The Clearing by Heather Davis
Release date: April 12, 2010
Other books by this author: Never Cry Werewolf
Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.
I wasn't sure what to expect with The Clearing as Davis's previous novel wasn't as good as I'd hoped. The premise of The Clearing sounded fantastic, though, and luckily it ended up being a great sophomore novel.
The Clearing was a beautiful love story that pulls reader's heart strings right from the start. There were many emotional scenes in this novel and I loved how it portrayed star crossed lovers, something not seen often in YA novels. Amy and Henry's relationship was believable and honest. I loved both of their characters. As The Clearing was told in alternating chapters between Henry and Amy, you really got to know both of them and their backgrounds. You could also really understand their feelings for each other.
Amy was a very developed character. She had been through an abusive relationship, so she was taking baby steps around Henry, still scared from the abuse her previous boyfriend inflicted on her. I loved watching Amy and Henry's relationship grow and turn into something magical. Magic was something that played a big role in this novel. Amy and Henry only met through a miracle. I wasn't sure how the time travel idea would play out, but Davis did a wonderful job of making it seem realistic.. The 1940s is a time period I only really knew one thing about- World War II took place. While this did have a role in the book, you learned much more about the time and the people living it.
Other than Amy, I really liked a lot of the other characters. Her Aunt Mae was wonderful, she was one of my favorite characters and without her I don't know how Amy could have gone on. Henry's Grandfather and Mother were excellent characters and they added a lot to the novel. Jackson was sweet, although Henry will always have a special place in my heart. Davis really knows how to make swoon-worthy male characters!
I loved the twists and turns in the plot and was completely captivated by the story. The Clearing had me smiling and crying and believing in true love. By the end I just couldn't stop reading.
The ending- wow. What an ending. The last chapter contained so much emotion and revelations that I just had to read it over a few times, it was that good. I definitely recommend picking up The Clearing today, even if you weren't a huge fan of Never Cry Werewolf. This is a heartbreaking and fantastic read that has me anxious for Davis's next novel!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars