Thank you Leslie Liautaud and Blue Handle Publishing for the ARC of Black Bear Lake.
It took me a few days after finishing this novel to sit down to write my review for this YA coming-of-age novel because it has been haunting my thoughts ever since I finished it.
First, the writing. Told in first-person, the novel follows a young man named Adam—first, as an adult, and later, as a teenager as he reflects on the last summer he spent at his family's summer vacation destination, Black Bear Lake.
There is so much to love about this heartbreaking and hauntingly beautiful novel. The prose breathes with descriptions of the lake without getting bogged down in being too flourishing. Leslie flexes her muscles most when delving into inter-family drama and the emotions that Adam and Dannie (his best friend and cousin) wade through.
When I finished this novel, I was on a plane to Charleston, SC. Apparently I was crying harder than I thought I was because the woman across the aisle asked if I was alright and if I was afraid of planes.
So, crying on an airplane is the highest praise I can offer. Black Bear Lake is a five-star read and belongs at the top of your TBR pile.