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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Review: THE HILLS WE RUN FROM by Ellis Mae


Book Details

Title: The Hills We Run From
Author: Ellis Mae
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: February 10, 2023
Genre(s): New Adult, LGBT, Romance
Pages: 390

Reading Details

Finish Date: December 24, 2022
Format: Digital
Representation: Lesbian, Aromantic
Trigger/Content Warnings: Drug use, sexual assualt, emotional abuse, self-harm

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote/Scene: 
"Edinburgh is still grey, my fear is still toxic. Thank God atleast I'm gay."

oY'all, I do not have the words for this book sometimes! It was so much and I had to take some time to put my thoughts together and even then, not all my thoughts were ordering themselves right. It's been a bit and I think I've finally been able to wrangle my thoughts.

I was hoping to like this book and I am so glad that I did. I loved it actually. I found that once I actually started reading it, I was drawn in and it held my attention. It was fascinating how easy it was to be drawn into this story and how attached I grew to these characters. It felt like my head breaking above the waves once I was done reading this book. I hadn't realized how deeply attached to this book and these lives I had become until I was done and feeling a bit like I had a hangover. In all the best ways, obviously.

These characters were absolutely fascinating and endearing. The two main characters as well as the side character friends and family members. The two main characters are Saatchi and Emmylou. They are both running from things or people in their past and they eventually end up on a collision course when Emmylou moves in with Saatchi's friends and upstairs neighbors. There was a connection between the two that wasn't instant, nor was it automatically romantic, but rather something that they grew into.

Emmylou is an absolute sweetheart, but I'll admit that there were times where I just wanted to shake some sense into her. I can't blame her for the way she was acting, but I loved her character so much that I wanted the best for her and when she didn't get it or think she deserved it I wanted to lay it into her. She is such an endearing character and I love as she gradually comes out of her shell and makes friends and grows to be more comfortable in who she is. Saatchi is also a very endearing character but in a bit more rough way. She's rough around the edges but she's also so sweet and caring towards her friends. She does have some issues in her past and with some of her friends, but everyone means well. They are both amazing characters that have such a good connection with each other, even when it's not romantic. It was such a pleasure to watch them grow closer together.

The emotions in this book are beautifully written and I'm pretty sure that I cried while reading certain parts. I though Mae did an excellent job at writing authentic and raw feelings that could break your heart. None of the emotions felt out of place, I never found myself wondering why this character was feeling that way. The characters were allowed to feel complicated emotions and it was written that way. I felt the complicated emotions that each of the characters felt. It was stunning and worked so very well to make me grow so attached to these characters.

The side characters are honestly just as amazing as the main characters and I wish some of them would get their own books. Sai and Kirsty and Drew and Finn. They are the main side characters that you get to see and I adore each and every one of them. They have their flaws at times, but they work so well as a group that it's honestly fascinating! Ellis Mae was able to not only create engaging main characters, but also interesting side characters that felt fleshed out. I would love a book about Finn, he's probably my favorite of the side characters.

This book goes back and forth between Emmylou and Saatchi's points of view and I honestly think it's a great format. It works very well for this book where both characters have problems that they are trying to work through and different perspectives on certain situations. I thought it flowed very well and Mae did a great job at noting when the changes between perspectives occurred.

The plot of this book was well-paced and quite interesting. Things were allowed to build up before they happened. Nothing felt forced in or forgotten. I loved it. I thought it moved at quite a reasonable pace (maybe a bit fast-paced for others, but that didn't really bother me).

I only wish for one thing in this book: a longer ending. I wish there had been a couple of extra chapters at the end where certain things could have been added. They aren’t necessary though, I just love these characters and would have happily read another 100 pages about them and their relationship.

I thought this book was absolutely wonderful! I was kind of stunned when I learned that this was a debut book by this author. If this is just the beginning for them, then I am very excited to see where they go and how they grow as a writer. The writing seemed very solid to me and was exactly the type of writing that I enjoy. The story was magnetic and kept me hooked until I hit the end. The characters were fascinating and I grew to love them so much. No part of this book failed for me. It was everything I wanted and more.

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