Like First & Then, This Adventure Ends isn't solely a romance book. While First & Then concentrated on the idea of family, This Adventure Ends expands its boundaries out to friendships as well. And boy, do I love the relationships in all of Mills' novels. She sets them up in such a compelling and realistic way that it's impossible not to get attached to the relationships, both romantic and platonic.
While there was a romantic undertone to this novel, it was a undertone. There, but definitely not the most important highlight of the novel. The most important being the friendships made throughout the book. It was very enjoyable watching Sloane, the book's slightly lonerish protagonist, make friends and then watching those relationships build.
The characters are so genuine and real that it feels almost as if they might step out of the book at any moment. The entire novel, actually, felt very realistic, while also being entirely too cute and adorable to handle-- it's definitely not stereotypical.
Sloane isn't your typical loaner, at least, she's not the image that pops into my head when the word "loaner" is mentioned. What I mean when I say that Sloane is a bit of a loaner is that she's never really had any close friends. She had friends, but none of them close enough to even make her want to stay in her hometown (city?) of New York when her parents wanted to move right before her senior year. Sloane is funny in a sarcastic, deadpan manner that I appreciate. While she's not exactly the expert on relationships, it's fun to watch her stumble through actually forming real bonds of friendship in her new town.
Meet Vera and Gabe, two twins who couldn't be more different. Vera is a vivacious, effervescent girl who everyone can't help but love. Meanwhile, the book at first describes Gabe as being "serious." Something that made me a bit nervous because I don't like a very serious guy. Luckily, it wasn't the sort of serious that I was thinking. It actually makes whenever Gabe actually does crack a joke or laugh all the more rewarding. He's a bit socially awkward, which I love. While I love a confidant guy, I also love my socially awkward boys. Really, I guess it's not all that hard to impress me when it comes to book boys, haha. I love these twins, because of their relationships with Sloane as well as their presence throughout the book. Like I said before, the characters are very well fleshed out, and they feel so real... It's hard not to fall in love with any and all of them.
I'll be completely honest with you, I've had this book sitting on my shelf for longer than I'd like to admit. I actually had it the day it came out (thanks, Amazon prime pre-orders), but did I read it? No. Why? Because well, I didn't really feel compelled to do so. I was worried Mills' magic from First & Then would be lacking in this novel, and also the idea of hunting down a portrait just didn't hook me. Sometimes I just really hate myself, and this is one of those times. Similar to me avoiding reading Better Off Friends, it was really just a dumb mistake. I could've experienced the joy and happiness This Adventure Ends had to share years ago! But I waited until now because... Because I just didn't feel like reading it. Ugh. Why, Anji? Why? I will not make that mistake again and have already bought Mills' most recent release and plan to read it ASAP.
Anyway, getting off track, I'm giving this book 8/10 stars because I absolutely loved it. It had me cringing at the embarrassing moments, laughing at the funny ones and grinning like a maniac most of the time I was having the pleasure of reading it. (Also side comment-- can we just appreciate how cute and aesthetically pleasing all of the covers for Mills' novels are??) I highly recommend this one, and hope you all enjoying reading it as much as I did!
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
I love how realistic the ending is. While you would want them to get their painting back... Most of the time, that wouldn't happen. That would've been the "fairytale" ending, and, given how realistic the rest of the novel is, that wouldn't seem right. Also, the painting isn't the point! It's the motivation for finding the painting.
I also would like to comment on OH MY GOD. Gabe and Sloane. Love their relationship and the slow burn of it. I mean, I knew he was asking her out, but clearly Sloane didn't catch on the first time. And the tucking in part? I was dying from the cuteness there.