Saturday 8 July 2017

Clare Reviews: Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels

Summer at Hope MeadowsTitle: Summer at Hope Meadows
Author: Lucy Daniels
Series: Hope Meadows
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Rating: 4/5
Blurb: Newly-qualified vet Mandy Hope is leaving Leeds - and her fiancĂ© Simon - to return to the Yorkshire village she grew up in. There, she will help out in her parents' surgery whilst they're short-staffed. Mandy's life has always revolved around her work with rescued animals, and Welford offers an opportunity to work with creatures of all sizes, from hedgehogs and puppies to farm stock and even wild deer.
But rural Yorkshire is very different to the hustle and bustle of a big city. Mandy must work hard to be accepted by the close-knit village community, and convince them of her abilities as a vet - especially Jimmy Marsh, the gruff owner of the local Outward Bound business, with whom she just can't seem to get along.
When some long-neglected animals are discovered in a critical state on a nearby farm, Mandy is determined to prove herself as a confident and fearless vet. When it comes to protecting animals in need, she's prepared to do whatever it takes...

When I first started this book I had no idea this was a follow on to the Animal Ark series. I was expecting a sweet summer romance novel and instead I got that plus all the satisfaction of seeing my favourite childhood characters all grown up.

Sequels to children's series can go horribly wrong and I am so glad that this didn't happen with Summer at Hope Meadows. It was a complete delight to see Mandy and James again and to follow their stories. Mandy grew up in a very realistic way - I could see the progression in her character but she also felt familiar to me which was a relief and felt a bit like catching up with your childhood best friend. James was a character I loved catching up with as well and I still love him just as much as I did when I was a child.

Plot wise this would be very easy to follow if you haven't read the Animal Ark series. Whilst there are plenty of references to the original series and so many times when I just fan-girled over meeting an old favourite character or seeing a reference to one of my favourite books - the story doesn't rely on your having known these characters before. It's hard for me to separate the excitement I feel over having this Animal Ark series from how it works as a whole new series but it doesn't feel difficult for new readers to get into.

There was plenty of real life drama in this, but the focus on animals remained which was so lovely to read about. I did enjoy seeing Mandy's life decisions and watching her interact with people because it was so different from Animal Ark but at the same time felt like returning home. There were both happy and sad moments and I was totally emotionally invested in the story and in the characters.

If you are/were an Animal Ark fan then you definitely need to read this book. There is something so satisfying about it and it definitely adds to the magic of the series and my memories of it rather than diminishing it. And if you're new to the characters then I still say give it a go - if you like summer contemporaries and small villages in the country then this is definitely a book for you!

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  1. Thanks for following! Will check out your blog!!

  2. Lovely cover! Great review :)


  3. Great review! I haven't heard of this one before but really want to give it a try. I'm going to add this one to my Goodreads TBR.

  4. I loved reading your thoughts and can't wait to give this one a try. I think the cover is super cute as well.