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Review: The Girl in the Sunflower Dress by Katie Montinaro

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Looking for a contemporary young adult who hits hard, but who is also part of the majority? Look no further than Katie Montinaros’ debut, The girl in the sunflower dress, which focuses on Chelsea Roberts, who has just graduated from high school, as well as her family and friends. There’s some sort of spotting, a mad ex and scandals rocking the world of Chelseas, what more do you want ?!

The summer in Chelseas before starting college was changing way too fast for her and it felt like a kick start to me even though I had been through the same! Chelsea was adorable as a character and her best friend was also a whirlwind of activity. Chelsea seemed like a socialite and curious young person and someone I could have seen myself being friends with if she was real.

Noah was another interesting character to read and he was described as Chelseas’s crush and he finished in the same high school a few years ago. He was what Chelsea considered to be burning hair, tattoos and being there for her when she saw something going on with one of her parents. The crazy plans Chelsea and Noah execute, the raw emotion that has been written down and the scandals both witnessed throughout the story will grab you from the first page!

One character you’ll learn to hate is ex Chelseas who is portrayed as that manipulative and very jealous human being that Noah catches Chelseas’s attention, so he’s still looking to get her back. He has the nerve to try and confront two best friends in one shot and surely he should have known better than trying to (obviously not). It doesn’t help that Noah was initially very hot and cold towards Chelsea, honestly! The way Chelsea are handling the secret affair seems absolutely realistic, and I would honestly hate to be in her shoes. The internalization of life-changing issues and secrets is something I can often relate to, and it was kind of nice to see that portrayed in a book.

The writing was engaging and you will truly enjoy every page! The description of the sunflower dress that Chelsea loves so much makes me want to create my own! The beat was perfect for a contemporary coming-of-age story, and it felt even more relatable since it was distinctly Australian. The scenery Montinaro describes so reminds me of my aunt’s visit to the Mornington Peninsula (which means a giant journey through Melbourne for me), and truly it brought me joy to see it reproduced (although conversely) in this book. The script was something I haven’t come across in a while either, which was definitely a positive point in my books, and it was absolutely done very well in my eyes. While I devoured the book so much, I felt like the book was really different for me and it was definitely one of my new favorite books.

Overall a great contemporary coming-of-age book for those who want something more realistic than a happy summer break. This one is definitely the one for those who also want scandal and heartache. I am personally very excited to see more of Katie Montinaro’s books as this is a spectacular first book!

The girl in the sunflower dress is available from Amazon, Book deposit, and other great book retailers, like your local bookstore, starting April 13, 2021.

Will you pick upThe girl in the sunflower dress? Tell us in the comments below!


Synopsis | Goodreads

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Chelsea Roberts is living the dream after high school; no commitments, no stress and nothing to do. Simple times. But life has a funny way of turning your world upside down when you least expect it.

A chance encounter with her old high school crush, Noah Kalani, leads Chelsea to uncover her father’s secret affair. The discovery leaves Chelsea uncertain about her place in the world and in her own family. With Noah by her side, Chelsea are convinced that a carefully crafted New Years Eve plan can protect her family and make her world look perfect. Only, this plan will be the start of Chelsea to unearth more secrets than she ever imagined.


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