Review: Cicadas: A Totally Ordinary Epic Love Story by Avery Cockburn


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

What's the world-record shortest time to fall in love with someone? Cicadas pick a mate in a few minutes, but don't humans take a lot longer? I told Danny things I'd never told anyone and I think vice versa. 
But it's about more than that. More than him and me.

Cicadas: A Totally Ordinary Epic Love Story is my first ever read from Avery Cockburn, but I don't know if I would necessarily call her a new-to-me author. Fun fact: I signed up for her newsletter a few years ago, and I know about her Glasgow Lads series and the spin-off that followed; that being said, I didn't have the opportunity to read anything that Cockburn had written until now. I know, I know--for shame. It took me learning about her new novel being a standalone to get my butt in gear and finally become acquainted with this author's writing. Better late than never, especially when it comes to storytelling this good, and now I've got Cockburn's backlist bumped up to the top of my to-be-read list.

It's May of 1987 when Joel Mendel of Maryland and Danny Evans of Colorado first meet. Seventeen-year cicadas have made their presence known, and these two seventeen-year-olds spend an afternoon neither one will ever forget. It takes another seventeen years before Joel and Dan see each other again, and not-so-secret things are shared alongside one night that brings them even closer together before one decision rips them apart. Then it's 2021, and it's been almost seventeen years since Joel last saw Daniel. So much time has passed, but can a love that's never been lost help them find the path to forever?

Joel and Daniel's love story is told in three acts, with more than a handful of years in between, yet it never felt that I was missing anything. We get enough of an idea about what happened during their time apart, but the focus truly is on the present, on how that connection shared by the main characters remains in spite of distance and circumstances. Their journey was by no means easy, but it does reiterate the idea that true love finds a way. Cicadas was a totally not-so-ordinary epic love story. Five-plus stars.

Release Date: 20 June 2024

Date Read: 14 June 2024

Learn more about Avery Cockburn.

Pre-order Cicadas on Amazon.

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