I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Stephanie Lawton’s Want. My review is directly below this so be sure to check that out as well as enter to win your own e-copy of Want. There’s some music links embedded in my review so make sure you listen to them at the appropriate breaks. And check back next week when I’ll be putting up a WANT photo tour of Alabama.
WANT Review: Want is dark, twisted, gripping and psychologically fascinating. The book is a sensory experience centered primarily on music but including taste and color and other sounds as well. I was lucky enough to actually read this book while I was driving through Alabama and so I have a true appreciation for the setting now. When you get to Alabama this is the song that comes to mind:
Instead what you have is surprising and lovely and more like this:
Mobile here acts as the gilded cage superficial and pretty on the outside but rotting within. The importance of appearance, of perception by the community and the negative consequences of social hierarchies are all fundamental to the story (think “A Rose for Emily”). Honestly it is impossible for me to picture this story outside of the South. Now I wonder what is lurking behind all that sweet tea and southern charm. As for characters, our heroine is flawed but lovable and has two equally lovable men vying for her. The artistic geniuses (Julianne and Isaac) are both disturbing in their own ways and watching them battle themselves and each other throughout the book is like watching a train wreck. You know it is all sorts of terrible and tragic and cannot end well but dear god you cannot look away. There are so many tough topics that are covered that looking back I’m not sure how Lawton was able to accomplish it all! She manages to touch upon depression, mood disorders, abuse, pedophilia, self-mutilation, slander and suicide all in one plot line. I was uncomfortable the whole way through—a sign it was done well. Sarcasm provides moments of comic relief but never lets you fully come down from the emotional rollercoaster. There was something of Romeo and Juliet here as well, not the tragic lovers but definitely in the flawed action or inaction of the adults that surround them resulting in dire consequences. I will say the ending made me quite happy which was a necessity in my opion. Music fans, piano fans, Alabama fans, psychology fans, or fans of books like Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers or any Ellen Hopkins will definitely love this one. Overall: A
WANT to know more synopsis:
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche. Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve. Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past. Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?
WANT Author Bio:
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting. A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles. On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature. She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras –where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row.
WANT THE BOOK Giveaway: Rafflecopter here
WANT More Tour Stops: Be sure to check out the other tour stops since every stop has a e-copy giveaway!
July 15-Bookish Brunette-Guest Post
July 16-Wake Up At Seven-Interview
July 17-The Book Vortex
July 19-Literary Exploration-Character Guest Post
July 20-Rumor Has It
July 21-Dreaming in Reviews
July 22-Ladybug Storytime-Guest Post
July 23-Pageturners Blog
July 24-Magnet4Books-Guest Post
July 25-Novel Thoughts Blog
July 26-BookandaLatte-Guest Post
July 27-BlookGirl-Guest Post
July 31-Alluring Reads-Guest Post
August 1-Well Read Reviews
August 2-Sarah Reads Too Much
August 3-Book Brats-Interview
August 5-Girls in the Stacks-Podcast
August 6-The Readiacs-Interview
August 7-Great Imaginations
August 8-Book Twirps-Guest Post
August 10-MundieMoms-Guest Post
August 11-The Aussie Zombie
August 12-YA Sisterhood-Song Lyric Interview
August 13-The Story Siren-Interview
Goodreads WANT: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13432653-want
Goodreads Stephanie Lawton: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5601445.Stephanie_Lawton
Stephanie’s Website: http://stephanielawton.com/
Stephanie’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/StephanieLawtonWriter
Stephanie’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Steph_Lawton
InkSpell Publishing Website: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/
Bergdorf Blondes- Plum Sykes
Ok guys this one is a throw back for me since I originally read Bergdorf Blondes way back in the summer college days, but I just found it and re-read it again this week and now I have a blog, so ya know: review yay! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. Seriously, on the surface it’s a light contemporary funny read. Chick lit if you will. But for those looking there’s a biting commentary below the surface. It’s tres Austen-esque. How can you not love that? Also did I mention there’s hot men? cause that. Also Fashion. Also NY. Also Britain. Need I continue? There’s so many quotes in this book that got me through college and my early 20s it’s bananas. It was practically my “how to be a 20-something in NY” bible when I graduated. I still consider myself a champagne bubble of a girl and that bit about crying into your martini glass, classic. Frankly if you like contemporaries or romances you
should need to read this book. Fin.
