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Synclair

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The summer before her senior year, Emma Synclair decides to find her true love: either a girl or God. Since she has a crush on her best friend―and on her best friend’s girlfriend―Synclair figures she’ll have better luck with God. Which God? How will she know? Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity? Her atheist parents are out of the country for three months, so Synclair has The summer before her senior year, Emma Synclair decides to find her true love: either a girl or God. Since she has a crush on her best friend―and on her best friend’s girlfriend―Synclair figures she’ll have better luck with God. Which God? How will she know? Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity? Her atheist parents are out of the country for three months, so Synclair has the space to try some religions in peace. Or so she thinks, until her friends decide that her house is the party house―that is: the dinner party house! How can she tell them no? She sneaks away to start her spiritual quest, but runs into her childhood friend Avery. Who grew up to be hot. And is also into girls. Is her true love Avery or God? Can she have both or is that the path to neither? Synclair vows to find out.


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The summer before her senior year, Emma Synclair decides to find her true love: either a girl or God. Since she has a crush on her best friend―and on her best friend’s girlfriend―Synclair figures she’ll have better luck with God. Which God? How will she know? Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity? Her atheist parents are out of the country for three months, so Synclair has The summer before her senior year, Emma Synclair decides to find her true love: either a girl or God. Since she has a crush on her best friend―and on her best friend’s girlfriend―Synclair figures she’ll have better luck with God. Which God? How will she know? Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity? Her atheist parents are out of the country for three months, so Synclair has the space to try some religions in peace. Or so she thinks, until her friends decide that her house is the party house―that is: the dinner party house! How can she tell them no? She sneaks away to start her spiritual quest, but runs into her childhood friend Avery. Who grew up to be hot. And is also into girls. Is her true love Avery or God? Can she have both or is that the path to neither? Synclair vows to find out.

47 review for Synclair

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.50 Stars. This was a good YA read with some bumps. Over the past year or two, I have fallen back in love with YA. I used to really struggle with this genre but the quality of YA books nowadays is really impressive. Rachel Gold was one of the few YA writers I could read even when I was struggling with YA. And now that I’m enjoying it again, I was really excited to read this. This was a good, well written story, but I didn’t connect to it like I did Gold’s other books. Gold is a talented author 3.50 Stars. This was a good YA read with some bumps. Over the past year or two, I have fallen back in love with YA. I used to really struggle with this genre but the quality of YA books nowadays is really impressive. Rachel Gold was one of the few YA writers I could read even when I was struggling with YA. And now that I’m enjoying it again, I was really excited to read this. This was a good, well written story, but I didn’t connect to it like I did Gold’s other books. Gold is a talented author who writes about people and issues that many authors shy away from. She was one of the first to write about a character wanting to transition, from their POV. She wrote one of the first books I’ve read about someone who was genderqueer but also had intersex parts. And she wrote about systematic racism in a way that was eye opening. For this book Gold chose to write about religion. As we all know religion can bring people together, yet it can also be very polarizing. I’m not a religious person, I think the spiritual tag fits better on me, but I’m always interested in learning. I liked that this book was talking about many different religions from Catholic, Protestant, Judaism, Atheism, Wiccan and even a bit of mysticism. The main character Synclair, a 17 year old female, is home alone for the summer with her older brother. Synclair’s parents don’t believe in god so this is the chance for Synclair to find the right religion for her, which she feels has been missing her whole life. It would also be nice if she could find a girlfriend this summer too. I thought that was an interesting premise and I was prepared to learn a few things since I normally do when reading Gold. The problem for me is that it became too much. I think it was well done most of the book, but around the 70% mark I felt it was getting too much and that the book was almost losing me. One of the things I enjoy so much about Gold is her strong YA voice. Instead here, I felt like her voice was becoming more new adult to just adult. When I was 17, we would talk about Buff the Vampire Slayer episodes, field hockey, and whose turn it was to drive to the under 21 dance club. We were not having these deeply religious and philosophical conversations. Sure, kids could be smarter now than we were 20 years ago, but some of the talk was even trying to go over my adult head. And again, maybe not having a religious background hindered me, but this still lost the YA feel in my opinion. I liked the main character of Synclair very much. I cared about her journey and was rooting for her. I normally cry multiple times in Gold’s books so I was surprised that nothing ever moved me enough for that to happen. That was a slight disappointment since I like YA books that make me feel. I also had trouble with Synclair’s romance. I did not really care for the girl she was interested in so it felt a little flat. On the good side, I loved the ending. I was hoping for it, I had everything crossed for it, but I still did not expect it. I have to give Gold a lot of credit for that choice and it was great. I would actually love a book that starts where this one ended so I could see their senior year and everything that they go through. It was a great ending that really helped my enjoyment since I struggled in other parts. If you are new to Gold, I would not recommend starting here. I would suggest Nico & Tucker or In the Silences instead. If you are a fan of Gold or are interesting in a YA that tackles religion, then I would recommend this. There were some bumps for me that were part personal preference and partially just things that I didn’t think worked as well. This didn’t move me like Gold’s books normally do, but it was still well written like always. A copy was given to me for a honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I haven't actually written a review since I made this goodreads account, but this book is the first that has prompted me to write one. I first discovered Rachel Gold's work when I was looking for books with trans protagonists and she was one of the first I found. So when I saw that she was writing a book regarding queerness and spirituality I was extremely excited. I felt like this book was written exactly for someone like me, as I have a serious background in religious studies going as far as g I haven't actually written a review since I made this goodreads account, but this book is the first that has prompted me to write one. I first discovered Rachel Gold's work when I was looking for books with trans protagonists and she was one of the first I found. So when I saw that she was writing a book regarding queerness and spirituality I was extremely excited. I felt like this book was written exactly for someone like me, as I have a serious background in religious studies going as far as getting my bachelors degree in it, and am a major fan of wlw romances of all age ranges. This book does explore the depths of spirituality in a way not approached by nearly any work of fiction that I've ever read. And it's even more impressive that the conversations in the book were mainly handled by teenagers in a way that seemed very believable yet could make me as an adult engage deeply what was being said. Also, the romance (romances?) were very cute and fun while also seeming real. And I actually didn't see the ending coming until just a little before it happened. So I enjoyed that very much as well. I really, really enjoyed this book. I can understand how it might not be for everyone, especially if you aren't particularly interested in spirituality or religion. But as someone who is, this book was perfect for me. 5/5

