The Second Life of Ava Rivers
Ava's disappearance was the crack in the Rivers family glacier. I wish I could explain to you how we were before, but I can't, because the before is so filmy and shadowed with the after.The after is all Vera remembers. When her twin sister, Ava, disappeared one Halloween night, her childhood became a blur of theories, tips, and leads, but never any answers. The case made headlines, shocked Vera's Northern California community, and turned her family into tragic celebrities. Now, at eighteen, Vera is counting down the days until she starts her new life at college in Portland, Oregon, far away from the dark cloud she and family have lived under for twelve years. But all that changes when a girl shows up at the local hospital. Her name is Ava Rivers and she wants to go home.Ava's return begins to mend the fractures in the Rivers family. Vera and Ava's estranged older brother returns. Vera reconnects with Max, the sweet, artistic boy from her childhood. Their parents smile again. But the questions remain: Where was Ava all these years? And who is she now?

The Second Life of Ava Rivers Details

TitleThe Second Life of Ava Rivers
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 28th, 2018
PublisherRazorbill
ISBN-139780451478306
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

The Second Life of Ava Rivers Review

  • Eliza Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Faith Gardner has written another fabulous YA novel. Like her first, Perdita, this one is a page-turning thrill ride. Vera, our protagonist, is a complex, emotional character with a funny, ironic voice. Gardner's writing is all at once snappy and poetic, and her pacing is pitch perfect. I read this book in less than 24 hours; I couldn't put it down! And I'm still thinking about it, wishing I could read it for the first time all over again. As a Bay Area resident myself, this book is a wonderful, Faith Gardner has written another fabulous YA novel. Like her first, Perdita, this one is a page-turning thrill ride. Vera, our protagonist, is a complex, emotional character with a funny, ironic voice. Gardner's writing is all at once snappy and poetic, and her pacing is pitch perfect. I read this book in less than 24 hours; I couldn't put it down! And I'm still thinking about it, wishing I could read it for the first time all over again. As a Bay Area resident myself, this book is a wonderful, sometimes cutting, love letter to the region, and it was fun to get lost in geography with which I'm so familiar. Gardner is definitely one to watch for. I can't wait for her next book--it can't come soon enough!
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  • Claire W
    January 1, 1970
    I loved a lot of things about this book but the narrator's voice was probably my favorite thing. Vera Rose has a lot of sharpness and irony to her, she's not a sweet and saccharine kind of heroine - but she is so intelligent and so emotionally intelligent, that you can't help but fall for her, at least I couldn't. The story is a great what-if, and touches on some really dark and difficult things without being overwhelmed by them. What if the long-lost other half of you just showed up one day, ho I loved a lot of things about this book but the narrator's voice was probably my favorite thing. Vera Rose has a lot of sharpness and irony to her, she's not a sweet and saccharine kind of heroine - but she is so intelligent and so emotionally intelligent, that you can't help but fall for her, at least I couldn't. The story is a great what-if, and touches on some really dark and difficult things without being overwhelmed by them. What if the long-lost other half of you just showed up one day, how are you supposed to "go back to normal" after all those years? This novel doesn't offer easy answers, it really allows the world to be as complex as it is, which I think readers, especially young readers, appreciate. I really loved it.
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  • Katie Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    I loved every page of this book! I found myself thinking I knew the way the story would end in one chapter, and then realizing later I had been changing my mind about the ending after almost every other chapter! The relationships in this story were especially intriguing; I was particularly moved by the depth of complexity and bittersweetness in the relationship between Ava and Vera. I know I've found a good book when I want to know more about how the story plays out even after I've read the last I loved every page of this book! I found myself thinking I knew the way the story would end in one chapter, and then realizing later I had been changing my mind about the ending after almost every other chapter! The relationships in this story were especially intriguing; I was particularly moved by the depth of complexity and bittersweetness in the relationship between Ava and Vera. I know I've found a good book when I want to know more about how the story plays out even after I've read the last page!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Edelweiss Plus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this for review. All opinions are my own.Ava Rivers disappeared on Halloween when she was six years old. Since then, her family has never been the same. Her twin, Vera, struggles to know who she is in a family that refuses to move on from this one horrific event. Her mother now only focuses on "events:" charity functions, volunteering, public appearances. Her father has become a recluse of sorts, living in the basem Many thanks to Edelweiss Plus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this for review. All opinions are my own.Ava Rivers disappeared on Halloween when she was six years old. Since then, her family has never been the same. Her twin, Vera, struggles to know who she is in a family that refuses to move on from this one horrific event. Her mother now only focuses on "events:" charity functions, volunteering, public appearances. Her father has become a recluse of sorts, living in the basement, maintaining FindAvaRivers.com and playing a "Sim City" type of game. Her brother no longer comes to family events after one memorable Thanksgiving where he threw the turkey out the window because he was high. So now, Vera is counting down the days to when she can move to Portland for college, to start over, to finally be herself. But then Ava is found. Alive. Abused. Confused. But definitely her. She comes back into the fold of the Riverses and it's like they get a glimpse of what their lives could have, no should have been. Everything is better, all at once. Of course, there are still questions (where was she, what happened to her, why won't Ava continue to talk to the police, what is she hiding). But the Riverses are trying to hold on to hope. And hope can be the most dangerous thing of all.Highly recommend. This is more of a "new adult" than "young adult" title, in my opinion. The main character is 19 and has deferred college. There is adult language, but very little in the way of graphic descriptions of sex or violence. Rape and abuse are mentioned, but never detailed. Mainly, this is a book that makes you think about what it means to be a family. What it is to have hope. What it is to lose hope, and how on earth you can come back from it.