Bergdorf Blondes is out now. Get your copy here!
Burn for Burn- Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Burn for Burn is an amazing contemporary that asks core questions about pain, friendship and bullying. Mary, Kat and Lillia all have distinct voices which makes it possible to relate to them in entirely different ways. These unlikely allies make tons of mistakes though through it all you understand their motivations from start to finish. Our three heroines have reached breaking point—when a million tiny little hurts can either destroy you or make you stronger. And you side with them even in their shortsighted and tragically flawed plans. I personally relate to kick ass Kat (surprise, surprise); Lillia has the most interesting friendship dilemmas; But Mary, oh Mary, she’s got rich character depth and we’ve barely scratched the surface with her here. I think she may grow the most over the next few books and is definitely the one to keep your eye on. I really, really liked the tiniest hint of the paranormal here which readers won’t notice unless they’re paying attention. This book was exactly what I was looking for—-an easy, interesting read with questions you could sink your teeth into.
Burn for Burn is due out from Simon and Schuster on September 18th. Pre-order your copy here.
ARC provided gratis via Simon and Schuster.
Take A Bow- Elizabeth Eulberg
Looking back, I’m not surprised I liked Take A Bow. I’ve liked all of Eulberg’s previous contemporaries; she has these heartwarming stories and easy to love characters. In Take A Bow, what immediately caught my attention was how distinct the voices of Emme, Carter, Sophie and Ethan were. Their stories are dramatically different and yet there’s this thread the connects them together (and not just in the overtly obvious they go to school together thing). Each struggles to find out who they are and to chase their dreams. I loved that the focus of this book was more about self-confidence than it was about romance. And perhaps the mark of truly lovely writing is that while I disliked Sophie in the end I could only feel sorry for her and for all the things she will miss in her life. Empathy for the bad girl? Now that’s impressive.
CONTEST: Enter to win a signed copy of Take A Bow from me!
Enter using the rafflecopter widget here on the facebook page.
The contest will end on May 11th and midnight. Winner will be chosen at random via rafflecopter. U.S. and Canada only. Good luck!
Getting Dumped (A Schultz Sisters Mystery) by Tawna Fenske
Getting Dumped is the second “active fiction” book I’ve read from Coliloquy and I have to say I love the format. The choices I made as a reader were much more important here and reflective of my personal opinions on plot then they were in Witch’s Brew. That being said, Fenske has given the reader three interesting leads to choose from:
Collin, the smexy Brit.
Pete, the protective movie star.
Daniel, the asshole ex.
Did I give away my feelings there? Probably. Fenske also writes a very accurate sister relationship. In fact, the plot line was new and compelling too—a job move from corporate to the dump. Who knew I could be so invested in that? There’s a bit of good old Nancy Drew to the storyline as well.
None of this compares however to the major cliffhanger ending that could kill you. No seriously it could. I might be writing this from the afterlife.
Getting Dumped is available for Kindle Users. Get your copy here.
Sea- Heidi R Kling
Sea was both heartbreaking, hopeful, and sweetly romantic. It’s topics of PTSD, natural disasters, charity, forgiveness, and rememberance of who you are in the face of loss are done really, really well. It’s easy to get swept up in the story of Sea, Spider, and Deni. Sienna is surprisingly easy to relate to as a character despite the particular instances of trauma which mark her. And the stories of the tsunami victims will tear your heart out, that’s for sure. At the end there are several points of contention with her father that are left unresolved, though few will notice or miss that closure. This is the kind of book that sticks with you, that reminds you despite death, injury, and extreme loss, you can be put back together and life can go on.
Eye Candy- Tera Lynn Childs
Eye Candy is a decadent treat for contemporary romance fans. Lydia is instantly likable with her passion for candy, ambition for promotion, and love of fashion. The plot is both poignant and comic. My one pet peeve was the “choose your man” ending, I’d rather the author made those difficult choices for me (and clearly Phelps is the right choice!). Childs’ writing is adorable and charming as she plays with words, replacing curses with candy lingo. This cute read could make you melt like an M&M, but be careful the problem with a sweet read is it always leaves you wanting more.
Eye Candy is only $2.99 for Kindle right now! Get your copy here.
Also check out Tera Lynn Child’s other books: Straight Talk, Oh.My.Gods, Goddess Boot Camp, Forgive My Fins, Fins Are Forever, and Sweet Venom!