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kexx

    Odd book - not quite sure what I was expecting, but not this. Clearly well researched though it did feel like a college discussion on religion at times, or, worse, I was being lectured at. But as that was the key to the book it would be churlish to complain. No, be truthful: I was disappointed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Synclair's summer is set up to be filled with friends and cooking. But she's also searching for the God she knows is real, but doesn't quite know how to make sense of, and so she begins an exploration of her spirituality. Then, as if by divine intervention, her old elementary school friend Avery shows up for the summer and she's gorgeous, and totally into Synclair. Her summer takes some wild turns, but her friends are there for every minute of her journey. This was a super interesting book, I re Synclair's summer is set up to be filled with friends and cooking. But she's also searching for the God she knows is real, but doesn't quite know how to make sense of, and so she begins an exploration of her spirituality. Then, as if by divine intervention, her old elementary school friend Avery shows up for the summer and she's gorgeous, and totally into Synclair. Her summer takes some wild turns, but her friends are there for every minute of her journey. This was a super interesting book, I really enjoyed reading through the exploration of Synclair's spirituality through her eyes. Something that could be quite serious and heavy was brought a sort of lightness through her eyes and through all the drama that comes with being a teenager and the unique situations Synclair gets herself into. I loved the style of writing - I think somehow this was my first book by Rachel Gold and I will have to rectify that. I really loved all the characters, and Rachel Gold really made sure to explore all of their unique stories. This was a fun YA with cute romance and an interesting exploration of spirituality. If there is anyone who can make that combination work it is the brilliant Rachel Gold. I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aleana Harris

    This was a cute read. Emma decides before she enter her senior year she wants to find true love or God whatever comes first. As she navigate crushes and having her house be the place to hang out she runs into her childhood friend Avery that she hasn’t seen in a while she grew up nice as they get to know each other she wonders did she find her true love or is God her true love as she ponders this she starts to wonder can she have both. I like all the characters it was humorous finding oneself and This was a cute read. Emma decides before she enter her senior year she wants to find true love or God whatever comes first. As she navigate crushes and having her house be the place to hang out she runs into her childhood friend Avery that she hasn’t seen in a while she grew up nice as they get to know each other she wonders did she find her true love or is God her true love as she ponders this she starts to wonder can she have both. I like all the characters it was humorous finding oneself and accepting. I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Stein

    The book takes place during the summer between junior and senior year of high school when Synclair, who's been left in the care of her 24-year old brother while her parents vacation in Greece, goes on a spiritual quest, learning about a variety of faith traditions in an effort understand her relationship with God and/or Goddesses. At the same time, she gets reunited with Avery, a childhood best friend who moved away suddenly and without a forwarding address. The two acknowledge an attraction ear The book takes place during the summer between junior and senior year of high school when Synclair, who's been left in the care of her 24-year old brother while her parents vacation in Greece, goes on a spiritual quest, learning about a variety of faith traditions in an effort understand her relationship with God and/or Goddesses. At the same time, she gets reunited with Avery, a childhood best friend who moved away suddenly and without a forwarding address. The two acknowledge an attraction early on which makes Synclair happy since her best friend and long-time crush, Kinz, has paired up with her new girlfriend, Camden. The spiritual and relationship threads intersect and diverge throughout the book, at times making it a non-engaging and difficult read, and at other times capturing my interest. There's an interchange on religion later in the book between Synclair and Camden that felt really difficult and I wondered if younger readers who understand it or find it helpful. The emerging relationship that culminates at the end of the book is one that young readers might find instructive. I'm going with a 4 for effort but I wish I'd liked the book more than I did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sibella

