The Lauras

The Lauras - Sara      Taylor I'm a little bit conflicted on how to rate and review [b:The Lauras|27430360|The Lauras|Sara Taylor||47481757] because, for one thing, I think it's a bit better than a four star rating although not quite a four, if that makes any sense at all, so I guess the right thing to do would be to round up and give it four stars since half a star isn't an option. I really did enjoy this book quite a bit and again, this was a book that I went into without any knowledge of what it was about, if it had received positive ratings and reviews, and I'd never before read anything by this author- all though, I have heard really great things on Goodreads about the debut novel by Sara Taylor, [b:The Shore|23128320|The Shore|Sara Taylor||42676394] so I definitely plan to read that one soon. This was a good book, it held my attention, was well written, I enjoyed the storyline and the characters and it was a quick- less than 24 hr - read, however, I did have a couple issues with this book and was left with unanswered questions upon finishing it and nothing frustrates me more than a stand alone book that leaves me confused and/or hanging. I'll get to that shortly, in this review, but first let me give you a brief summary...
[b:The Lauras|27430360|The Lauras|Sara Taylor||47481757] was about a teenage named Alex whose free spirited Mother takes off in the middle of the night from their family home, leaving her husband and brings Alex along for an extensive road trip around the country. During the trip Alex's mother reveals details about herself and her past and tells the stories of The Laura's" dear friends that she met throughout different points in her childhood and teenage years, all sharing the same name and leaving a major impact. This novel describes the troubles and triumphs of their journey both for Alex as and individual and the relationship between mother and child. It's definitely a coming of age type of novel that illustrates gaining strength from ones struggles and embracing individuality while being true to oneself in the face of diversity. It had a great message and it was raw, unapologetic and realistic to life in this day and age and it touched on issues with parenting, relationships and sexuality that most authors don't go near so I really enjoyed and appreciated that. It's difficult to say a lot more about this book, or express my complaints and questions about the storyline, without including spoilers in this review, something i usually don't do however, in this case I'm going to make an exception so if you haven't read this book yet than stop reading this review now!
**Spoiler Alert**
...One issue I had was that I was continuously trying to figure out if Alex, the main character, was a teenage boy or girl. I assumed because of the way he/she was describing his/her fascination with masturbation that they had to be a male...but I couldn't be sure. Then later on in the book it addressed the issue head on, after dancing around it before, and Alex stated that he/she didn't identify with either gender. Whatever that means. Now I'm an open minded person and I can accept anyone. I'm familiar with plenty of members of the LGBT community but I've never met anyone who doesn't identify with either so this book was a little frustrating to me because regardless of what Alex identifies with and what pronoun Alex uses, Alex was born with anatomy of one gender and I wish the book had at least described which that was. I get that the whole point the author was trying to make was not labeling Alex as either gender, or as both, but I wasn't a big fan of that approach, only because it left me wondering and I never received any answers which is always frustrating for me. The second thing that confused me about this novel was which Laura, from her childhood, did Alex's mother go move in with in the end....or, were all the Laura's she spoke of actually only one girl? I remember when Alex asked his/her mother this very question, which one of the Laura's was it and the mothers response was "if you've been listening you should already know"...well I was listening so maybe it just went right over my head but I didn't catch the answer to that one. If anyone out there knows...please reply in my comments and enlighten me...I'm literally losing sleep!

So anyway, aside from those two issues I really enjoyed this book a lot and I highly recommend it. It would have easily been a four or five star rating were it not for those two minor complaints but I still think the book deserves 3.5 and since that's not an option I'll give four by default. It was a really interesting story with captivating characters and a unique plot

I received a copy of this publication from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.