Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TOUR STOP: GIVEAWAY AND EXCERPT Flawless by Jennifer McGill-Sadera

2 comments:
 

Release date: September 30th 2013
Self-Published
Purchase: Amazon

BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Nobody's perfect. Except Lia Copeland. She's flawless. And worshipped. And hated. From her perfectly proportioned figure and enviable bone structure to her instinctual talent for clothing design and cavalier attitude, Lia's the woman every other woman wants to be and every man wants to have. Catapulted from sigh-maker in the high-school halls to superstardom in the fashion world, she makes it look easy. A girl like that has everything; every reason to be happy. Then why does Lia Copeland just want everyone to leave her the hell alone? 
 
Behind the dazzling light of Lia's successes is a dark tale of fear, betrayal and confusion, leaving her with unfathomable anger--and so many questions. Chief among them: why is apathy threatening to take over her life? She forces herself to look to both inside and outside sources of the problem, leading her through a maze of emotions and relationships as she carries out her quest.

From the friends of Lia's youth--her best friend, Maddie, her tragic kinship with Doug, the tangled love triangle between her, Doug's cousin, Chad, and her pal, Wilson--to her later-day bond with her mentor, Jade, and therapist Ruth, Lia discovers the necessity of friendship and forgiveness in order to reach a life-affirming resolution.

A story about the choices made in the wake of travail and tragedy, it explores relationships with all their messy and marvelous moments and magnifies the beauty, wonder and endurance of first love.


Review

 
I've been thinking about this book nonstop since I finished it. To say that it left an impression on me is an understatement. I am cold, but I don't think it's the reason I'm shaking so badly. I feel like that says more about my mental health than the actual book, but I'm getting to my point, don't worry.
This book intrigued me right from the get-go. Have you read that description up above? If you haven't, read it.
If you have, read it again.
I swear I started crying again when I did. But I'm going to stop now so I don't freak you out.
So here's how it goes:
I love this book. If you can't already tell. This is what I would call dark contemporary at its finest. It's told in two parts. The first is in 1995. The second is in 2007. When I saw that, I knew I was in for a hell of a ride. This is kind of how Both Sides Now was divided up - Before and After style. I loved it last time, I loved it this time. It provides the dramatic flair I so crave in these sorts of things.
The beginning fits the synopsis perfectly. And then from there, it blew my mind. As each character was introduced, as I learned more about Lia, as stuff kept happening... I read the PDF version of this (Thank you, Shane!) and it had 807 pages. I was hooked from the beginning, but I just tore through those last 600 pages. I'm not even kidding. If I could've read it all at once, I would have. But in a way, I'm glad I didn't. I feel like I really know the characters. I connected with them so deeply.
 
Characters
The entire story is told from Lia's POV. I must say, I loved seeing the world through her eyes. In the beginning, it was just the apathy. Somehow that drew me in. I understood her. Which might be scary, but that's a discussion for another day. Here, in this review, I love Lia. Did she screw up? Hell yeah. She even screwed up in ways I would. Usually that pisses me off so much. I've hated characters for stuff like that. But not Lia. I feel like that says a lot.
From there, there are her lifelong friends: Wilson, Maddie, John, Doug. And then, as the synopsis says, Chad comes into the picture.
So here's a little bit about each one.


Wilson. Oh my God. It's so hard to write about him, but saying why would ruin everything. All I must say is that he is amazing. I was rooting for him for the first part of the book. Book boyfriend material? Hell, he's book husband material. Not even kidding here.

Maddie. She's so sweet and polite. Those are almost direct quotes about her (not really). But she is, and she's also caring and compassionate and she's just a great friend overall. I feel like I didn't connect as much with her. But still, I loved her. She annoyed me at times. But still.

Doug. The insightful, introverted one. Smart and witty and... I don't want to say much else. He's another one who's hard to talk about. He kind of represented all the confusion and hurt in Lia. And yet, he did so much to protect her from that hurt. He is truly an inspiration.

John. Admittedly, not as big a character as the others. Mostly because he was immature when he was young and far away when he was older. But he really is a great, humorous guy. Really caring.

Chad. Oh my God. Again. As soon as he showed up, I was wary. I was stuck on Wilson. And then Lia expressed all her confusion and I like. Wow, I feel the same way. It was so weird. But it was yet another reason that I loved Lia.

There are a few others. Jade and Ruth, as it says above. I won't say anything about them because I want you to experience their characters on your own. They were certainly not at all what I had expected.

