Friday 30 May 2014

Review ~ The Donahues by Ayelen Barrios Ruiz Pagano.

Title: The Donahues.
Author: Ayelen Barrios Ruiz Pagano.
Publisher: Safkhet Publishing.
Genre: Young Adult.
Release Date: February 14, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon

On Emily's sixteenth birthday, she discovers a letter that tells of her long lost father, who not only wants her back but is also rich. Tensions between her and her mother were never very good, and with this letter, they escalate to where Emily moves out for the summer to her new/old family - at their opulent summer home.

Find out how Emily wrestles with her feelings, finds love and balances her two families in "The Donahues".

The Donahues is the story of Emily, who discovers a letter on her sixteenth birthday telling her she has a whole new family out there. As she meets her ‘new’ father and the rest of the Donahues, conflict ensues as Emily goes on the journey to finding where she really belongs.

I had mixed feelings on this book. I did love the actual plot. It was fast paced and entertaining, bringing up strong Young Adult themes of love, fitting in and relationships. I thought Ayelen Barrios did a great job at writing characters that are easy to relate to. Things like Emily plotting with her friend Marcia on how to get the school heartthrob Jason to notice her is something I’m sure a lot of teenage girls can picture themselves doing (yep, I’ve been there).

Also, Emily’s relationship with her brother is typical to a lot of sibling relationships in that she teases him a lot about his life and his different girlfriend every month yet deep down, you can see that they love and want the best for each other.

My only issue with this book was that I could not find any likeable characters. I did try and there were some I didn’t mind too much, like Tim and Ben, but most of the time I struggled to connect with any of them. Emily seemed to use people just to get her own way (especially Stephen) and I found her irritatingly na├»ve and quick to turn her back on her family. The Donahues themselves seemed too stuck up and Stephen was such a pushover. No matter how good a plot is, I just can’t love it if I don’t love any of the characters.

With that being said, I did think The Donahues was a really promising debut novel. It was an interesting look at a young girl, thrown a curveball and still trying to take charge of her life. The romance was understated which worked well, not taking away from the main plot but keeping relationships at the forefront in what was a quick, enjoyable read.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon


  1. This sounds like an interesting read. It's too bad you didn't like the characters though as that can be very important.

    1. That's exactly what I meant. I really thought the plot was interesting but the characters just didn't do it for me.


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