The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith
Teenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she’s never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve.
But the voices in Leila’s head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn’t working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park.
I’m sick, so this review is going to be a bit shorter than normal. I don’t want anyone to think it’s because of the book because I really liked it.
Leila was recently adopted after spending her life in foster care and a group home. She is struggling with having a mom and dad and doesn’t use those words. But her new parents are pretty awesome and I adored her dad. He made me laugh a lot. Leila also deals with seasonal depression and anxiety.
For years, Leila had been hearing voices, but was never able to understand what they were saying. Only her best friend, Sarika, new about it. Strange things start happening. Leila is very much into nature and saving the environment. So much so that she has an online board and joins a local club. Trees and plants start to grow faster when she touches them. One day she finally hears the voice clearly and it tells her where to go. There is a major surprise waiting for Leila in a grove of trees that are set to be torn down.
I really enjoyed how this book showed the dangers of how we treat the planet. That awareness is needed and I don’t see it as a focus of books. Also, the adoption and Leila’s feelings were so well done. Without getting into too much, I will say that I enjoyed the fantasy/magic with the story, too.
I gave this one 4 stars. The writing was well done and I enjoyed the unique story. Thank you to netgalley for giving me the chance to read this early.