Blog Tour Review: Leading Lines by Chantel Guertin

Leading Lines by Chantel Guertin.

Pippa Greene #3.
Published: October 13, 2015.
Published by: ECW Press.
Source: Received from the publisher for review for the blog tour. Thanks, ECW!

Goodreads Synopsis:
“You’ll fall in love with this genuine young heroine.” -- Best Health

After two drama-filled weeks in Manhattan, Pippa Greene is back. Despite a romantic reunion with boyfriend Dylan, she can’t seem to shake the emotional aftermath of New York. As she navigates parental drama at home and her charged dynamic with Ben Baxter at school, Pippa finds that Dylan is more wrapped up in his post-high-school life of bands, shows, and new friends than in their relationship. Will it survive?

Written with the same humour and heart that made Chantel Guertin’s first two Pippa Greene novels instant favourites, Leading Lines offers a fresh and charming perspective on friendships, family, and first love.

My Review:

Pippa Greene is back, indeed, and bringing some new struggles with her.

Leading Lines is the third installment in Guertin's series about young photographer Pippa Greene and is full of the same kind of realistic moments and, as the synopsis claims, humour and heart that the first two books did so well.

One thing that Guertin really shines at is the way she writes relationships -- both familial and romantic -- and both of those came through strongly and were very well crafted in this story. As of the beginning of Leading Lines, Pippa has discovered a lot about the previously unknown dynamics of her family. Following that, Pippa has to further deal with her grief over losing her father as she takes on some photography assignments rooted in the past, as well as having to confront her feelings towards the surprise addition to her family circle and those towards her mother for having kept such a big secret. As before, these family relationships are thoughtful and touching while still maintaining enough drama to keep them interesting enough to be worthy of a novel.

The romantic ups and downs that Pippa goes through with her boyfriend Dylan upon their post-winter break reunion, after all the time spent rooting for them to get together in the past books, actually got a little hard for me to read at times because of how true to young relationships it felt. I saw so much of the personal conflicts and questions as well as the interpersonal issues that came up in my own young relationships come up between Pippa and Dylan as they try to figure out if they can grow together as they each grow on their own as individuals. I really appreciated the way Guertin not only made these issues feel so genuine but also that she gave them the weight they deserve in the story because these are things that really do hold significant weight in a young woman's life. Pippa and Dylan's relationship struggles were never depicted as juvenile in a negative way, even while Guertin maintained the true "teenager feel" of the characters, which was a great balance. One thing I also thought was interesting was that Guertin didn't take the romance where I thought she would, which was great in that it was a surprise, but was still a bit of a bummer for me because I was interested in where I thought it was going (and yes, I'm trying to remain spoiler-free here).

Other than that, as seems to be consistently the case with these novels, my only real complaint is that there isn't a great deal of excitement that goes on over the course of the story. This isn't a flaw in the books, because it isn't that there's a lack of story here. I think it's more that this is a more "domestic," if you will, storyline than what I normally choose to read and so it doesn't live up to some of the larger scale novels I spend more time with. But family dynamics are something that readers have been loud about asking for, and this series is very strong when it comes to that. It absolutely has its audience, and though I don't fit into that audience 100%, I still definitely enjoy the novels.

In all, Leading Lines is a great follow-up to the previous two Pippa Greene novels and takes her story deeper into her personal life and into her genuine love for her family, her friends, and her photography. As usual, I also of course appreciate the photographic reference in the title and the weaving into the narrative of the photography terms and techniques. These novels remain relatable and sweet and are a great read for anyone looking for dynamic and honest relationships in their YA fiction.

Follow the blog tour:

September 5: Tour kickoff, Review, and Giveaway, Booking it with Hayley G
September 6: Giveaway, Chapter by Chapter
September 7: Review, Books Etc
September 8: Review, Read My Breath Away
September 9: Review, One More Page Reviews
September 10: Review, Sukasa Reads
September 11: Guest Post, Dear Teen Me
September 12: Review and Excerpt, Brains, Books, and Brawn
September 13: Review, Musings of a Writer
September 14: Review, Ramblings of a Daydreamer
September 15: Review and Giveaway, The Book Bratz