New York City backdrop? Check. Songwriting, ballad-crooning hero? Check. Textbook-editing, grammar police heroine? Check. Sounds like my kind of book!
[b:Grace Grows|13538826|Grace Grows|Shelle Sumners|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346958819s/13538826.jpg|19097935] is about a twenty-something woman whose near-perfect life was shook when she met this aspiring artist in her apartment building one rainy morning. Grace Barnum is a textbook editor who loves her job but feels suppressed by her boss's narrow-minded and limiting ways. She lives with her boyfriend, Steven, a patent lawyer who constantly travels. Her perfectionist lawyer-mom is trying hard not to make choices for her and her previously absent artist-dad seems intent on building a closer relationship with her. Her life is steady and her future, promising. She befriends Tyler Wilkie, who recently moved from a small-town in Pennsylvania in hopes of starting his music career. Being a struggling musician, he works odd jobs here and there - one of which was being a dog-walker for Grace's neighbor.
Tyler had this cute, relentless crush on Grace from the start. But seeing that she was taken, he couldn't really make a move. In fairness to Grace, she never encouraged him. Fate seemed to make their paths cross though, despite her efforts to avoid him. Meanwhile, Tyler was on his way to musical stardom after his talent was finally being recognized. Somehow, they maintain their friendship and find themselves closer to each other day by day. Grace knows what he wants, but she just can't
give it to him.
In a sea of New Adult hits that have taken over ratings and best-selling lists [b:Grace Grows|13538826|Grace Grows|Shelle Sumners|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346958819s/13538826.jpg|19097935] is a welcome breath of fresh air. It proves that the struggles of 'new' adults finding their niche in this world doesn't always have to be depicted in an angst-filled, tragedy-driven manner. One may not always agree with the choices that Grace makes in this book but they are within reason. Her fears were realistic. How many of us have held back from doing something because it was out of our comfort zones? How many of us have held back good opinions on others because they've hurt us in the past and we can't get over that?
This book is undoubtedly heroine-centric. There are no multiples pages of descriptions of the hero's looks and how he makes her feel. Sure, she could be a little self-righteous at times and cried too much but she was nice, funny and drama-free. I could totally relate to her unconscious habit of correcting spelling and grammar! Tyler was sweet and gentlemanly all throughout. And he wrote the swooniest songs that perfectly encaptured his feelings for Grace. I loved the integration of music throughout the book. (The author's husband sang the original songs so beautifully. They can be found on her website.) I'd listen to the songs they talked about and Google-imaged the places in New York as they were mentioned and they automatically transported me to the mood of the book.
[b:Grace Grows|13538826|Grace Grows|Shelle Sumners|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346958819s/13538826.jpg|19097935] is a wonderful book about finding one's self (clichè as that may sound), letting go and allowing people in
. It touches unconventional but functional and loving family relationships, amazing friendships and a slow but budding romance. The ending was perfect and it succeeded to leave me with a happy, fluttering feeling in my heart.