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Review of Sunburn by Chloe Michelle Howarth

Sunburn is a coming of age, Sapphic romance which will leave you flushed and swooning. Basked within the stifling heat of Crossmore, a traditional Irish village, fifteen year old Lucy is conflicted by her disconnect towards her childhood friend Martin, a boy she's been expected to grow up to marry all her life. Yet on the cusp of adulthood, she has no desire for marriage or, more specifically, men. It's not Martin who Lucy dreams about and lusts over at school, instead she lies awake at night with one person on her mind. Although Lucy loves all her friends within the close knit group, her platonic love evolves into something much fiercer for Susannah. Longing to be with Susannah, Lucy feels sun stroked when her love is reciprocated. Over burning summers and exchanging sun kissed letters, the girls can't envision a life without one another, but living within a conservative, religious village, they must keep their love hidden, a scorching secret which ignites them and, if not careful, may go up in flames. 

Lucy and Susannah's love was pure and beautiful. It was heart breaking to see how intolerance and prejudice within their village meant they couldn't risk sharing their love with their friends and family. Set in the early 1990s, this book speaks to a modern audience of how far we've come but also how much further we're yet to go in acceptance and understanding. 

The burnt orange cover should be reason alone to want this stunning debut on your bookshelf. With so much passion and heart aching desire, this book is a summer must-read! 

Review by Victoria.

Sunburn was published on 22/06/23 by Verve.

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