The Map of Us - Book Review
Raw and emotional…
Fanning’s engrossing sequel to The Girl In My Treehouse is a poignant mix of romance and human drama. It has been three years since Lia vanished from Matt Crosby’s life without saying goodbye. Now a senior, Matt has a lovely girlfriend, a happening social life, and is on his way to a football scholarship. But Lia returns suddenly as the owner of the old Preacher Higgins’s house, claiming to have some clues that will lead to a treasure on the property. Convincing himself he’s just helping Lia as an old friend, Matt drops everything and joins Lia for the treasure hunt. Soon, he realizes he still has feelings for Lia. But Matt is left in the dark once again after Lia leaves without saying goodbye. Will he follow his senior plans or his heart?
There is much to enjoy in this story that features a pair of complex teens: Lia is bright and coping with her mother’s addiction issues, attempting to navigate her life as best she can with the baggage she carries. Matt is sensitive, emotional, and loyal, and his parents are thoroughly relatable and sympathetic characters. Fanning’s exploration of the human condition delves into Matt’s inner turmoil, deftly conjuring the agony of true love and the conflict of picking between doing the right thing and following the heart’s desire. Woven through this story of love and perseverance are themes of addiction, mental health, teen angst, trauma, family, relationships, and friendship. While Matt and Lia’s romance makes for the heart of the story, the novel beautifully examines love in all its forms: parental, romantic, and platonic. A solid YA read.
The Map of Us
Expected publication January 10, 2023