(Review) Start Here

Start Here by Trish Doller
Publication Date: August 13th, 2019
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

My Review:
It's really no secret on this blog that I'm a huge Trish Doller fan. In one of my reviews I wrote about awkwardly meeting her and kind of told you about her book. I think. I had a lot going on that day. 

Recently I had the opportunity to read her latest release, Start Here, as an advanced copy. Guys, if you have a best friend, you want this book. (You want this book if you don't have a best friend, too.) 

Our story starts with Finley, but you know from the synopsis that, while Finley is the main reason for this story, she also dies early on in it. 

That leaves Willa and Taylor to fend for themselves on a sailing trip from Ohio to Florida. Finley was the buffer between these two who come from very different worlds. Taylor has a picture perfect life whereas Willa is raised by a single mother and things are always easy for her. 

The trip gets off to a rocky start, but the girls are determined to make it work. I love how they set aside their differences to actually get shit done, and also manage to be civil to each other. It's easy for the girls to flip when the other says something they don't like, but in true best friend fashion it is often easily diverted. 

One of the most interesting things about this book is that Willa and Taylor don't see the other as their friend, they only feel tied together because of Finley. You can tell that they are trying because it's what Finley would have wanted. Eventually they see that it doesn't matter what Finley would have wanted, it's about what is best for the two of them. 

I loved how they supported each other without telling the other because they just knew it was something they should do. There were so many little moments where you see them going to thrift shops, getting a specific type of food, telling someone off for the other person that it lets you know they really do care about each other. 

Ultimately that's what the story is about: Willa and Taylor finding their way back to each other without Finley. I would have loved to delve more into Taylor's relationship or hear more about Finley but all in all the book hit deep in the feels. 

Huge thanks to Simon Pulse for the ARC. 

Now, go hug your best friend.