Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY — Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry

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Today we are excited to participate in the blog tour for Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry.  Waiting for the Storm is a young adult contemporary romance.  It was released on April 9, 2013.

About the Book

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Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry
Publication date: April 9th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved.

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

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My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn’t a loud, boisterous novel that demands your attention.  No, it was a quiet thing that snuck up on  you.  And snuck up on me it did!  I found myself wondering how I lucked out on reading something so beautiful!  Had it not been for this tour, I may never have come across this book, and that makes me really sad.

That being said, I am a sucker for ‘tough issues’ and ’emotionally charged’ books.  There is something so cathartic and empowering about reading about others dealing with things like death, mental illness, anxiety, suicide, loss, etc.  Empowering because you start to realize that you aren’t alone in the issues that you face.  You aren’t the only one who feels misunderstood, lonely, and ‘it’s just me against the world’.  I know a lot of people enjoy books, because they want to escape, but I think books help me deal with my own emotions, just as much as they help entertain me.  And that is why I LOVE when a book like this one gets it right.

Grief is a powerful emotion, one that is really hard to accurately write into a story like this.  It is easy for characters to seem one-dimensional when dealing with grief and entering into a new relationship.  But Charlotte became so real that I completely felt every emotion she had.  That takes an insane talent, and Marie definitely has it.

The book was a great balance of dealing with death and loss and family and all those details of learning to move on as well as first love.  Charlotte and Ezra were sweet and it was impossible to not want them to end up together.  The two had chemistry, but it wasn’t an instant head-over-heels love.  The two bonded over their pasts and the hardships they had to face.  And Charlotte spent a lot of time on her own things — this was a great quality of the book!  So many couples in books get wrapped up in each other so quickly, so it was nice to see her becoming independent as she healed.  She needed all of those experiences to grieve and grow, and it was definitely something I appreciated.

I felt deep in my heart for Charlotte and all that she had to give up in order to take care of her family.  It really speaks volumes about her, as well as giving her depth and likability.  I loved the combativeness between Ella and Charlotte, as well as the disheveled depression of her father.  Showing each character taking the death in such a different way was real and raw.  This book wasn’t about gleaming perfections, but about real life.

Of course, I LOVED that Char (can I call her Char?  I feel like I know her so well!) was a book lover and a book BLOGGER!  Hello, what a cute thing to add into the story.  One of my favorite quotes from the book was about reading:

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a book will change you. It will make you look at the world a little differently, hold your loved ones a little closer, and realize that when love is standing in front of you and staring you in the face, you have to grab it with both hands and hold on tight.

The writing was incredible and the story was so well done that it made me want to read other books by Marie Landry.  She really delivered something that balances perfectly between emotionally charged and sweet romance.  If you like contemporary and romance, this is a book you MUST pick up.

Overall: Four out of five

About the Author

Marie

Marie Landry is the author of BLUE SKY DAYS (contemporary YA—January 2012), UNDRESSED (a collection of short erotic romance stories—October 2012), THE GAME CHANGER (chick lit—November 2012), and WAITING FOR THE STORM (contemporary YA—April 2013). Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood, she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews. For more on Marie and her books, please visit marielandry.blogspot.ca, her profile on Goodreads, or check out her book blog Ramblings of a Daydreamer (sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca).

Connect with Marie

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Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is an individual e-book copy of Waiting for the Storm, thanks to the author exclusive to my blog.  Please be sure to complete each item on the list BEFORE you click it, as they will be checked prior to giving out the prizes.  Good luck!

Click HERE to win a copy of Waiting for the Storm(ebook)
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My contest will run July 31 through August 23 (12 a.m. Eastern Time).  There is no purchase necessary and the contest is void where prohibited.  Open to & US/Int!  A big thanks to Marie Landry and Xpresso Book Tours for this gift!  

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Slammed — Book Review

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The Deets

author: Colleen Hoover

released: August 10, 2012

format: e-arc, e-book, paperback, audiobook

pages: 352 pages

publisher: Atria Books

Read: June 8, 2013

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com • Author’s Website

The Down-low

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.(From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

This book is quite amazing — Colleen Hoover knows just how to reel you in, rip your heart out, and give it back to you slowly, one page at a time.  I have yet to read something by Hoover I haven’t immediately loved.

My Thoughts

OMG, another Colleen Hoover book doing something I haven’t read before.

