Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review - From the Wreckage

Happy Monday, everyone! Today, I have another book review for you all. This one is from my December blog event TBR, and will go into the 2015 Time for Books Review Team pool of reviews. I'll start off with a little recap of reviews, introduce the book for today, and then get on to the juicy stuff. This was supposed to go up Friday, but I didn't get done, and you all know I don't review what I don't finish. If you happen to be around at 10am EST, jump on over to my live radio show! I have Delphina Henley with me today, and we'll have live callers for the last ten minutes. This is your chance to ask questions. Go here. If you miss it live, it's okay! It'll push to iTunes by 11am. Anywho, grab a cup of coffee and let's get to it, shall we?

Recap:
The Release Club 1 - Misty Provencher - Review HERE
Dry Stories - Kate Baggot - Review HERE
Fragile Creatures - Kristina Circelli - Review HERE
8 Weeks - Bethany Lopez - Review HERE
Moonlight - David Rose - Review HERE
Refuge - Violet Haze - Review HERE
From the Wreckage - Michelle G. Miller - Review below

Currently reading: Bound by Duty - Stormy Smith - Amazon Kindle $2.99

Shadows on Snow (A Flipped Fairy Tale) - Starla Hutchon - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge - Christine Nolfi - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Facade: A Vampire Love Story - R. M. Webb - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Siren - Jennifer Melzer - Amazon Kindle (Pre-order) $3.99 Grab a sample on Drive!
Queen of Someday - Sherry Ficklin - Amazon Kindle $5.99
At One's Beast - Rachel Barnard - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Unseen - Stephanie Erickson - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Heart Thief - S. Lee Benedict - Amazon Kindle $4.99
Kindling Flames-Gathering Tinder - Julie Wetzel - Amazon Kindle FREE
Kinetic: Book One of the Kinetic Trilogy - C. M. Zimmer - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Destiny Finds Her - Miranda Lynn - Amazon Kindle $2.99
To Get Me to You - Kait Nolan - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Lady of Souls - Jenn Gott - Amazon Kindle $4.99
Sticks and Stones - Shawn McGuire - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Good Luck With That Thing You're Doing: One Woman's Adventures in Dating, Plumbing and Other Full Contact Sports - Karen Yankosky - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Desprite Measures-The Caledonian Sprite - Deborah Jay - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Last Guardian Rises - Rebecca Trogner - Amazon Kindle $0.99 

Information about the book being reviewed today:

Title: From the Wreckage
Author: Michelle G. Miller
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Length (print): 232 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle FREE  ~  B&N Nook FREE  ~  Smashwords FREE

Blurb:
“In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.”

"Minutes - that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?”

For high school senior Jules Blacklin surviving the storm is only the beginning. Faced with the new reality of her life, she must find a way to rise From The Wreckage and answer the question - how do you get back to normal, when everything that was normal is gone?

***Will not appear in review elsewhere. By word of mouth, I heard there was an interesting concept and branding on the covers for this series. This one is stunning by itself, but if you look at all three books, you see things taking shape. Brilliantly done. I'd like to see the author's name take up a wee bit more real estate, but I love the look of this series.***

On to the review!

I grabbed a copy of this book when the author pitched it to me on my blog's annual TBR building event. Because it was free, I had to get the whole thing instead of just a sample, but I'm so glad I did. As I was reading to see if I'd like it, I found I was well over the sample size by the time I pulled myself back out. Needless to say, it was added immediately. When I finally made my way back to it, I read it pretty quickly. Anyway, enough about how I snagged a copy; let's get to the good stuff.

From a Reader's Perspective:
I can't even imagine a tornado hitting my town, much less being caught in the middle of one. Jules, the main character, is not only caught, she has to deal with the stress of the ordeal as well as a very serious loss. Because I don't do spoilers, I'll just touch on things I liked about Jules. She's your typical high school cheerleader dating the quarterback. Because I know Texas, I know how they are about their football. Her whole life revolves around the games, players, and other cheerleaders. This book did the environment justice, and Jules was a product of her environment for sure. I admired her for her desire to help the community, and her moments of being jaded after the incident rang true. I've always thought how typical it was of people to pretend they knew someone that was a victim of a disaster just to get on TV, and this is something Jules has to face and come to terms with. I thought Miller did a great job of connecting the reader to real-world scenarios and showing what people really think.

Oh, the emotions dragged out of me by this book! When it starts, Jules is talking to a camera, but you don't find out who it is she's talking to until about the three quarter mark. This is when things click into place. It will make you want to scream. Loss, love, and what can emerge from a disaster (both good and bad) are what you'll find. Very sweet teen romance with no love triangle and a clean read.

There was one scene that didn't ring true for me: Jules is talking about photographs and the hairstyle she has, a side ponytail. These were popular when I was a kid (in the 80s). But the book is set in the first part of the new millennium (I believe it's 2012). That would make these teens way too old (late 30s at least). Then it goes on to say how, during seven minutes in heaven (same approximate time as the hair was in style), a boy uses his cell phone light in order to see in the closet. Well, there were bag phones in the 90s, but everyone didn't have a cell phone that would fit in their pocket. So, even if the main character is late thirties now, the details didn't fit.

One other discrepancy: Katie has a blonde bob blowing in the wind as she leans her head out of the window in one scene, then has a braid that comes loose and is blowing in the wind a few pages later.

These are minor things that didn't take me out of the story, but that I noticed. The emotional roller-coaster ride overshadowed the inconsistencies.

From a Editor's Perspective:
Besides the two things listed above, there weren't many errors. I did find the use of ' where it should be " often, and pronouns were used so loosely I sometimes had to read back to find out who the she, her, his, and him were referring to, but it wasn't plot killing or anything like that.

Rating:
1 Star for showing me what it would be like to face such a wicked disaster
1 Star for giving me a main character I liked
1 Star for the romance
.5 Star for shocking me with the reveal I didn't talk about beyond saying there is one
-.5 Star for inconsistencies
.5 Star for editing
-.5 Star for editing
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars! A sweet, clean beach read that I'd highly recommend.

Have you read it? What did you think? Do you plan to read it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

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