Finding Hope in Texas

Young Adult - General
214 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Finding Hope in Texas is a coming of age story written by Ryan T. Petty. Hope's life had been pretty magical up to the time when her parents and brother were instantly killed in a car crash several days before Christmas. Their loss is devastating and her only relative, Aunt Mags, wasn't even there to console her at the funeral. Aunt Mags did suggest that Hope start a new life and share her little rented house in Northern Texas. It's quite a change for a privileged city girl who's due to inherit millions once she's eighteen, as is the local high school, which is a small and insular institution. Hope also quickly falls foul of the school's mean girl, Jody, the leader of the Secundas, whose sole aim is to make the new girl's life miserable.

Ryan T. Petty's coming of age novel, Finding Hope in Texas, is a well-written and inspirational young adult story. Hope has to deal with grief issues while navigating her way through a very different culture than the urban existence she's left behind. Hope often wonders if a new setting is really worth the alienation and the troubles she's having both at school and at home. It's fun to watch her learn to cope with and eventually appreciate her new life. Mr. Peet and his daughter, Lizzie, are finely drawn characters who offer lifelines to Hope, both by their friendship and getting her involved in their hobby and passion for re-enacting the Civil War. Petty's story is genuine and convincing, his characters are real, and his writing style is smooth and easy. Finding Hope in Texas is quite an enjoyable read and is highly recommended.

Kathryn Bennett

When a horrible tragedy happens in your life, how do you move on from it? In Finding Hope in Texas by Ryan T. Petty, Hope Kilpatrick finds herself asking that question when her family is killed in a terrible car crash before the Christmas holiday. She finds the pain to be unbearable and she leaves the memories and home of New York to go to Texas where an aunt, from whom she has been estranged for years, lives. She is lost in the pain of loss and culture shock and finds that she must also deal with a school bully; one that has decided she is the perfect target. Hope must find the strength to navigate a painful teenage life and recover.

This story is emotional, tragic, at times overwhelming, and yet it is also inspirational. Watching as Hope must struggle not only with being a teenager, but the loss of her family and adjusting to a new home, hooks you into the story. I felt for Hope and I could relate some of her struggles to ones in my own life. To me that is the hallmark of a good book, one that makes us think and feel and relate to the characters. Hope shows strength of character that is hard to find and that you hope even as an adult to have yourself. The few people around her that she goes to for solace are also amazing. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a truly ‘heroic feeling’ coming of age story.

Faridah Nassozi

When an accident took her whole family and completely shattered her life, sixteen-year-old Hope had no choice but to move to her estranged aunt in Texas. Hope's move from New York to Texas was meant to put distance between her and her sad memories and give her a fresh start, but it came with its own challenges. Staying with an aunt she barely knew and did not really care to get to know, and going to a new school where the most popular girl in school swiftly became her biggest enemy only made her miss her previous life even more. Her life was only slightly brightened by her new friend at school and an understanding teacher who always had her back. Eventually Hope started getting to know her aunt better and even understanding her past actions, and then God brought Jason into her life and together they started healing each other's broken souls.

Finding Hope in Texas by Ryan T. Petty is a beautiful young adult novel that shares a moving story about family, loss, grief and learning to live and love again. Ryan T. Petty’s excellent writing skills brought to life the beautiful story of a young girl whose personal journey after loss touched and healed other souls. The writing style perfectly fits the story and brings to life each character in a way that will captivate your heart as you read and connect with each of them. The plot has all the perfect elements that make a captivating young adult story and it is written so flawlessly, making it a pleasure to read. It is an inspirational story and fans of this genre will definitely love it.