This book completely broke my heart — it brought in heartache, and out 0f the blue twists and turns.  I found my mouth wide open so many times.

The poetry in the book was amazing, and I wish Slam was something they had around here, because I think I would fall in love with its beauty just like Lake did.  The play on words that Will uses in one of his prominent pieces had me not only in tears, but really thinking about the emphasis he put on death and life.  And the use of the Avett brothers was like the cherry on top, it was a really great tribute to the band.

The writing was great — Hoover is a top-notch author and knows how to get inside her character’s heads.  I read that this book was written during NaNoWriMo — which is something that I aspire to do one day.  The fact that she wrote this amazing piece of work in 30 days (and even used the book to promote NaNoWriMo in one of the slams) was awesome!

I honestly hope this book is picked up for a movie, it was definitely something that I could see on the big screen.  Overall, I was thoroughly impressed, and knee deep in Will and Lake.  I know that readers young adult and adults alike will love this story.

Overall

Five out of Five Stars

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Stripped — Book Review

stripped

The Deets

author: Brooklyn Skye

released: May 14, 2013

format: e-book

pages: 345 pages

publisher: Brooklyn Skye

Read: June 3, 2013

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com •  Author’s Website

The Down-low

“I like you.” His voice is low and soft, which I don’t deserve. I look away, down the rutted parking lot.
“Don’t… waste those words on me.”
He touches my cheek. “You just need someone to show you.”
“No.” I ease back again. “I don’t. So please, Torrin, stop trying to swoop in and save me. I don’t need saving.”

College freshman Quinn Montgomery will do anything to avoid the mistake her sister made—killing herself over a boy. But when she is forced into nude modeling at a local college to support her family after a bankruptcy, she begins to crack, just enough to let Torrin, the university’s top varsity oarsman, see that the real Quinn is not as feisty and unapproachable as she wants everyone to think. But letting someone in comes at a steep cost and, it turns out, Torrin is connected to Quinn’s family in more ways than she could ever imagine.(From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

This self-published book by first time author Brooklyn Skye, is a fun, well-written new adult novel.  The book focused on a freshman girl who is trying to figure out who she is in a world that has not been kind to her.  The romance is sweet and the journey Quinn takes is something readers will appreciate.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review.*

I really liked this book, but this is a hard review to write.  I have a couple of issues with the book, which is why I gave it three stars instead of four.  As far as plot, the book offers a lot.  Quinn, a freshman in college, is dealing with the recent suicide of her sister, her father’s scandalous job firing (well, he quit, but… it’s complicated!), having to model nude in an art class to pay for her education, and dealing with trying not to fall in love.  There was a lot going on, but it wasn’t cheesy by any means.

The writing was also great.  I really found myself lost in Quinn’s story, and also saw a little bit of myself in her when I was that age.  As the book progresses, she finds out just how wrong and naive she is about certain things, and I really loved that.  Because, how many of us were know-it-alls at 18/19, only to get knocked down a few pegs?

I figured out what was going to happen about twenty pages in, but I think that was because the book was very similar to Ten Tiny Breaths.  In some ways, that made me like this book more, but I didn’t get the same pain in my heart I did when I read TTB.  This book was a bit more light-hearted, even though the issues it dealt with were just as somber.  (If you liked TTB, definitely check this book out).

There were a couple of issues I did have though.  I couldn’t understand what was so redeeming about Quinn to have her sort-of boyfriend keep wanting her back.  She was really bitchy to him, and removed herself from his control, but he completely changed ways and tried to get her back.  The pathology behind that was confusing to me.  Maybe I just watch too much Law & Order: SVU.  (My perspective on domestic violence is probably screwed up thanks to Benson & Stabler.)

Another issue I had was the fact that Quinn didn’t have any inkling about her sister’s secret.  Even I kind of wondered at one point during the foreshadowing, but figured there was no way that could be it.   I can’t divulge much, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I just couldn’t get how someone wouldn’t notice.

My last issue was minor — the ending seemed too quick for me.  Of course I knew and wanted things to end up the way they did, but I also felt like I needed a bit more closure.

That being said, I really enjoyed the book.  It is one I would be happy to recommend, especially as a summer ‘beach read’.  It’s fast, fun, sweet, and if you can get past the minor quirks I had, is worth it.

Overall

Three point five out of Five Stars

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