Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Gone by Anna Bloom

 

Title: Gone

Author: Anna Bloom

Genre: Mature YA (intended for readers ages 16-19)

Publication: July 28th, 2014

Rebecca Walters harbours a dark secret, and as the fifty-three bangles she wears on her wrists as a self-imposed sentence of guilt remind her, she can’t even begin to consider moving on. Not after what happened on that night six months ago… a night which she can’t remember and yet managed to change her life forever.

When Rebecca comes across Joshua Adams, man equally haunted by past tragedies, on a moonlit beach, both of their lives are destined to change forever, and when the girl made out of the sun meets the boy made out of the moon and sea, anything can happen… but will the knowledge of their murky pasts bring them together or drive them apart?

Will Rebecca finally be able to claim her freedom? Will she stay and fight to be the girl she found on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or is she destined to keep running and hiding from a past that won’t stay Gone? One thing’s for certain: either way, nothing will ever be the same again.

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Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

                  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

REVIEW

Welcome! I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for Anna Bloom’s new book, Gone.

I feel like Anna Bloom gets better with every book she writes. I’ve read her Uni Files books and thought they were cute and fun, so I was expecting to like Gone and I was not disappointed! Often times when you read different books/series by the same author they use a lot of the same tropes and character mannerisms and phrases, so I was almost expecting a younger version of Ben and Lilah. But Bloom definitely defied my expectations and wrote a completely different tale with new characters that are nothing like the ones she’s written before.

Let’s talk about POV. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that I LOVE multiple 1st Person POV. It can be tricky, but when done well I think it really gives the best emotional payoff. And Bloom pulls it off beautifully. Bex and Josh both have distinct voices and I never mixed up their chapters. They each carry their own guilt and pain, which is a major part of the story, and Bloom manages to convey each in different ways.

One thing that always bugs me in YA books is the insta-love factor, but I actually think it works here. When one of them comments about how they’ve only known each other a couple of days, it almost surprises me, because it really does feel like they’ve been together longer.

While I felt the story was pretty well paced, there were a few chapters towards the middle of the book that dragged a little bit for me. Also I thought that the phrases “the boy made of the sea and the moon” and “the girl made of sun” were used a little too much.

Overall, I really enjoyed Gone. It was a sweet story with a deeper message of forgiveness and acceptance. I would recommend this book to fans of YA contemporary.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR:

July 28th

Kimberlyfaye Reads (http://kimberlyfayereads.com)

Flutters and Flails (http://fluttersandflails.blogspot.com/)

Camisado Mind (http://camisadomind.blogspot.com)

July 29th

Actin’ Up with Books (http://actinupwithbooks.blogspot.com)

The Phantom Paragrapher (www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com)

Stephanie’s Book Reviews (https://stephaniesbookreviews.wordpress.com)

July 30th

JRRichardson Fics (http://jrrichardsonfics.wordpress.com/)

Holly’s Hot Reads (http://hollyshotreads.wordpress.com)

July 31st

The Book Lovers (http://thebooklovers.org)

I’m Buried in Books (http://wwwburiedinbooks.blogspot.com/)

Books With Izzy (http://bookswithizzy.blogspot.com/)

August 1st

Inside the Pages of a Book (www.insidethepagesofabook.com)

Sleepless in Chicago (http://www.sleeplessinchi.com)

Good Choice Reading (http://goodchoicereading.com)

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Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

The City

The City by Dean Koontz. I’ve never read a Koontz book before and I was expecting suspense/mystery, but that’s not what this book is at all. I don’t even know how to describe it yet. I’m only a few chapters in and so far I just think it’s a little odd. I’m hoping I just haven’t gotten to the main plot yet.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Gone

Gone by Anna Bloom. I’m going to be part of the blog tour for this book, so I got a review copy and I’m anxious to start it. I actually might put The City on hold for a bit to read this instead.

What are you reading?

