Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills



Do you ever read a blurb and know exactly how the book is going to play out? Do you then wonder if you should read such a predictable book? I do. I knew what the outcome was going to be from the very beginning and thought this book would be a big fat waste of my recently limited amount of time.

I kept seeing this book on my Instagram timeline and was like, fuck it, I’ll read it. And, I’m so happy I did.

This review is going to be nothing but pretty because that’s what it deserves from me.

First a quick word from the author. . .

 The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world—until they destroyed me. The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them. Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer?

Knox, the scarred quarterback. Dane, his twin brother. Or Chance, the ex who dumped me. . .

Dear Ava,
Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.
Wait. That’s stupid.
What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.

It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you.
I’ve missed seeing you walk down the hall.
I’ve missed you cheering at my football games.
I’ve missed the smell of your hair.

And then everything fell apart the night of the kegger.

Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark.
I just want to make you mine.


The author was kind enough to warn readers that this book contains sexual assault and I know many readers appreciate that fact. Luckily, that is not a trigger for me, so I was good to go. I also found the book to be written very tactfully regarding rape.

Let’s talk about our leading lady Ava, which is my daughters name too. So cute! Ava is the type of teenager we all wish we were. Strong, brave, caring, and loving. She carried herself with pose and grace while being constantly harrassed by almost everyone around her.

“I can be strong for Tyler. I can make this shitty road mine. Own it. Us it. And someday, someday, I’ll have a beautiful road, smooth and easy and perfect.” – Ava

I admired that about her. Her willingness to not let what happened to her determine her life. The way she was able to pick herself up despite how hard she wanted to give up was divine.

The intensity of this story was a complete and utter shock to me. I didn’t expect it with a high school based novel. So many romance authors go over the top when it comes to teenage love and I hate that. It’s like they are putting children (which teenagers are) in grown up situations. I personally think that is shows a lack of research and skills.

And our guy, Knox, I adore him so much. If he was older, he might of even made it into book boyfriend territory. He had a dark, sweetness to him that complemented our leading lady so well. He was a secret, not so secret protector way about him that is rare in teenage boys but there are some. My son included. I’m raising him so well, if I do say so myself.

“He wants to protect me. And what is it costing him, to go against his team.” – Ava

Ilsa Madden-Mills is not one of those authors. She took a teenage love story and made it into a story that works for teenagers and adults to enjoy.

Let’s get to the important questions.

Do I recommend this book? I do.

Will I read another book by Ilsa Madden-Mills? Yes, and I look forward to it.

I promised to keep it pretty. I succeed with absolutely no mess. I’m kind of proud of myself.



Remember to follow all things messy. . .
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Hey there! I'm Danielle! I just a girl who loves books. I love books so much that I talk about the stories like they are real. Who knows? Maybe, they are real to me. I do love the book world, it's way better than reality. . .sometimes. . .because. . .I'm also a proud mama bear, wife, and mother!

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