Thursday, February 8, 2018

Blog Tour Review - Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton @ChanelCleeton @BerkleyPub #giveaway

I am thrilled to be a part of the Review Tour for Next Year in Havana! This was the first time that I have read any of Chanel Cleeton's books but I was quickly in awe of her ability to tell a story and really enjoyed Next Year in Havana.  Be sure to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire at the end of this post!


Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Date Read: February 6, 2018
Length:  400 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
My Review

This was such a lovely story!  I have to admit that the beautiful cover of this book is what first caught my attention.  Once I took a closer look, I decided to give it a try since the story sounded really interesting.  The book ended up being more than interesting.  I was swept away by the story and felt Cuba come alive within the pages.  I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

This story is told in two timelines.  Marisol's story is set in 2017 shortly after her grandmother's death.  She goes to Cuba to see the country where her grandmother grew up and find the right place to spread her ashes.  Elisa is Marisol's grandmother.  Her story is set in 1958 as Cuba is in crisis.  I really enjoyed both of the timelines equally and loved how everything came together.

I really liked the characters in this book.  Elisa and her family were in a very difficult situation.  The fact that Elisa and two of her sisters were young adults trying to find their place in the world only made things more difficult for them.  Elisa was willing to following her emotions even when she knew it may not be the safe choice.  I could really feel all of her struggle as she tries to figure out what to do.

Marisol was very close to her grandmother and is eager to see the Cuba she has heard so much about.  I liked Marisol right away.  I liked how she took her responsibility to carry out her grandmother's wishes so seriously and wanted to learn more about her life in Cuba.  I thought that all of the secondary characters were very well done in the story as well.

I think that the setting of this book really helped it stand out.  I have read very little of Cuba and am a bit ashamed by how little I really know of the country.  I felt like Cuba came alive in the pages of this book.  The setting really almost became a character in the book.  The descriptions were so vivid that I really felt that I could close my eyes and see the things that the characters saw.

The mystery of the story really kept my interest.  I wanted to know what had happened to Elisa all those years ago and was eager to learn what Marisol would find.  I was equally interested in seeing how the events in the book would impact Marisol's life.  There were a few twists along the way and enough excitement to keep the pages turning.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I thought that this book told a remarkable story that will stay with me for a long time.  This was the first book by Chanel Cleeton that I have had the chance to read and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

About the Author

Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Giveaway

16 comments:

  1. another good review! This is really good now that there's a lot of positive feedback
    Can't wait to read it when it arrives in my library

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  2. Everyone seems to rave about this one and I am sooo curious

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  3. I felt like Cuba was another of the lead characters. Loved both parts of the story and can't wait for Beatriz's story next.

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    1. Cuba did feel like one of the leads in this one. Really looking forward to learning more about Beatriz.

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  4. Thanks for the great review. This sounds like it would be a good story.

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  5. That really is a striking cover! I can see why it caught your eye. I'm glad to hear the story was a good one too :)

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  6. The cover has really been calling me too! It's gorgeous. I do love the premise and I'm so glad that it lived up to your expectations! I can't wait to read it!

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  7. Wasn't this delightful, sweet and sad. I am looking forward to Beatriz's story!

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    1. It was such a wonderful story, Kimberly. Such vivid storytelling.

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  8. I am so glad you liked this one, Carole! It sounds really good. I enjoy dual timeline stories, and although I haven't read many books set in Cuba, I have been wanting to.

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    1. The setting in this book was incredibly well done. This really was a great read.

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