Plot
I feel like there's so much to say. And yet, nothing. I don't want to ruin anything. It explored a lot of really deep stuff. I'd say it covered just about everything life could throw at you. Roughly speaking, of course. There was tragedy and beauty and wonder. Ultimately, it was a story about love and life.
Lia spent the book trying to figure out her past, what that meant for her present and future. It was the greatest thing ever. There are clues all over the place, if you know where to look. That's the only reason I basically guessed her past. I say basically because there were a lot of hints that didn't make sense until it was all revealed. So even though I got most of it, there was stuff that surprised me.
I loved that, too.
There were twists and turns, romance, friendship, betrayal...
In the end, I have to say that I wish I had a nice physical copy of this book. I would pay for this book. And read it over and over. And probably cry every single time.
It was beautiful, beautiful stuff.

 

Rating: 5 stars


 
Why: I've liked a lot of the stuff I've read recently. But I  haven't felt like this in a while. "This" being a wonderful mess.
 
Recommendation: Above all, I recommend this to dark contemporary fans and those who like mysteries. I recommend this to those who like psychological thrillers, because there is a lot of that. There's soul searching and exploring the mind and hidden memories. I recommend this for people looking for an unconventional love story. This is truly something else
 
 

Excerpt

 

      I called him my soul mate. And that’s the way I always thought of him. From the time we became friends at age sixteen, we’d clicked. His name was Mike Wilson but everyone just called him by his last name, apparently “Mike” being far too common a name for such an extraordinary person. Though I never considered the name Michael to be mundane. Overused as it was, it denoted the archangel who cast Satan out of heaven--the ultimate guardian. In many ways I viewed Michael Wilson as such.
     I knew whom he was a few years earlier, when his family moved to my town. We were both thirteen at the time and enrolled in the same large middle school. He quickly became the 9th-grade class president while I assumed classmates wondered whether I was a boy or a girl. I’d forced my mother to cut my hair that year. I couldn’t recall why. In fact I couldn’t recall much of anything from that period of my life. The dominant recollections of that time were befriending Maddie in art class and insisting on a short, shapeless haircut. I also took to wearing nothing but blue jeans, T-shirts and oversized sweatshirts in those days.
     By eleventh-grade I’d grown out my hair to a feminine shoulder-length bob, developed breasts and a penchant for clothing design. Wilson, being a hormonally rich 16-yearold boy, took notice of me in my hand-made fashions.
     It happened one evening at the Starburst Skating Rink in our small upstate New York town. John, who I’d not known at the time, bumped into Maddie, sending her wheeling at breakneck speed toward the padded wall. His friend, Wilson, and I hobbled over to help her. The next thing we knew, Wilson and I—near strangers--were simultaneously holding each other up and dragging each other down in circular patterns around the wooden floor on precarious wheels.
     Wilson drove us all home afterward to save Maddie’s dad the trip. When he’d dropped me off, we’d both said: Let’s do it again next Saturday.” And then we’d laughed. Walking up my familiar slate-stone path, I remembered looking upward at the oak trees’ leafy limbs making a black lacy pattern, intricate and inky against the overcast sky. A crackle of thunder made me jump. Or was that his car, which had jerked and groaned into slow action when he’d put the key in the ignition at the rink? I’d looked back in time to see the vehicle jauntily rounding the corner across from my house and continuing down the lane, its taillights dimmer as it got further away, but still managing to appear cheerful.
     I’d turned back to my house, noticing the amber glow streaming from the front porch lantern, thinking for once that the light seemed welcoming, rather than the harsh beacon it usually appeared to be, cutting a jarring swath of light across our perfect green lawn and the matching lawn-carpets around the similar houses of our neighborhood. Why was that? I’d wondered, knowing even as I’d thought it that I knew the answer: because of how right the moment seemed. That was a fairly novel concept for me: contentment. I’d taken a deep breath, noticing how the damp night smelled slightly electrified, potential sparking in the air around me. For the first time in a long while I’d felt like I was right where I’d needed to be. I’d known it was somehow linked to my new found connection with Mike Wilson. I’d liked the way he’d been interested in me personally, not the persona that I was reluctantly forming. He’d not even seemed aware of my emerging “queen bee” status.

     I’d entered the house quietly through the front door, trying to cause no commotion on the off chance that my mother had fallen asleep during her nighttime vigil. She’d always wait up on the living room sofa for my return from whatever outing I had planned with friends.
     That night had been no different and when I’d quietly closed the front door behind me and peered into the shadowy living area, she’d stood and announced she was going to bed. I’d known she was only being a caring parent but it always bothered the hell out of me that she waited up like that. When was she going to trust me enough to let me come and go without her watchful eye observing my every move? I’d noticed also that for such a supervisory guardian, she’d never once asked me if I’d enjoyed my evening.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Sadera is happiest when she's writing, reading, garden-designing or spending time with family and friends. Flawless is her debut novel.
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-Wolfie

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2 comments:

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