Tin Lily by Joann Swanson: Book review

Tin Lily
Book title/ Author: Tin Lily by Joann Swanson
Publisher/ Year: July 6th 2014 Cranky Owl Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No
Pages: 235
Source/ Format: eARC Netgalley
(Thanks Netgalley/ Cranky Owl Books!)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion.

*This review may contain spoilers!*


Just because you survive doesn't mean you’re alive. 
One moment fifteen-year-old Lily Berkenshire is sitting in her bedroom, favourite song blaring through her earbuds, history book open on her lap. The next, her alcoholic father is shooting and killing her mother. Then he’s pointing the gun at Lily and pulling the trigger. Click. He’s out of bullets. 
For now. 
When she moves to Seattle to live with her aunt, Lily retreats into peaceful, dissociative trances to escape the shattered nightmare that is her life. Soon, though, she discovers a beautiful boy who wants to take her out, a therapist who wants to help her heal and new friends who believe she can find wholeness again. 
But her father wants something else entirely. He is hunting her and unless Lily confronts and heals the devastation inside her, she’ll forfeit her life to a father determined to end it. 

My review

The first chapter was so heavy and emotionally-filled that it dragged you into the world of Lily and Hank really quickly.

The concept of the little 'my focus' and 'thread' bits were so distinctive and gave you a good look into Lily's mind and how it works. The book was split into parts which I don't really have an opinion on but the thing that did catch my attention were the quotes written at every new part, and in particular, the Maya Angelou one. I really admired her so it was nice to see her recognised. One thing I like doing when reading is working out the connection between the title and the book, and this one really made sense.

I cannot tell you how sorry I felt for Lily - she went through hell and back. The therapy sessions between Lily and Dr Pratchett gave you a nice glance at Lily's emotions and feelings. The whole build up of Lily growing and facing her fears was very enlightening and heartwarming. I felt so proud of her when she opened up to Dr Pratchett and finally faced her demons.

Some of my favourite parts of this book were the flashbacks and memories - you get to know Lily's mum even though she's not there any more. From the flashbacks we see that Lily's mum was a great person and I just wish we could've seen more of her in the present day.

I appreciated how Joann chose to make this story dark and didn't shy away from Hank - instead choosing to focus on him. As you read more and more of the book, you get little nuggets of information about Hank and his dad and their family, like pieces of a puzzle starting to finally fit together. This book was interesting for me to read because it included a main character that I absolutely detested - something that I haven't come across before. Hank was so incredibly creepy and although it made for a good story, I couldn't help but be shocked when I read about the paintings he made.

Instantly, I liked Nick. You could see that he changed Lily straight away and made her happier, which is exactly what she needed.

The lead up to the ending was bittersweet, but the actual ending was the perfect way to finish it. Bringing Nick back in just made the book really feel finished.

I really liked this book, and I can say as a huge crime show fan, that this is the perfect book for people who like crime, mystery and thriller, with a dash of romance too.



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