Cover Reveal: Gone by Anna Bloom

Title: Gone
Author: Anna Bloom
Genre: Mature YA (intended for readers ages 16-19)
Publication: July 28th, 2014
Rebecca Walters harbours a dark secret, and as the fifty-three bangles she wears on her wrists as a self-imposed sentence of guilt remind her, she can’t even begin to consider moving on. Not after what happened on that night six months ago… a night which she can’t remember and yet managed to change her life forever.
When Rebecca comes across Joshua Adams, man equally haunted by past tragedies, on a moonlit beach, both of their lives are destined to change forever, and when the girl made out of the sun meets the boy made out of the moon and sea, anything can happen… but will the knowledge of their murky pasts bring them together or drive them apart?
Will Rebecca finally be able to claim her freedom? Will she stay and fight to be the girl she found on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or is she destined to keep running and hiding from a past that won’t stay Gone? One thing’s for certain: either way, nothing will ever be the same again.

Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

                  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Review: The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2) by Anna Bloom

The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Lilah and Ben. They are meant to be a thing.

Well, they were. The best thing ever. That was until Lilah decided to teach herself a lesson and let go of Ben since she’s learned The Art of Letting Go.

Now it’s a new academic year, and Lilah has it all to play for and it all to lose as she battles scary lecturers, evil PR girls, and her own inability to make the right decision at the right time.

Life has moved on for Lilah and her friends, and life off campus is more complicated than any of them would have guessed. As the reality of being second-year students sets in and the study starts to build up, cracks begin to appear in the very fabric of their friendships. There is a chance that none of them are going to complete Year Two in one piece.

Facing down her worst enemy, herself, Lilah has to try and change her own past mistakes when she realizes that the only way she is going to get the future she wants is if she manages to learn The Art of Keeping Faith in herself.

The Art of Keeping Faith is the second year in The Uni File Series and continues Lilah McCannon’s diary as she searches for love, tries to find and earn trust, and ultimately discovers who she is really meant to be.

Sometimes the only way to meet your future is to face your past.

While I enjoyed the first book in the series, The Art of Letting Go, I had some issues with both the main characters. Ben was a little stalkerish and intense and Lilah was very immature and very drunk. However, towards the end of the book they both had grown and I was looking forward to seeing what happens next.

For about the first half -maybe a little more – of this book Lilah is still the same immature, drunken mess. Ben is splitting his time between becoming a rock star in the United States and coming back home to Lilah and living their everyday lives. They struggle through Lilah’s jealousy of tabloid photos of Ben with his PR agent and other random groupies and Ben’s jealousy of Lilah’s growing friendship with Richard.

While there is really not a lot that goes on, I enjoyed reading the relationship between Lilah and Ben when they were together. I also liked when Lilah starts to become independent and was able to live her life and even be a little happy when Ben wasn’t around. I didn’t like that her friends started questioning her love for Ben just because she wasn’t miserable all the time while he was gone.

With all the jealousy and miscommunication that is going on, it’s not a surprise when something tragic happens that seems to split them up for good. Even though the situation was awful, I think it’s the best thing to happen to Lilah. She finally starts to get her life together and really evaluate what she wants from life and from Ben.

I thought Bloom’s writing also improved with this installment of the Uni Files. Even when the pace was slow, I couldn’t put the book down. The writing was extremely emotive and Bloom does a great job of making Lilah a likable character, despite her many flaws.

Overall, I enjoyed The Art of Keeping Faith. While the first half or so of the book seemed to be just “more of the same” from the first book, I really liked Lilah’s turning point and how the rest of the story played out. I hope we get another novella from Ben’s POV as I would love to see what happened with him in the States and the real story behind some of the out-of-context paparazzi photos.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 3.5
Enjoyability: 3.5
Overall Average: 3.5 stars

Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2)

The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2) by Anna Bloom. I’m about half way through. I’m a little annoyed that Lilah is still an alcoholic and almost every day ends with a drunken blackout. However, I just can not stop reading. Bloom’s writing has just completely sucked me in and I’ve gotten quite invested in the dysfunctional relationship of Lilah and Ben.

