of Taylor's street team which meant I got an ARC!! I read it in ... one day. Or two. Can't quite remember. The point is, I READ IT FAST. It was really gripping, and it was really thick (yay!!) and I LOVED IT.

Also! It happen to be #1 New Release in Teen & Young Adult Christian Relationship Fiction on Amazon so ... HURRAY! *applauds*

Porch Swing Girl (Tradewinds, #1)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 and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.


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. 

- this book is by a 17-year-old author

- it's traditionally published at that - i mean, that's impressive!

- anything like this immediately perks up my curiosity and i'm asking, "so how good is it really?"
- its cover is is just plain gorgeous.

- it's set in Hawaii, so that's pretty much #perfection (did i ever say i might wanna move to Hawaii? bc that's how much i love this setting :D)

- and it was so beautifully fleshed out - I FELT LIKE I WAS THERE. IN HAWAII. 

- the sun. 

- the beach. 

- the atmosphere. 

- the tourists. 

- the summer vibe. come on, it just can't get better. BRING ME BACK THERE ALREADY.

- also it mentions HAWAII FIVE-O which is pretty much my favorite cop show of ever, so this book kinda deserves my life long devotion ;)

- then the main character's name is Olive (how can i not love anyone by that name?) and 

- she's snarky 

- and selfish 

- and strong headed 

- and snobby at first (also GRUMPY) 

- but whoa she's dynamic and really hurting inside

- she DOES have an attitude problem but i admire that resolve and caring underneath it

- and i love how in spite of herself she was pulled into ALL THE FUN XD

- ok so moving on - there's Jazzy. 

- we all need a Jazzy in our lives. 

- she's all sunshine and enthusiasm and smiles in spite of pain. 

- not covering up pain. in spite of.

-BRANDER. IS. SO. CUTE. literally. 

- i adore the whole "mr. hair-gel" episode so so much *cracks up thinking about it* and he's just awesome, ok? 

- i love how the "no dating" standard was just plopped there smack in the middle of a contemporary XDD

- i really likes Olive's granny and sis too ^.^

- the character development and growth were just ... magnificent.

- i really appreciate how there's this inner conflict with Olive, and how she has to weigh her options and make big decisions and chose what's most important to her right now. what's the most important thing to do, whether or not it goes against her selfish desires

- the premise.

- the theme.

- the plot.

- it all goes so well hand-in-hand.

- it's about a girl who's hurting bc her mom died. 

- it's about a girl doubting God.

- it's about a girl trying to raise money to fly back to her home in Boston to stop her dad from selling their house

- it's about music 

- and jewelry 

- and shave ice

- it's about cancer 

- and money 

- and church

- it's about friends 

- and second chances 

- and fundraisers

- it's about pain 

- and porch swings 

- and miracles

- it's less preachy than most YA Christian books i've read 

- but it kinda speaks to your heart just the same

- you need this book. you really do.


this is a beautiful debut by this young author that you all should read. it gives the perfect blend of beauty and pain, adventure and meaning. can't wait for the rest of the series!!

Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of contemporary YA fiction. Homeschooled since kindergarten, she is a proud homebody who suffers from the rare–yet always severe–case of wanderlust.

Although she dreams of traveling to many different places, her favorite destination thus far (aside from her charming hometown in Oregon) is Lahaina, Hawaii. Taylor was so enamored with this tropical town that she became determined to write about it, hence her debut novel, Porch Swing Girl, the first in a series of books set in Hawaii.

A lover of literature since birth, Taylor found her love of writing fueled under the instruction of Andrew Pudewa and the other teachers at the Institute for Excellence in Writing, where she now works as an editor for their magazine.

When she isn’t writing, Taylor enjoys cooking, drawing, and taking long walks in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

so! hope i've convinced you all!!
tell me, have any of you ever been to hawaii?
who's entering that giveaway?

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  1. I'm convinced! I need this book in my life, like now!

  2. I HAVE been to Hawaii! I went to the islands of Oahu and Kauai for my high school graduation trip. Saw a bunch of gardens, wildlife, Pearl Harbor, and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Oh yes, and had shave ice at least once. That is to DIE FOR.

    I've seen a lot of Porch Swing Girl these past few days (Taylor is also being featured on the RW website next month, which I'm super stoked about!). I must admit, I am intrigued :).

    Awesome review!


    1. WHAAAAAAAAAAT SO JEALOUS and that sounds like an awesome graduation trip <3

      Can't wait to see that post on RW!! :DD definitely put this book on your tbr!!

      Thanks so much Catherine <3

    2. Your trip sounds like it was amazing, Catherine! So glad you've enjoyed the deliciousness that is shave ice ;)

  3. I went to Hawaii once. The snorkeling was on fleek and the entire island was like something right out of a movie. ;) I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance. <3

    1. Asdfghjklasfhjl #nofair it really does sound like paradise xD I'm definitely running there the first chance I get (probably ;D)


      @Taylor- It really is. We went to a really good snorkeling place and saw all kinds of beautiful fish and coral.

  4. So I've heard about this book, but never looked into it. Guess I thought it was some sort of small-town casual romance or something (not a bad thing, just not my genre, really). Basically, I wasn't interested enough to even find a blurb about the book (sadly). But after reading this post...I think I need this book in my life...

    1. #firstimpressions

      Don't worry that happens to me a lot too. What are friends for but to say 'GO READ THIS BOOK', amiright??

      Glad my post convinced you ;DD

    2. You're so sweet, Lisa :)

      Julian, I hope you enjoy the book if you choose to read it!

  5. I really need to read this! Great review!!!

  6. Ooh this looks so good! I've seen it around, but never really looked into what it was about, but it looks SO GOOD!!! I'll have to snag a copy someday!

    1. Hi Hanne! I hope you enjoy it if you choose to read it :) <3

    2. Definitely do, Hanne! Glad you're interested :D hope you get a chance to read it! Thanks for the comment <3

  7. This sounds fabulous. *heart eyes*

    1. Faith, your COMMENT makes me get *heart eyes* <3 So glad you think it sounds intriguing.

    2. YEEEESSSSS FAITH *heart eyes with you*

  8. This sounds like something I need to read like NOW! Definitely entering that Giveaway!

  9. Ohh I'm dying to read this book! Always up for some good YA. <3 <3 I just found your blog and it looks super cool. I'm hoping to hang around a while. XXX

    1. It definitely qualifies as good YA!!

      Hello Kara ^-^ thanks so much! sorry my reply to your comment is so late but I'm so happy to meet you and see you here and hope you enjoy reading <3


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