Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on July 7th 2015
Pages: 320
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review

Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.


Here’s the situation: I really liked A Million Miles Away. I probably could have loved A Million Miles Away if it wasn’t for one kind of big issue. Either way, I liked a lot more than I didn’t, so I consider it a win. Plus, it gave me the feels, so that is always a big plus! This is going to have to be a likes/dislikes situation, so…The Joker - And Here We Go

Things I Liked:

  • The characters were fabulous and multi-faceted. Kelsey was very flawed, but still likable. You could see that she was coming from a place of genuine concern even when you wanted to grab her, shake her shoulders, and scream in her face. She exhibited some amazing character growth during the course of the book too! Then there’s Peter, and my goodness, how could I not swoon over him? He was such a sweet guy, but with so many problems of his own- I mean, he was fighting in war torn countries and stuff, how could he not?
    Plus there is actual family interaction in this book! It isn’t just Kelsey trying to figure out what to do next, it’s the whole family learning to function in the world without Michelle. It’s both heartbreaking and hopeful, and absolutely refreshing.
  • The emotions were heavy and I liked it. I mean, just think of the key words in the synopsis: Twin sister dies, Boyfriend deployed to Afghanistan.. how would you not have a huge case of the feels? A sibling dying would be horrific, but I think it really does hit twins harder. And poor Peter… he is not only literally fighting for his life in some forsaken desert, he doesn’t even know that his girlfriend is dead! But there are other emotions too, this isn’t all full of tears. There are lighthearted moments, and moments where you (again) want to shake Kelsey, and a lot of moments of pride for how far the characters have come.
  • I really loved the writing. It was beautiful, and considering the subject matter, it was important for it to be so. It flowed very well, and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I could hardly put the book down, because I was so eager to continue on the journey with Kelsey.

My problem: 

I really only had one problem with this story, in a sense, because it all falls under the same heading: Believability. The first thing that I didn’t quite understand is how it didn’t seem like a lot of people were really that concerned about Michelle’s death, outside of her family. I mean, maybe we just didn’t see that part, but I would have liked to know it existed. My other, much more major believability issue was that a lot of things tied together a bit too easily for my liking throughout the story. I have to be very vague here, but some reactions didn’t make sense, some conclusions didn’t make sense, and some things were way too coincidental for me to believe.

Bottom Line: I did like this a lot, and I think it is absolutely worth the read, especially if unrealistic bits don’t bother you. Even if they do, I think the story itself and the lovely characters and writing make this book worth it!

**Thanks to Novl Newsletter for the review copy**


What would you have done in Kelsey’s situation? Try hard to make sure guy-in-Afghanistan knew about the demise? Or play along, like Kelsey did??

Posted June 8, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 17 Comments

17 responses to “Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

  1. I haven’t seen many reviews for this one, but I really like the sound of it from what you’ve said in your review. It sounds like such a beautifully written and heart-wrenching read; and I can’t wait to experience it for myself. It’s a shame that the believability isn’t as strong as it could have been, but it sounds like the wonderful characters and writing make up for that. Thanks for sharing and fabulous review! ♥

  2. Hmm. This one definitely sounds interesting but the comparison to Nicholas Sparks and the believability issues are giving me pause. The premise reminds me of a mashup of I Remember You and The Secrets We Keep–two books that didn’t work for me personally. Thanks for the review–it’s giving me a lot to think about.

    • Ahhh yes, I DO agree with The Secrets We Keep similarity! So if that one didn’t work for you, this may not either. If I weren’t so emotionally invested in this one, I think the believability piece might have been much harder to take, BUT, I really liked the characters so I did like the book, but despite that BIG flaw.

  3. I might have to agree about the believe ability if the novel is similar to any of Nicholas Spark’s. I think the heroine might just annoy me with her lies, but I’m really curious about this one now, I love books on twins 🙂 Great review Shannon, just added this to my TBR now.

    • I don’t know if it really IS like Nicholas Sparks, because I haven’t read any of his books! But it did make me cry 😉 And I agree, I love twin stuff too! I think this one will be hit or miss for people, depending on how well you can overlook the believability issues!

  4. I got a copy of this too, and your review has me really excited to start it! You don’t know how happy I am to hear that this book has wonderful characters and beautiful writing. Hopefully the believeability aspect of the story won’t hinder my experience with this book, but I have a feeling I won’t mind it too much! Great review Shannon 🙂

  5. So funny – after reading this review and seeing it’s published by Little Brown, I decided to jump over to NetGalley to see if it was available, since I’m auto-approved with them. It wasn’t there, and I was disappointed – until like fifteen minutes later when I got an email from NetGalley about it. Woo hoo! 🙂

  6. A flawed MC with depth that is still likable? Hell yes (although, seriously, I haven’t even read it yet and I want to shake her.) But glad she has some good character growth. And uhm, Peter. I kind of want a Peter. okay, glad there is light-hearted moments because all heavy emotions and angst makes me sad.
    Okay, I get why you don’t see a lot of people concerned about her death if it’s more surrounding the characters involved, but I mean, yeah, surely people would be (and only realistically that you would see that? So weird.)
    Oh man, that is a tough question (and even more than The Secrets We Keep) especially with the Peter situation, that doesn’t just involve putting his life on the line, but all the others, too. So, yeah, it’s bad, but I think I’d go along with it.

    • That’s the thing- you CAN understand why she does it. She basically does NOT want to tell him this over freaking SKYPE while he is literally fighting a war! So… I get it. Plus, Peter is pretty great, so I also kind of get why she keeps up the ruse 😉

  7. I absolutely love the cover of this book! And I would have crazy-grabbed it at BEA, but dude thinking he’s talking to his girlfriend who is actually her sister…. ehhhhh. That really worries me. I don’t like those kind of romantic complications haha. But I’m glad you were able to enjoy this for the most part!

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