Title: Chasing Days
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Willa is counting the days until graduation, not because she can’t wait for high school to be over – quite the opposite. Willa is surrounded by people she feels knows who they are and what they are going to do with their lives, and Willa doesn’t know what she’s going to do in two weeks when school finishes. However, these last two weeks hold something she’s never expected. Her best friend Teddy – now Theo – has started to defy his parents, become distant, and reveal something that changes what she thought she knew about him. A new girl called Joss makes Willa confront her feelings and growing attraction to girls, and her long time crush Grady finally is paying attention to her.
Chasing Days is, ultimately, a coming of age book. A book following Willa in her last days of high school and her journey of self-discovery. She navigates complicated friendships and explores her sexuality. She develops new feelings for a new girl, called Joss, and has to learn to navigate these feelings and new relationships with Joss and Grady. She is figuring out what to do after high school and who she really is.
A lot of people who follow me have probably seen me recommend Radio Silence by Alice Oseman a 100 times due to how well it deals with teenagers and the pressures they face to have everything figured out and uncertainty for the future, and what options are available for teenagers. I think Chasing Days also does a pretty decent job of this, so definitely a book I’d recommend to teenagers unsure of where they are going.
Chasing Days also had some pretty great parental relationships. Teddy had some pretty demanding parents, who didn’t understand him as a person and put a lot of pressure on him to follow the path they have laid out for him. A lot of his story is him disobeying them and trying to be true to himself. Willa, on the other hand, has parents who support her in whatever endeavour she wants to do. They are fun, supportive, and give her a lot of space to be a teenager – even if she doesn’t really take advantage of it.
“It’s too bad they don’t realize the thing dad and I did earlier. So many of us parents think it’s our job to make you into these certain kinds of people, like you’re supposed to be little duplicate images of us, but I believe it’s our job to build you a nest, give you all the flying pointers we know , and then encourage you to spread your wings”.
Throughout the novel, Willa is exploring her sexuality. It was a confusing and complicated thing for her, she didn’t know where to put herself or which labels to use, she didn’t know whether she had to pick the boy or girl – and what it meant when she did. But her exploration was positive and I liked it. She was discovering what it meant for her, and not anyone else. But I did also love how everyone around her was so supportive – her parents and friends, and both Joss and Grady, her two love interests.
“I’ve come to understand that I’m not picking a guy or a girl, not Grady or Joss. This isn’t about me being bisexual, not able to make a commitment, or being a slut like the girls in the bathroom said. I’m not a stereotype nor am I defying assumptions about what it is to be bisexual. This is about me committing to myself.”
Overall, a great coming of age story – one I’d definitely recommend for a number of different reasons. I’d also definitely read other works by this author as I’ve consistently heard good things about both Sugar and Pearl.