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Advent for Authors: Love with McCall Hoyle

The final week of Advent has come and gone, and I have no guilt over posting late on this week’s theme of love. I had a Martha moment two days before Christmas, but with some prayer and quiet time, Mary won. I spent the past week resting in God’s peace, joy, hope, and love with no guilt over deadlines, priorities or must-do’s. I’ve had a chance to fight off a nasty cold ( I hope) and am excited about diving into edits in January for book two. All good reasons to be late.

To end off this year, let’s talk about love. There are so many good novels that portray love in all its permutations. I, however, am a sucker for romantic love. In particular, I swoon over stories of first loves, which happen at a predictably high rate in YA novels. Maybe that’s why I love YA so much? The book I chose for this week, Meet the Sky, by McCall Hoyle fits all my checkboxes to a tee.

What’s it about:

Already having weathered accidents and loss within the past year, Sophie is faced with evacuating her fractured family (and their horses) in the wake of a hurricane. Her mother and sister make it out safely, but she is left stranded in the middle of the storm with the one person she would rather never see again – her freshmen crush, Finn, who left her stranded at her first high school dance.

Did I mention there is also the cutest three-legged cat cameo and that it’s another beachy novel, taking place on the Outer Banks? It is a perfect setting for falling in love while in the midst of a natural disaster.

What did I think?

Quality of Writing (5/5): I loved McCall’s first novel, The Thing with Feathers (see review here), so I already knew that I’d jive with her writing style. She continues to be one of my favorite clean YA authors with her memorable protagonists who are so easy to relate to. I also love how she weaved in a literary theme, including quotes from Lord Alfred Tennyson.

Turn Paging Effect (5/5): Who knew that the eye of the storm was only half of the hurricane? And storm surges? The hurricane definitely upped the pace and kept me racing through the pages, but it was the tension and growing relationship between Sophie and Finn that really carried this story to the final pages.

Attributes of Hope AND Love (5/5): There were more than a few Titanic-like scenes that melted my heart in this book. It was sweet but so memorable to the point that I can still visualize the bedroom closet where they weathered part of the storm. The final scenes really brought this novel up a notch. McCall closed off all the loose ends with the necessary HEA but also introduced such great hope for the future.

Want to know what’s next for McCall Hoyle? So do I! Check back here in February, as we may have some answers on the Hope Prose Podcast.

Until then, go read her amazing novels, and don’t forget to add your reviews on Goodreads! Both Martha and Mary would approve.


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