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  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    Finally, a YA book I didn't hate! A page-turner about what happens when the sister who disappeared 12 years ago finally returns. I didn't want to put it down! Two complaints: one, the OFT-perpetuated myth of "you can't report someone as missing until 24 hours has passed" (I consider this to be downright harmful, the more I see it in film and print); two, it was weird to me how many people smoked in this book.
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  • Lauren Watts
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book VERY quickly. The chapters were short. The book started off with an interesting premise. A young girl goes missing and her twin and her family are left mourning her and wondering what happened. Twelve years later, the girl returns and claims she was kidnapped and held hostage. But she won't share details with the police, her parents, or even her twin--something is clearly up. I suspected foul play, but the twist was a bit unbelievable. I liked this book as a YA novel, however.
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  • Lost in Book Land
    January 1, 1970
    I was super lucky to be sent an ARC of The Second Life of Ava Rivers which is coming out this summer. It is one of my top TBR reads for this year (which I feel like this list is growing, like so many good books this year). So when I got an ARC I was over the moon, like I actually squeaked with joy when I opened the package (to hear more about it see my Insta post from when I got the book). I want to say before I get into it since I have already read this book and it is not out yet, I do not want I was super lucky to be sent an ARC of The Second Life of Ava Rivers which is coming out this summer. It is one of my top TBR reads for this year (which I feel like this list is growing, like so many good books this year). So when I got an ARC I was over the moon, like I actually squeaked with joy when I opened the package (to hear more about it see my Insta post from when I got the book). I want to say before I get into it since I have already read this book and it is not out yet, I do not want to give away too much but there may be a few small spoilers. So I am sorry if I am vague about something but if you want to know more please just comment or send me a note and I can answer any questions. SPOILERS AHEADThis story focuses on two girls Ava and Vera Rivers. They are twins living in California and on one Halloween Ava disappears which changes Vera's life forever. Vera and her family are now in the spotlight so many questions, people turning in tips, interviews, and more. So when Vera is getting ready to go off to college in another state it is like a dream come true. Of course, she misses her twin and her old life but she knows this is never coming back. She does not know what happened to Ava and she wants this chance to start her life over where hopefully no one will know her. College is going to be her whole new chapter in life. However, just as Vera is about to leave and start this new life a girl turns up at the local hospital claiming to be her sister. Her missing twin. This Ava says she wants to come home to her family. I do not want to go into if she is the real Ava or what happens to Vera and the family with this girl's return. I will say that the author Faith Gardner did an amazing job with the writing. I was gripped with not only Ava's disappearance but also with Vera's life without her twin and how the whole family was getting on. Then when Ava returned I was stunned and shocked by all the twists and turns. I had so many questions, like where was Ava? Who was keeping her? How did she get away? Is this really Ava? If not who is it and how did they know to become Ava? Why did they choose Ava to become? This book is a thrilling tale that was a page turner for me. I loved every second of it and I definitely recommend picking up a copy when it comes out on August 28th!
