An ARC of Family Ties by Stephie Walls was provided to me in exchange for in honest review.
Family Ties by Stephie Walls is a coming-of-age story between our main two characters, Jude and Portia. Our main characters are two foster kids, who found their lives intertwined throughout the years of living together with their foster parents, Ernie and Hensley. During the years of being in one another’s lives, Jude and Portia formed an unbreakable bond, a deep attachment to one another,
one in which sometimes tested the bond of that said relationship. However, Jude and Portia didn’t contemplate the romantic feelings developing between them. Their attraction to the other was taboo at best. They were supposed to be siblings, they practically grew up together, and they were living under the same roof. Of course, it didn’t matter if they didn’t really share blood. Everyone around them considers them siblings.
Ms. Walls does an awesome job writing the struggle that Jude and Portia are facing in light of their romantic feelings. Hurting their foster parents or rather in Portia’s case, adopted parents, is the last thing on their mind. The two are constantly fighting their feelings, especially Portia. Speaking of Portia, she tries the dating game in College, but one bad experience leaves her confused and unclear of anyone’s true intentions, even Jude’s.
I have to say I liked the different circumstances in which Portia and Jude ended up with their foster parents. Jude certainly goes through a hard time processing his loss. He starts to act out, experiment a little. One incident creates tension between Jude and Portia, pushing their relationship almost to the breaking point, but eventually, it allows for Jude and Portia to explore what’s really there between them.
The author really develops the ups downs of Portia and Jude’s relationship. Their relationship is very intense, emotional. Both of them have different points of views on certain things in life. Neither of them were right nor wrong.
So, as a reader, it will be next to impossible to take sides. Jude has his vices and Portia has hers. I love how I was able to feel all the emotions that took hold of our characters. It wasn’t easy to read at times. Readers’ get ready for a rollercoaster ride. Ms. Walls shines best at depicting her characters trials and tribulations. It’s beautifully written.
My absolutely favorite part of Family Times was definitely Jude’s road to self-discovery. It works in the story’s favor, especially for Jude’s character. I don’t want to have picks of which character I liked best since both were great individuals, but Jude was my pick. All his chapters tugged on my heartstrings. His character just had so many layers and the author truly peeled back those layers piece by piece.
I couldn’t ask for a better ending. It was perfect in my opinion. It was as though everything came full circle. Both Jude and Portia are in a better place in their lives. They are surrounded by the most important people who matter to them.
Family Ties by Stephie Walls wholeheartedly deserves a five star rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
If I could rate this book higher then I would. Family Ties is certainly one of the best books of the year that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Readers’ you’re going to love it. You won’t be able to put it down. The story really grabs your attention.