Good morning! How is everyone doing? Am I throwing you all posting a book review on a Thursday? Well I promise you it’s happening for a good reason, today I’m sharing my review of the second story in the Galloway Girls series – Gemma’s Not Sure. I have the pleasure of sharing my review on publication day so you can get your hands on this one right now!
As always as this is the second book in the series you might find an odd spoiler for the first book, but I’ve tried to avoid anything from this one! If you want to check out my review of the first book in the series Lily’s Just Fine follow this link!
Title: Gemma’s Not Sure
Author: Gill Stewart
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Publication Date: 14th May 2020
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About The Book…
Gemma’s not sure if she’s brave enough to go to her audition, or if she even wants to study music at all. She’s definitely not sure forming a band with Lily’s hot ex-boyfriend is a good idea. Jamie’s university life isn’t like he thought it would be, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. One thing he does know is that he wants a reason to bump into Gemma Anderson again. The Galloway Girls are back! With exams coming up and major life choices in progress, everything is about to change.
What I Thought…
Time is moving on in Newton St Cuthbert, by the time we reach the end of Gemma’s Not Sure we’ve reached Lily and Gemma’s own prom, a whole year after the events of the first book began. Lily, Tom, and Gemma are all back and are faced with some big decisions about their next steps, and Jamie is faced with some big life choices himself. You could definitely read and enjoy the book without having read Lily’s Just Fine, but I would certainly recommend picking up that story first to get the most out of the characters’ history together. The story is well paced, and the writing is enjoyable, but it is a very character driven story so that’s where I’m going to focus most of my review.
As with Lily’s Just Fine this story is told from the point of view of two characters. While we’ve left Lily and Tom POVs behind, we’re focusing on two of the characters introduced in the first book, Gemma and Jamie.
I have slightly mixed feelings about Gemma, she was so overshadowed by Lily in the first book I didn’t really have much of an opinion on her, other than to wonder what has behind what seemed like some extreme worrying. I think I probably find it slightly harder to empathise with Gemma as I’m not really a huge worrier, I don’t always go with my gut but I don’t tend to stress over decisions to the same level as Gemma, which makes it harder for me to understand some of her actions. Over the course of this year or so we definitely see some growth from her. Both in terms of making some big decisions for herself and in beginning to face her fears. It was interesting to discover where her fear of water came from, although the event that seems to have finally made her look into overcoming her fear is so sad!
Jamie is the character that most surprised me in this book, coming out of the first story I really wasn’t much of a fan to be honest. I felt he came across a little overconfident, perhaps as though his position as Head Boy had gone to his head. Then again, the bits we saw of Jamie in the first story were primarily from the point of view of the girlfriend he’d just dumped. By the end of this book I actually really liked him, I think his story arc was something that a lot of people will identify with, moving from school to university is a huge step and going from being a big fish in a small pond to realising that you’re surrounded by other people, many of which are at least as intelligent as you. By the end of the book his future was possibly the one I felt most invested in. I really felt for him and the pressure he was under, from his mum, to do something that would lead to a professional ‘proper’ career and following in the footsteps of his successful father and brother. I think her reasons for doing this became clearer towards the end of the book and I’m hopeful that going forward both Jamie and his mum will be more content with life!
I’m going to briefly mention Lily and Tom as they were the focus of the first book even though they have much smaller roles within this book. I’m going to be honest still not Lily’s biggest fan, although I’m hopeful there was a little bit of character growth towards the end as she seemed to realise that what she thinks is best for Gemma might not actually be best for Gemma, and that these aren’t her decisions to make. We will see what book three brings for her! I actually missed Tom a little bit! He’s mentioned in passing here and there but there’s not really much of an update on how he’s doing, other than to know he’s decided on where he’s heading off to university in the autumn
Sarah was back! She was probably my favourite character in the first story and although she still didn’t have a huge story arc in this book, I definitely felt that things were still moving in a positive direction for her. Maybe even the slight suggestion that one of the remaining books in the series will focus on her? Perhaps I’m just reading too much into a sentence or two because I like her!
Finally, I have a real soft spot for Rosie! She just seems like such a sweet kid! I was never a particularly shy child, but I really emphasised with her. Things were seeming a little more positive for her in terms of friendships towards the end of the book, so I really hope we get at least a little update about her in one of the future books!
This was another really cute read in the Galloway Girls series. I was slightly surprised how much two characters I was fairly indifferent to after the first book really grew on me. I’m not sure were the series will go from here in terms of which characters will be the main focus of the books, I’m still hoping that Sarah is going to get to feature in her own story!
About The Author…
Talented YA and romance author Gill Stewart has nine adult and teen novels to her name. She is a longstanding member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her romance novella, Rachel’s Coming Home, was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award in 2009. Young readers described Gill’s YA series as “really wonderful” and recommends her stories to “anyone who loves contemporary YA”.
Connect With Gill
Want To Buy It?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?