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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Lynne & Hope by Joey Paul is a gorgeous story that explores family relationships, family drama, and how tragedy can affect the health of a family. We are introduced to two sisters, Lynne and Hope. Lynne and her younger sister have lived peacefully until the day that Hope had an auto accident in which she became paralyzed in the lower part of her body and the driver lost his life. This happened on Lynne’s fifteenth birthday and, since then, Hope has remained the primary focus of the family, with Lynne slowly receding into the darkness, emotionally detached and bitter. She blames Hope for the family not paying her any attention. But then, Lynne runs into trouble that could land her in prison while at work. Now she needs the support of her sister, Hope, to get away. Will Hope take this chance to exact revenge or can she find a place in her heart for a sister who lives as if she never existed?
There are many reasons to give this book a 5-star rating. Yes, it’s a success on multiple levels. First, the story is beautifully told in the first person narrative — which carries a strong literary effect — and the style allows readers to see events from the perspective of the characters, with the narrative alternating between Lynne and Hope. The writing is simple, but it is filled with insightful passages and emotionally-driven moments that allow readers to understand the depth of the conflict. The realism that is injected into the story comes out clearly and readers can feel the jealousies and the struggle for attention that many teenagers experience in families. The story is well-plotted and written in a way that pulls the reader in and keeps them engaged as they long to find out what could happen in the relationship between the two sisters. Lynne & Hope is a deeply moving and satisfying read and Joey Paul has the gift for both plot and character.