Review: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Genre: young adult contemporary
Format/Source: arc, from the publisher
hardcover, purchased
Status: standalone
Links: First & Then review
Foolish Hearts blog tour

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

When I was prepping for my post for the Foolish Hearts blog tour, I reread both First & Then and This Adventure Ends and realized I probably needed to post a review of one of my favorite books of 2016. If I had to blurb This Adventure Ends and comp it to another title, just sum up the heart of the story, I'd say it's basically if Six of Crows was a contemporary.

Whoa. Hold up, you say. You don't throw around SoC comps like that. No, I don't. Publishers Weekly does when they announce new book deals, but I don't compare just any book to SoC. That's how you know I mean it. And let's look at the evidence: Great diverse friend group including a drily witty mc, sullen yet lovable love interest, a dazzling queer girl who is queen of the social scene (although this one is a social media star, not a gang), once golden couple broken up because Reasons, a fabulous and gregarious entertainer, and a precious dad up for shenanigans. Oh, and there's a quest. Seriously, if Kaz & co were living in a realistic world instead of the fantasy Grishaverse, they would be the TAE crew. Kaz, Gabe, and Matthias would glare at everyone, Nina and Vera would dazzle, and Frank and Jesper would find all the best parties for everyone to attend and look darn good doing it.

I know some readers don't like contemporary stories because they feel not much happens. And I guess when you're used to epic quests like heading off to the Ice Court of Fjerda to rescue a hostage or venturing to the land of fairies to save your family, contemporaries seem simple and even dull. However, as a matter of fact, TAE DOES have a quest and it IS about saving your family and saving yourself. But it's also about these beautiful, wonderful, lovable, imperfect, flawed characters who don't always make the best decisions, but they TRY. And I love them all the more for the effort they put in. This group of friends puts so much effort into their friendships, their romantic relationships, their family relationships. And watching those connections evolve and change throughout the book as the characters themselves change is absolutely fascinating. So there may not be battles on the docks or a jail break, but there is adventure and excitement and risk.

What else do I love about this amazing book? It's a hilarious (seriously, I laughed out loud) story about friends and family and mental illness and grief. It explores the creative well and fandom. It shows characters going to great lengths for the people they love. There's snark and kissing and fanfic and a burn that was so sick, I needed aloe just reading it!

Emma Mills is a tremendously talented writer, and each book she publishes just gets better and better. You know when you read a book and you feel like it's been written just for you? It hits all your favorite things and you feel just so.... SATISFIED when you're finished? That's truly how I feel every time I read an Emma Mills book. She's done football. She's done fandom. She's done Shakespeare. And next Macmillan is saying she's doing marching band? GIMME THAT FOURTH BOOK NOW, PLZ! Honestly, I have no idea how I'm going to wait until 2019 for Famous in a Small Town. I guess I'll just have to reread all three again in 2018! And if you haven't read any Emma Mills book yet, I highly recommend you scoot those up your TBR. 

Book Links:

About the Author:
Emma Mills is the author of First & Then, This Adventure Ends, and Foolish Hearts known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also cocreator and cohost of the "life skills" channel How to Adult, which ended in 2016.. She lives in Indianapolis, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in cell biology.
Author Links:

I'm giving away a copy of Foolish Hearts as part of my 5 year blogiversary. You can enter to win HERE. Open through the rest of December!


  1. I still find the idea of a social media "star" pretty strange. Could be an interesting portrait of a group of friends!

    1. I guess the correct term is influencer, someone who has a lot of followers and is occasionally paid by companies to represent them & their products or services. But I know what you mean. The social landscape has changed so much!

  2. I NEED this book! I adored Foolish Hearts and have First & Then ready to read, but I heard this is THE one I need to read, and your review sort of confirms this. Great review!

    1. Thank you so much! I can't pick if TAE or Foolish Hearts is my fave, but if you already love Emma, you'll definitely love this one too!

  3. Haven't heard of this book before! Adding it to my list now.

    1. It's so good! Emma has become one of my auto-read authors. Just add them all to your TBR. You'll be glad you did!

  4. Ooh, your review has me so intrigued! Not that I've read it, but hearing you compare it to Six of Crows, if it was a contemporary, caught my attention, and then everything after that only further hooked my interest. I love how diverse and well-written it sounds, I'll have to check it out! Awesome review.

    1. It's been out a year, but I only recently started it phrasing it that way in the hopes that more readers will pick it up!

  5. This sounds interesting. Great review!

  6. This is honestly a perfect review; I never would have thought of that comparison but you are so right!! I reread First & Then before Foolish Hearts and now I think I need to fit in a This Adventure Ends reread too. Her books are my absolute favorites, the wait for the next one is going to be so hard (that's what she said) (just for you Marg, just for you LOL).

    1. RIGHT?! I was waiting for Lindsay to send my copy of Foolish Hearts back so I decided to reread First & Then and This Adventure Ends to do a full Emma Mills binge, and honestly, it was the best decision. I love her so much! Waiting for the next one will be the WORST, but I'm hoping maybe like how Foolish Hearts released a year and a couple months after TAE, maybe book 4 will release in January or February of 2019 so it will really only be a year or so. Fingers crossed!