Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on 25th March 2020
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Dandelion Meadows is cursed.
At eighteen she should be headed off to college, all smiles and naivety.Instead, a victim of a school shooting, she’s starting her senior year in a new city and living with her brother.Nightmares of that terrible day haunt her, affecting her daily life and the relationships around her.
Forced to meet with the school counselor, Dani finds him chipping away at the walls she’s built around herself, and even her heart.
Lachlan Taylor doesn’t know what to make at first of the broken student he’s tasked with helping. She’s survived a trauma he’s not sure he can save her from, but he knows he has to try.
The more time they spend together, the more they learn about what it really means to live.
Some things are forbidden.Some things are necessary for survival.
Their love is both.
‘Sweet Dandelion’ slots nicely into the NA genre – one that typically deals with teenage trauma of any kind – with an age-gap student/school-counsellor romance, brought about as Dandelion Meadows starts life anew as she tries to deal with a school-shooting that took nearly everything from her.
Micalea Smeltzer definitely does a credible job in detailing the ups and downs of Dani’s emotions and her journey towards a man who’s forbidden in many ways. Written wholly in Dandelion’s POV, the story stretched out longer than I’d liked, starting brilliantly but eventually dipping at the halfway mark when the emotional descriptions started to get repetitive, lessening as well, the impact of Dani/Lachlan’s romance when it soon became evident that the rest of the story consisted of a push-pull vibe that carried on for too long. In fact, there were too many superfluous details (and even characters, like Ansel or Sasha even) that detracted from the intensity of the story and their forbidden romance.
That Lachlan also took it upon himself to make a major decision for the both of them however, was a major turn-off during the read – apparently communication isn’t the biggest thing here? – couched as it was under the rationale that it was Dani’s own good. It was at best, an unconvincing move, and at its worst, patronising twist in the plot that I could definitely have done without.
Long story short, ‘Sweet Dandelion’ was something that could have been better told with tighter (and ruthless) editing, especially with the number of scenes falling into plain implausibility given the number of coincidences written into the story. I just wished I could have gotten on board more with this.