High Hopes reviews from Indie Book Reviewers

Reviews for HIGH HOPES by Sue Lilley – Indie Book Reviewers: July 2016

1. “High Hopes” by Sue Lilley is definitely my kind of book. I adore the whole “real life” drama, situations, and ‘secrets from the past’ that reappear to cause imbalance in current life and how it shifts/tests relationships. While this is admittedly a familiar trope in literature, I thought Lilley did a great job of making the storyline feel fresh and original, and best of all, completely believable. This is so much more than just a “romance” story – it is a story of a life, and overcoming adversity despite the odds and how the past affects the present. There are some shocking twists, some unexpected revelations that complicate things further for the leads, Grace, Sam, and Dixie (whom I loved, btw) . The ending was sweet and satisfying, and probably not what one would expect from a typical romance novel. But then again this book was definitely not typical. Pick it up today … you won’t regret it! While billed as a ‘college, NA’ book, this one is firmly in the ‘women’s fiction’/romance category. (5 stars)

2. “High Hopes” by Sue Lilley is an engaging novel that captured my attention from the beginning and never once let it go. Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and well- crafted. The narrative and dialogue propelled the story at a good pace for the most part, and I enjoyed the blend of past events and present characters, and especially how it played into the romantic drama. Sam, Dixie, Grace and Alexander have dynamic relationships that are anything but predictable and face many obstacles. How they end up is not for me to reveal, but their journey is a memorable and impactful one. I did think at times it did feel a bit too ‘safe’ and I felt a few places could have used higher stakes or have real consequences– sometimes everyone just seemed to ‘nice’ if this makes sense. But overall a really good read that I’d recommend to mature fans of romantic drama. (4 stars)

3. I found myself wavering around a bit while reading “High Hopes” by Sue Lilley. At first I was immediately interested in the story as the author wastes no time in setting up the overall premise and conflict of the book (a secret love child from a past relationship is revealed, threatening current marriages/friendships). But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the narrative some and create more tension… there were times where I was just waiting for something to happen. But at the same time, the pacing was steady, and there was great character development and insight, and some crazy developments toward the end. It felt unique and unpredictable, always a nice experience, especially in a genre that is fraught with derivative copycats. I enjoyed the author’s narrative voice, and would be interested in reading anything else she writes. Recommend. (3-4 stars)
4. I really liked this book, much more than I expected to. The writing is easy to get lost in, and flows seamlessly from one scene to the next. Enjoyed the main cast, but the supporting ones were just as great! Adored Danny and Alexander, but for me the real hero was Dixie – I just kept thinking what I would do if I were her… Props to the author for doing a GREAT job with the dialogue to show the plot unfolding and progressing forward, instead of doing the lazy narrative ‘telling’ so many authors tend to do. We really feel like we are a part of the story and in the characters’ heads and that’s what I like in a book. I liked how it all wrapped up, and it really gave us a sense of things really coming ‘full circle” This novel is broad in themes and isn’t just a simple romance novel, but that element is definitely present. I was almost in tears at a few points and loved that the characters were flawed, and so human. Relatable and real. I really hope that Sue Lilley writes more books in the future. I’d love to read them! (4-5 stars)

5. This book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing, but it did take me a few nights. Within the first few pages we are intrigued by Grace’s predicament, I particularly enjoyed the author’s “voice” and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were well-crafted and original, and the themes of love, life, betrayal, and just overall challenges people face were handled with respect and felt authentic, not like contrived drama often used to sell books. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill love story, but still real, poignant, and moving with a wonderful familial/friendship element. The characters (lead and secondary) were all fleshed out and fully realized, with much more complexity than I see in a lot of books these days. I’d love to read more from Sue Lilley someday, and I’m happy to see she has a few other books out. Recommend for fans of drama and romance. (4-5 stars)

6. Lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “High Hopes” by Sue Lilley! From the very beginning the intrigue and drama flowed seamlessly from one page to the next as past and present came to life in a vivid and sometimes shocking way. I enjoyed the creativeness that Lilley used in a somewhat crowded genre and made it feel new, not like something I’ve read a million times. The pacing and editing was perfect (I notice these things!), and the plot was unpredictable enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. I was impressed with Lilley’s writing style and will look for more works from her in the future. (5 stars)