Hi friends. Happy Summer. Are you thriving? Or are you sick in bed with Covid and out of shows to binge because this is day you’ve-lost-track of your quarantine? Maybe it’s a hot mess of both? Summer is fraught at the Trent home, but earlier in the season we were able to spend some time in San Diego, specifically my home town* of La Jolla.
And while I was frolicking around my old stomping grounds, soaking up all my southern California vibes, I was enjoying Elle Jayce’s debut novel All The Days. Here is a picture I snapped of me reading it on my flight out to San Diego.
All The Days is a contemporary romance set in Wales and from the blurb, which you can read here, promised all the makings of a gorgeous, beachy read. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, and took it with me everywhere.
I loved how Jayce captured Lara and Theo’s beachy town. It’s not always blinding sun and clear skies and crystal blue waters. There’s a vibe whenever the ocean is on set. And madam author really uses this to amplify the feelings of her characters in a very show-don’t-tell sort of way. I loved it.
Read some chapters at the Birch Aquarium. Fell hard for Theo. More on him later.
Read some chapters from the gardens of La Jolla’s Museum of Contemporary Art (not only do they have a fantastic Lichtenstein, but they have some of the best views).
Read while waiting for our breakfast at Sugar and Scribe (the presentation here is next level, my berry pancakes had GITTER on them and flowers). And then I had to wonder what Lara would think of my pancakes.
La Jolla was an amazing backdrop for reading this book.
And yeah, cookies were too. I can’t blog about reading and not blog about cookies. These were homemade lemon sugar cookies, with lemon cream cheese frosting, with a blue berry garnish. They tasted like Lara and Theo’s HEA.
So my review. I don’t like rating books. I know what it takes to put your heart into a story. I am a completely biased judge in this regard and consider every debut novel to be a triumph of talent, passion, resilience, and determination. They all deserve five stars and standing ovations. So instead I like to share what I loved about my time reading All The Days.
First: I love all the Welsh in this book! Like obsessed. It’s super fun, but also a little boujiee, you know? For me, it added a layer of depth/sophistication that I don’t always find in my beachy/escapists reads. Not every book has this unique POV. When an author can share a bit of her own voice, it’s just something really special. I loved it.
Second: Oh my holy jeepers, Theo. He’s the hero in this story and **fans face**… So yummy. Like executed so scrumptiously. A complete treat. He’s crafted walking that impossible line of scoundrels-who-tease-with-such-authority and then sincere-teddy-bear. I want to snuggle him but also verbally spar with him. I’m not doing him justice. He’s the best. That’s all.
Third: Delicious banter between Theo and our heroine, Lara. Lara holds her own and shines so wonderfully bright with her Theo. It’s a lot of fun.
I was impressed with how inventive this story felt. I don’t want to give anything away, but I feel like Jayce is definitely an author who could effortlessly cross genres and redefine a few in the process. She didn’t shy away from challenging elements and complicated emotions. Consent is sexy, between characters, but also between authors and readers. I appreciated the content warning. Sometimes those feel gimmicky, but this one is real. Don’t want to say more. Just prepare yourself for a lot of feels, including healing and the message that love makes us brave.
I’m looking forward to following Elle Jayce’s career. All The Days is out now! It’s an amazing debut. Congratulations, Elle, and thanks so much for the ARC!
*I claim both Pacific Beach and La Jolla as my home town… But Pacific Jolla never caught on, so I alternate between the two. And yes, all the backdrop photos are mine. Photo credit is sexy too.