By Katie Michelle
5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: (From ktmichelle.com) Gloria Westerly doesn't have a friend in the world before moving to Century City. Though living with her aunt on the property of the wealthy family she works for is odd, stranger still is the mansion’s only occupant. While there is certainly a story to the Rigby’s son, Adam, Gloria is distracted entering her final year of high school when she meets the carefree troublemaker, Edge Rider. Like Adam, Edge can tell there's more to Gloria under the surface. If anyone can dig deep enough to understand her past trauma, it would be Edge. And maybe she'd like him to try. However, Gloria has no way of knowing that getting closer to him means stepping into a feud between friends; one centered around Adam Rigby and Edge's legal guardian, Jet Veron. Adam warns Gloria to get out while she can, but it's too late. She's already in.
Mourning Gloria opens at a frozen funeral. The picture is painted clearly and lets us know right away that Katie Michelle is a serious writer. There are some books with such amazing prologues that never quite match up in the rest of the book compared to the perfectly crafted intro. This is not one of those books. Katie’s writing style and story stays consistent in tone and pace throughout the entire novel.
Katie’s characters are so definitive, they feel alive. It’s easy to clearly picture them and recognize them by their tone or written voice. They are diverse in style and unique. Sometimes, when I read this story, it’s hard to decide just who my favorite character is. Gloria has a dark past that she doesn’t want to share with anyone because it’s easier to forget the things that happened. Edge is optimistic and charismatic despite growing up in situations that could easily make someone the opposite. Gloria’s friends are caring without ulterior motives, Edge’s guardian is stern and thick skinned, and the rich boy who owns the estate Gloria is living in with her aunt (a caretaker of the estate), is undoubtedly charming in all the right situations.
The entire book, I felt like I was there, with these characters, as they roamed the halls of Centennial High and Coralie’s Café. Katie is clearly talented at making her scenes clear and pristine without a doubt of what’s going on. It’s a talent I desire dearly in my own writing.
There might be times when you think you can predict what a characters motive or history is and Katie manages to fool you every time. The whole book is full of twists and turns in the plot, even up until the very last scene. It’s great to keep your mind working as you read it and try to determine where everything is going to end up going.
I’ve known Katie for several years now and have had the honor of reading Mourning Gloria in several different states of editing. Katie’s writing has excelled exceptionally and it is incredible to see this final product of her passion. Anyone who enjoys contemporary romance YA books needs to head over to her website and get your copy. I can’t wait for her future projects to flourish as Mourning Gloria has.
Katie's book, Mourning Gloria, will be available for purchase on September 4th, 2018.