    Special thanks to Netgalley and Bella Books for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review! This review is just a collection of quick thoughts as I don't feel like I have enough to say to format it as a full review! Quick Thoughts I thought this book was okay. I liked all the characters and I loved that they displayed so much diversity, both with LGBTQ+ aspects and with various health issues/disabilities. It was wonderful to read a book with so much representation. This book d Special thanks to Netgalley and Bella Books for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review! This review is just a collection of quick thoughts as I don't feel like I have enough to say to format it as a full review! Quick Thoughts I thought this book was okay. I liked all the characters and I loved that they displayed so much diversity, both with LGBTQ+ aspects and with various health issues/disabilities. It was wonderful to read a book with so much representation. This book deals heavily with religious themes, and many different religious views are discussed. This is mentioned in the synopsis, but I want to emphasize that the religious themes are a huge part of the book, and not something that is simply mentioned a few times, so if directly exploring religious themes doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I would skip this book. My only gripe with this book is that some of the events that take place feel a little ridiculous, like when Synclair falls into a pit and all of the events around that, or the very dramatic hail storm. At some points, it reads a little bit like fanfiction. Overall, I think that this book was alright. If the subject matter appeals to you and you're okay with a little dramatics, you may enjoy this read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Rachel Gold creates a conversation when you read one of her books. Synclair is no different as it is an intriguing talk about religion. I love the different opinions and ideas that Gold’s characters engage in and express. It is actually a process that I am going through right now and Gold’s book comes right on time. Synclair is about more than religious introspection as Gold adds romance to the mix. Now is this done in a typical way? Heck no! It is a Gold book. First we have Kinz, the girl she cu Rachel Gold creates a conversation when you read one of her books. Synclair is no different as it is an intriguing talk about religion. I love the different opinions and ideas that Gold’s characters engage in and express. It is actually a process that I am going through right now and Gold’s book comes right on time. Synclair is about more than religious introspection as Gold adds romance to the mix. Now is this done in a typical way? Heck no! It is a Gold book. First we have Kinz, the girl she currently secretly crushes on and who just happens to be her best friend. Then her best friend from the past comes back and she is hot. She is not only gorgeous, but likes girls. Easy triangle right? (laugh) Then there is an accidental kiss with someone else and talk about complications! I loved it and Synclair. Gold takes on some controversial topics and does it splendidly! I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stasia Black

    This book hit me right when I really needed it. Number one, I love reading amazingly written fiction whenever I can get my grubby little hands on it, and Rachel Gold is magic with writing characters who feel so REAL. The pages are compulsively readable. In quarantine, I’ve had difficulty making my way through ANY book start to finish, but I read this in one sitting. Number two, I’ve been in a bit of spiritual turmoil in my own life, and Gold’s book was so refreshing in helping me expand my brain This book hit me right when I really needed it. Number one, I love reading amazingly written fiction whenever I can get my grubby little hands on it, and Rachel Gold is magic with writing characters who feel so REAL. The pages are compulsively readable. In quarantine, I’ve had difficulty making my way through ANY book start to finish, but I read this in one sitting. Number two, I’ve been in a bit of spiritual turmoil in my own life, and Gold’s book was so refreshing in helping me expand my brain and just have some breathing room about the possibilities of who god is and could be. But the book never became dogmatic. Gold simply presents characters living their lives and struggling with their spirituality as they explore relationships, difficult emotions, and life’s ups and downs. This generation gives me hope, that’s all I can say. I see it in the real-life teens I know, and reflected in this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Best Lesfic Reviews

    Teenage is the time of exploring, of searching and of defining oneself. Gold writes about teens and their struggles with panache in her books. Read the full review @ https://bestlesficreviews.blogspot.co... Teenage is the time of exploring, of searching and of defining oneself. Gold writes about teens and their struggles with panache in her books. Read the full review @ https://bestlesficreviews.blogspot.co...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte M McClellan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela Helf

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lira

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kira

  17. 5 out of 5

    George Dutton

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Pineo

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

  20. 5 out of 5

    S

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  22. 4 out of 5

    mia :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Milo

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

  25. 4 out of 5

    elizabeth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Yost

  27. 4 out of 5

    elliott jude

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cara Stanislaus

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Isabela

  31. 5 out of 5

    Emily Mahler

  32. 4 out of 5

    Nsikan Akpan

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Brianna

  34. 5 out of 5

    Nat

  35. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth Taylor

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  37. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

  38. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  39. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Post

  40. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  41. 4 out of 5

    Kay Griffin

  42. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kulik

  43. 4 out of 5

    Andi

  44. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  45. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  46. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  47. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kate Tippett

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