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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
Meaningful Omissions by Anne McNeely is a romance novel. I loved it. I loved it because it didn't read like I expected a romance novel to read. There were no exaggerated cliché characters. Romance didn't dominate the narrative. Life dominated the narrative. The life of a seventeen-year-old girl in modern America, trying to navigate her way through the traps and pitfalls of adolescence in a typical high school. I guess the bottom line for me was that I loved Lilly McGrath. She is the type of girl I would have liked to have gone out with in high school. She is smart, cute, and not overbearing, the way so many teenagers are. She has her problems. She has her character traits that need to be improved, but you can sense that she will get there. You can sense that she will grow, she will improve, and that one day, she will be an awesome woman.
Meaningful Omissions is very well written. Anne McNeely has a deft touch. She introduces characters to the reader a little at a time, and it feels like we are getting to know them naturally, and at a pace that is just right for the story and accurately mimics real life. The plot is realistic and not overblown. The occurrences are things that you see a variation of every day, which makes the whole story that much more believable. What got me hooked on the story first was the excellent portrait of life in a typical American suburb, and a typical American high school. It has been a long time since I was in high school, but Anne McNeely gets it right. What kept me invested in Meaningful Omissions and kept me reading was Lilly McGrath. I wanted her to win. You will too.