What I Thought Was True

What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I got about four or so chapters in before The Art of Keeping Faith completely distracted me. The story hasn’t grabbed me yet, but I’m still going to work on it.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. I love Veronica Mars. I loved the movie. I’m really hoping I love this book.

What are you reading?

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom – 3.5 stars (out of 5)

The Art of Letting Go (The Uni Files - Year One)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon realizes at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enroll at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realizes her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

First of all, a big thanks to KimberlyFayeReads, for hosting the giveaway I won this book from! Free books are my favorite.

I’m generally not a fan of the New Adult genre. In my reading experience, it basically means it’s a Young Adult book with Adult sex scenes (sometimes Very Adult, graphic sex scenes that are quickly skimmed over). There’s almost always  a manwhore who changes his ways for the one, who just so happens to be very innocent.  They’re usually freshmen in college who are still teenagers and not really dealing with anything a new adult would be.

 So I was pleasantly surprised that The Art of Letting Go focuses on a couple in their mid-twenties, facing real “what am I doing with my life??” questions. Losing one’s virginity is not a main plot point and there are no graphic scenes at all.

Lilah, our main character, is twenty-five when she decides to leave her cushy bank job and her fiancé and start over at university. I felt like Lilah was a blend between Bridget Jones (the movie, I haven’t read the books so I’m not sure how similar they are) and a Sophie Kinsella character. Which means that she tries very hard to try to do better. Sometimes she succeeds, but mostly she wakes up with a hangover. While I found that she was funny and relatable a good deal of the time, I was bothered by how much drinking she did. She and her friends all sound a little like alcoholics.

Then there’s Ben. I read The Saving of Benjamin Chambers, the prequel from Ben’s POV, before reading this book. While I really liked Ben, I was a little put off by his new stalkerish purpose in life. I was expecting him to be a psycho, possessive boyfriend in this book and he really wasn’t. Even though he’s been in this relationship about 9 months longer than Lilah has been, he doesn’t ever push her. He’s just there – cooking her breakfast, walking her to the library from class, hanging out, playing his guitar. Even though it started out a little bit like “insta-love”, they really do earn their relationship.

I liked the secondary characters, their roommates and Lilah’s twin brother, Tristan. I was a little skeeved out by 25 year old Tristan going out with 18 year old Meredith, but they ended up being a pretty stable couple that I liked. I would’ve liked to have seen Ben’s band mates more, though.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Art of Letting Go. It was funny and sweet and probably the best New Adult book I’ve read. I would have given it 4 stars, except for a couple of issues. The plot involved a lot of getting drunk, having sex, repeat (though it wasn’t graphic scenes, so props for that). And maybe it’s a British thing, but I found the lack of contractions to be a little distracting and made the dialogue oddly formal.

I would recommend this book to fans of NA or Contemporary Romance. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Ben and Lilah next in The Art of Keeping Faith, which comes out in the spring.

Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Apollyon (Covenant, #4)

Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer Armentrout. Well, if you’ve read my reviews of the first 2 books in the series (Half-Blood and Pure) you know that my favorite character is Seth. In book 3, Deity (I didn’t write a review on that one), my love for him became quite diminished. This book is not inspiring any warm fuzzies for him, either, but I’m still holding out hope. On the other hand I’m becoming more of a fan of Alex and Aiden together (as we’re all supposed to be). The pace is a little slow so far, but I think it’s starting to pick up.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)  Legend (Legend, #1)  The Saving of Benjamin Chambers (A Uni Files Short)  The Art of Letting Go (The Uni Files - Year One)  The Art of Forgiving (A Uni Files - Christmas Short)

Sentinel, the last book in the Covenant series. I’m going to be a little sad to have the series end, but I’m looking forward to see how it all wraps up. Legend by Marie Lu is finally available as an eBook at my library and I’m looking forward to starting that series. Also, I was the winner of the Uni Files give-away (yay!) over at Kimberly Faye Reads! It includes ARCs of The Saving of Benjamin Chambers and The Art of Forgiving and an e-copy of the first book, The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom. Thanks Kim and Anna!

What are you reading?