Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Review - - The Family You Make

The Family You Make
by Jill Shalvis
The Sunrise Cove Series - Book 1
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

During the snowstorm of the century Levi Cutler is stranded on a ski lift with a beautiful stranger named Jane. After strong winds hurl the gondola in front of them into the ground, Levi calls his parents to prepare them for the worst…but can’t bring himself to say goodbye. Instead, wanting to fulfill his mother’s lifelong wish, he impulsively tells her he’s happily settled and Jane is his girlfriend—right before his phone dies.

But Levi and Jane do not.

Now Levi’s family is desperate to meet “The One.” Though Jane agrees to be his pretend girlfriend for just one dinner, she’s nervous. After a traumatic childhood, Jane isn’t sure she knows how to be around a tight-knit family that cherishes one another. She’s terrified, and a little jealous. But an unexpected series of events and a host of new friends soon show Jane that perhaps this is the life she was always meant to have.

As Jane and Levi spend more time together, pretend feelings quickly turn into real ones. Now all Jane has to do is admit to herself she can’t live without the man she’s fallen in love with and the family she has always dreamed of.

PJ's Thoughts:

I've been reading Jill Shalvis for a long time. I would hazard a guess that I've probably read at least 80% of her books, if not more. Considering she's published more than 50 books, that's a lot of stories, a lot of beloved characters. Among all of those, this book - The Family You Make - is one of my favorites. It took me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, leaving nothing untouched, tossing me out at the end with a deep, heartfelt sigh of satisfaction. I want to go back to the adrenaline-inducing beginning and read it all over again.

There are so many relationships to explore in this book. Shalvis gives readers not only Levi and Jane's romantic journey but a secondary couple as well. But that isn't all. She also explores family relationships, female friendships, and male friendships. She delves into dysfunctional family, estrangement, atonement, and forgiveness as well as the support, love, and validation within chosen family. She also balances all that deep emotion (and there's plenty) with impeccable comedic timing and laugh-out-loud humor. A word of caution: do not eat or drink anything while reading the dinner scenes at Levi's family's home. Yes, that advice comes from experience. 😂

The character development in this book is wonderful. Shalvis seamlessly interweaves the various threads without missing a beat, allowing her characters, and their respective journeys, to evolve realistically. I never felt out of step with any of them. I shared their sorrows, their anger, their fears. I rejoiced in their courage, their tentative hope, and, ultimately, their joy. And I fell head over heels in love with Levi's adorable, unfiltered niece. 

This one's going straight to my keeper shelf. I loved it. 


  1. Replies
    1. It's so good. As I said in the review, in my opinion one of her best.

  2. Her stories are always good reads!!

  3. Replies
    1. Me too, Laurie!

      Did you see your name in the Unclaimed Giveaways?

    2. I believe that is a mistake as I have received my copy of Somebody’s Perfect!

  4. Jill is a favorite of mine too - also enjoy here posts showing her "writing views" and family

    1. This new series is set in Lake Tahoe (where she lives) and she really brings it to life.

  5. Thanks for this review. I am a fan of Ms Shalvis. She provides her readers with people they like.

    Hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

  6. I'm with you on every point you made about this book. Like you, I've read at least 80% of her books too. SHe is one of my must read authors.

  7. I am with you PJ. I've read so many of Jill's books. Looking forward to this series.

  8. Like you, I've read a lot of her books! This one sounds wonderful.

  9. I think I've read almost all of her books too. She writes with such humor and her characters are warm and human. I would gladly live in any of her book worlds. Really looking forward to this book.

  10. I've read so many of her books, but I'm a bit behind. This one sounds like my cup of tea.

  11. Thank you for the review and recommendation. I have not read many of her books, but have been impressed and enjoyed those I did. This one sounds like one worth reading.