IRR Book Review: The Chasing Day series by Twyla Turner

The following is a summary and review of The Chasing Day series by Twyla Turner.

 

Summary:

 

In the first book Chasing Day  we’re introduced to Chase McCoy, a young boy from a troubled home who forges a bond with Day; the shy, cello playing girl next door. But when their friendship evolves into romance, things get complicated. In the concluding book, Catching Day youth begets adulthood as their friendship continues on a rockier path. Mistakes are made, feelings are hurt, and precious time is lost to the pitfalls of distance and prideful posturing.

 

Review:

 

Book one of this series was an enjoyable read. I could see the growth in Turner’s writing from her debut work in the Struck series. For that I was relieved, because although I own her scarred series, I have been hesitant to delve into her books again. With that stated, the second book in this series proved to be less impressive. One of the strengths in Chasing Day was Turner’s building of the heroine and heroes relationship from friends to lovers. The pacing was steady, allowing us to get to know these characters, their inner workings, flaws and attributes, and how those things shape the bond between them. Where things started to take a turn was toward the end, when it seemed Turner hit some kind of wall and decided to rush the major conflict that caused a separation between the two lovers. Instead of taking her time to explore it in a thoughtful way, it’s presented in a whirlwind of a chapter, that leads into the second and concluding book in the series.  To me this set the tone of the finale, and did so in a fractured way.

 

Where we should see growth between two characters coming into their adulthood, and learning from their mistakes – instead we see immaturity and actions that make little to no sense. An example of this can be found in Chase’s actions once he gets his life back on track. He makes a decision that is completely out of the realm of reality. Given his experiences and what we know about him up until this point, his actions make minus zero sense. Toward the end of the first book, the same can be said for Day. Completely illogical decisions that do no mesh with the characters we’ve come to know. I know this is fiction, but even fantasy must stay true, not only to the characters as the author presents them, but to the basic tenets of logic. Without it, you’re just writing nonsense. Another weak point that can be found throughout the series (but most egregiously in the concluding book, Catching Day) is Day’s incessant stuttering.

 

Since the author does not describe her as having a speech impediment, this only proved to make Day come off as extremely immature. In the second book she is supposed to be in her twenties to late thirties and she’s still stuttering like a fool in simple conversations. Makes no sense and comes off as completely silly. I find this to be a common thread in what I’ve read of Twyla Turner’s works: adult women with low self-esteem who are completely lacking maturity and self-awareness. This is why, the first book is stronger than the second. The young love angle was written better and seems to be the more comfortable place for Turner to write in. When the characters became adults things fell apart, because the foundation of their adult selves was never written strongly to begin with. Even in times of strife there should have been some tangible growth between these two. Instead, Turner relied on worn out tropes to create melodramatic conflict that didn’t add substance to the story she seemed to be building from the beginning.

 

Last, the intimate scenes weren’t as plentiful and outrageous as in the Struck series (thank the universe!). There were some eye-rolling moments, but overall Turner got the temperature close to right. I especially loved the Cello love scene. Interesting enough, it did not take place between the two main characters. Good writing, all the same.

 

Still, based on the first book, the series had potential, and would have been far stronger if these issues, and some technical faux pas were tweaked.

 

Technically speaking:

 

The book was readable and well-written to a point. But the tells of lacking a professional copy and substantive edit were apparent in this series. There were plentiful typos, and one maddening issue of Turner’s use of repetitive phrases throughout the book – particularly when describing Day’s physical attributes. Turner repeatedly mentioned Day’s “chocolate brown eyes”, “creamy, butterscotch thighs,” and “rosy cheeks.” She also kept reminding us how chubby the character was. At one point, I thought, Okay, okay, I get it, damn! Can we move on now? How many times do we need to be reminded what she looks like? We know. It’s like a hammer to the head, and that don’t feel good. Still, these are forgivable book sins.

 

Final Words

 

I could write more and get very nit-picky, but I think I’ve given you enough to consider whether you want to take a chance on this series or not. Overall, I enjoyed it and I will continue to drop in to see where Twyla goes with her future works. In this genre, it’s usually the characters that make or break the story for me. For the most part, these were solid, though I give the edge to Chase. Even when he made illogical choices his character remained consistent, and he was someone I really wanted to win! I’ve already stated the drawbacks to the series, and unfortunately, one of the main ones is the heroine, Day. She leaves the story uneven in many ways, but it has enough legs to keep you moving steadily to the end without wanting to throw your Kindle at the wall. My final verdict…

 

My rating for Catching Day – An okay, but not as good as the first time 3.9

My rating for the Chasing Day series – A young love grows up 4.0