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Hope takes such a twisted shape when someone is gone without explanation.Okay, so. Full disclaimer: This is not exactly my usual genre. Right now, it's classified as a mystery thriller, which is a very accurate description. I'm contemporary all the way. I'm not good at putting down books, so reading a thriller sounds like a baaad idea.But I read this anyway. Basically in one sitting.Vera Rivers is essentially invisible. That's the way it's been for over ten years, after her twin sister's disappe Hope takes such a twisted shape when someone is gone without explanation.Okay, so. Full disclaimer: This is not exactly my usual genre. Right now, it's classified as a mystery thriller, which is a very accurate description. I'm contemporary all the way. I'm not good at putting down books, so reading a thriller sounds like a baaad idea.But I read this anyway. Basically in one sitting.Vera Rivers is essentially invisible. That's the way it's been for over ten years, after her twin sister's disappearance. About to leave for college, Vera's ready to start over. She doesn't need to be That Girl Whose Sister Disappeared (TM). Just as she's dreaming of what her dorm will look like, though, a bomb is dropped: Ava, Vera's sister, has been found alive. Confused and traumatized, sure, but alive.There are a lot of great things about this book. I haven't read Faith Gardner's writing before, but I really enjoyed the prose, the voice, and most of the characters. The main problems, though are:1. I guessed a lot of the plot. Maybe it's all my conspiracy reading, but still.2. Some agendas and love stories seem shoehorned in. Relationships either felt way too sudden or dropped in an instant with very few consequences.And yet. AND YET. I honestly liked this book. I thought it handles a lot of things well, including the way PTSD may appear in a girl who's been missing for years. I won't get into spoiler territory, but there are some things that rang true to me. I think I need to read more of this author's work.**Thank you to Goodreads and Penguin Teen for the giveaway.**
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner is a fantastic read that I can not recommend highly enough. It’s a poignant story of loss and redemption, sisterhood and joy, and ultimately about family. Gardner explores the treacherous bonds of familial love with humor and unpretentious grace.Gardner paints a vivid picture of how grief and hope fight each other within a family. The characters are colorful and heartbreakingly human, especially the narrator, Vera, a young woman who navigates throug The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner is a fantastic read that I can not recommend highly enough. It’s a poignant story of loss and redemption, sisterhood and joy, and ultimately about family. Gardner explores the treacherous bonds of familial love with humor and unpretentious grace.Gardner paints a vivid picture of how grief and hope fight each other within a family. The characters are colorful and heartbreakingly human, especially the narrator, Vera, a young woman who navigates through life with a sardonic sense of humor. Her voice is relatable, yet fresh and unique. The story is funny and sad, deeply moving without being clichéd, and one you won’t want to miss.
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  • Endor
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: In this particular novel, Vera Rivers has been trying to get over the disappearance of her twin sister, Ava, on Halloween night when they were six years old. Now, about to go to college, she’s excited to move away from her family and a past that’s been haunting her for years. That is until her sister shows up at a nearby hospital, a turning point in the once broken Rivers family. Everything seems to be good again- except that Vera can’t help but wonder where Ava was since her disappeara Summary: In this particular novel, Vera Rivers has been trying to get over the disappearance of her twin sister, Ava, on Halloween night when they were six years old. Now, about to go to college, she’s excited to move away from her family and a past that’s been haunting her for years. That is until her sister shows up at a nearby hospital, a turning point in the once broken Rivers family. Everything seems to be good again- except that Vera can’t help but wonder where Ava was since her disappearance, and what kind of person she is now. Likes: I have to say I liked this book a lot. I absolutely loved the writing in this and the characters were so amazing. The whole time I felt so bad for Vera because her parents completely forgot her after Ava’s disappearance- not to mention her birthday celebrations were so sad(since they’re twins). I also loved that she tries so hard to be a good sister to Ava even if she does get jealous from time to time. Both the sisters just felt so real and the subplot about their relationship was so fun to read. Actually, the entire plot( not just the subplots) were so interesting to read. I had a lot of trouble putting this book down and the plot twist near the end was so surprising, I had to just sit there staring at the page for a few minutes. Dislikes: I honestly don’t think I have anything I disliked about this book. It was pretty amazing. Rating: I gave this book 5/5 for how great it was. Just a great read overall. Recommendations: I would recommend this book for people who love books involving suspense while also focusing on family relationships. This book does have some dark themes revolving around Ava so for those interested in that definitely check this one out when it comes out in August.
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  • Lauren Vezina
    January 1, 1970
    I cant wait to read this book, I received this as part of a giveaway, I will update my review once I receive the book!
  • Lynette Murphy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it!! One twist after another. I couldn't possibly guess what would happen next. I liked the short chapters, too.
  • Hannah Martian
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, I just wasn’t a fan of this one and couldn’t connect to it. Reminded me a lot of HERE LIES DANIEL TATE.
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