Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: Lessons Learned by Sydney Logan

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
235 Pages

A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.

English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past. 

She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. They quickly become friends – bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives. When they open their wounded hearts to each other, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance. 

Their love is put to the test when Matt, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. When the conservative community finds out, Sarah and Lucas – along with the town of Sycamore Falls – are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.


Lessons Learned in an endearing tale about a man and woman who come together in a small town after both suffering some traumatic experiences. Throughout the novel, they learn to let go of their hurt, anger and fear so that together they can fight against the obstacles they face and come out strong on the other side.

Sarah Bray is coming back home. Witnessing the death of a student has her in desperate need of the place she grew up in. In the small town of Sycamore Falls, secrets don't exist and progression is a joke. So when she first meets Lucas Miller, she is reluctant to start anything more than a friendship with him. She needs to work our her own issues and having a boyfriend will not help that. They fall into a relationship slowly, but their love comes quickly. When a young boy's secret is discovered, Sarah and Lucas work together and take it upon themselves to look after him and find justice in the situation. Fighting not only for this boy's safety, but for their own relationship will teach them more than just how to keep a strong relationship, but how to be strong people as well.

I liked this novel, but I didn't love it. I have to admit that my expectations were super high because I've read some of the authors previous work and absolutely adored it, but this just didn't hit home for me. Many aspects of the novel were so cliche that I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Not all of the book was that way, but the romance really was. The plot was actually extremely interesting and original. I believe that I would've like the novel better had the romance not been like every other romance novel and up to par with the plot.

The characters were enjoyable though none of them really stood out to me besides Matt. He was such a sweetheart. I wanted to wrap my arms around him and hug him forever. I liked the main characters as well, but they didn't really "pop" for me. There were some likable characters, there were some lovable characters and there were also characters that you hated with your entire being. 

Ms. Logan is a wonderful storyteller. I am a follower of her online stories and was really looking forward to reading her first published piece. It's a great start, for sure. She portrays emotion excellently and even had me in tears at one point. That's where she has her strongest talent. Her ability to really reach out the characters' emotions is what made the book for me. The subject that she writes about in Lessons Learned is a controversial one and I think she handles it with grace. The way Ms. Logan can make the plot feel realistic will really help her along in her writing career.

I'm sure I would recommend it to fans of romance novels, but it isn't the first book that would come to mind. It deals with some issues that aren't often found in that genre, but I think that romances lovers of all kinds would take something out of it.  Personally, I'm a big romance fan and while it just came up as an average romance novel for me, I think many other people will adore it. That being said, I will definitely be reading Ms. Logan's future work! She is very talented and while Lessons Learned might not have been a novel that will really stick with me, I did enjoy reading it.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

1 comment :

  1. Well, this looks interesting.
    LOVE the small town setting and learning to fall in love again is an interesting subject for novels
    GREAT review, Em
    Your reader,


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