by Lauren Gibaldi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 14th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Adoption, Coming of Age, Family
It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.
So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.
Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.
Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?
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Autofocus is a great coming of age story. I loved how it takes a high school student and puts them in a college setting to accomplish it. Taking two selves and blending them.
Maude is given the photography assignment of capturing what family is to her. She loves her parents but being adopted has left a piece other feeling open-ended. She doesn't know much about her birth mother and it's important to her to understand that piece of where she comes from.
First of all I love Maude’s parents and the relationship she has with them. Its a strong and close knit family. They are so open with her and she returns the favor. As difficult as it is for them, they support her need to understand this unknown piece of her.
Treena is her best friend and is where the development really is. Being a year older she is already off at college and when Maude visit her to not only to spend time with her but find more about her mom, she sees a new side of her. Treena is growing up and trying to find a new place for herself. Maude hasn't quite made that leap yet so she is seeing it differently. Both of their characters really grow from this and it was great reading how it plays out. It's just as important as Maude's birth mom quest.
If you like the slow burn that would be Maude and Bennet. He's adorable, they are adorable together and they totally understand the limits of their relationship. I love them, I would read a companion novel about them when Maude goes to college.
I don't want to give anything away on the birth mom quest but I loved how it progresses and how it affects Maude in the end.
I really enjoyed Autofocus. It's a great story for coming of age and character development. It makes me want to make my own photo collage.
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