I enjoyed the storyline of Finding Joy. It started well and had a good foundation, but it became long and drawn out.

The story begins on Joy’s last day of high school and continues over the school holidays. On the first page, we discover that Joy is worried about her upcoming exams as she wants to study midwifery and needs good results. She desperately wants to leave Annie’s Bay and her claustrophobic mother and move to a university in Sydney. We also quickly discover that Joy is overweight and is concerned about her appearance. Yet, later in the story, she manages to attract the attention of a kind and thoughtful boyfriend, which seems rather unrealistic.

The story has a good premise, but Joy’s concerns are repeated again and again in different ways throughout the book. We learn more about why her mother is so oppressive and later gain information about Joy’s absent father. However, the repetitiveness and introspection slowed down the pace of the story. There’s some Christian content, but it isn’t a big part of the story.

Despite my concerns, teenage girls will probably enjoy the story. Joy is a relatable character and many girls will identify with her struggles. I just hope they don’t think a boyfriend will solve their problems.

The book is part of Elaine Fraser’s, The Beautiful Lives series, but it’s not necessary to have read the previous books in the series.

Overall, an interesting but protracted story.

This book is not yet on Goodreads but others in the series can be found here and for more of my book reviews click here.