Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · YA

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord


The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

SOURCE:  ARC provided by publisher for review

Lucy- She held on to her faith longer than I ever could or did.  Though our stories aren’t exactly the same we have similarities and I definitely didn’t go the Christian route during my mother’s illness but she did.  Holding on to one’s faith during trials against your strength as a human being is not an easy task.  I commend anyone who can without losing a part of themselves.  Not only is it a struggle to do it once, but twice?  There is so much self imposed isolation because no one understands what you are going through outside of your family and I related to Lucy so much for that. Even now, almost two years later (for me obviously) I still struggle daily to keep my friendships afloat.

Other characters – This was Lucy’s story and though we meet a very diverse group of kids I don’t feel like we (or I should say I) connected enough with them to form any strong opinions.  I do wish we would have learned more about her fellow counselors, maybe as a companion book later?

Overall Thoughts:

I’ve been on a kick with books involving death or dying (I know, morbid) and this one was no exception.  So if that wasn’t a big enough hint, trigger warning for anyone dealing with a sick relative or the aftermath of the loss of a loved one.  Like I’ve said before, for me these types of books are cathartic in ways I can’t fully describe but they do help me release some of my anger or sadness, whatever emotion seems to be lingering at given time.  I guess we all just need to have a good cry so to speak every now and then and for me these books work for me.

I think the character descriptions weren’t there for me (see above) or I missed them because I kept getting features and characteristics mixed up and no one was really clear in my mind other than Lucy herself.  Once I got about halfway things started to make more sense but my lack of connection dimmed their lights for me.

This is only the second Emery Lord I’ve read, though I own the remainder, and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read the others.  I enjoyed following Lucy’s journey, though I might have wanted one or two more chapters or epilogue.  I’d love to read a companion novel though for one of her fellow counselors!  I don’t want to say this is a fun read but I will say it was a great one.



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