Kelli’s Pine by Jay Grochowski is every hopeless romantic’s fantasy from start to finish. A little slow to start; however, once it picked up, there was no setting the book down. The more I read, the more engrossed and invested in the love story I became. Not only did I want to see their love flourish, but I also found myself rooting for this family, at every new obstacle, as if they were my own. Kelli’s Pine brought me an unexpected pick me up during high-stress and uncertain times.
Grochowski also did an excellent job describing every moment throughout this incredible love story; it’s as if you experienced it yourself. This is especially true for individuals with experience in the athletic world, like me, for example. Through the entirety of the book, I felt I could predict some parts, only because they resonated with my experiences as a high school and collegiate athlete. It felt good to read about the pressures of being an “all-star” athlete and to feel like the writer had gotten it spot right. I’d almost dare say it felt like Grochowski was writing my biography.
Another thing I appreciated about Kelli’s Pine is the common theme and conversation surrounding mental health disorders, specifically, a social anxiety disorder. I appreciate the acknowledgment of social anxiety disorder, how mental health diagnoses can be genetic, as well as how social anxiety disorder can present differently for different individuals. I think it’s essential that we shift the narrative surrounding mental health, and I think one way to combat this is by telling stories of individuals who live with these disorders.
Overall, I think that Kelli’s Pine was a fantastic debut book and a love story that presented many parallels between my personal experiences. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light-hearted love story, yet easy read.
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