Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Entangled Blog Tour: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman and Awakening by Shannon Duffy

Hi everyone! Today, I'm very excited to be able to participate in The Entangled Blog Tour! I had the opportunity to ask the two authors one question so here's my little Q&A with Danielle and Shannon!!

In Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance, Lola does some healing in a rehab facility and in Awakening, Desiree finds rest in the Dreamscape - Is there a place like that for you too? Where do you think, is a universal place for someone to find peace and quiet?

Danielle Younge-UllmanIf I can get to a quiet lake, that does it for me. My parents have a cottage on a small lake in Muskoka and just the sight of the lake soothes me. Even thinking about it soothes me! And when I’m there, I find I can get quiet inside—like the Quiet Place they’re always telling Lola about in rehab!

As much as I want to believe chocolate is the solution for everything, I think the real universal healer/calmer is nature. It could be a lake, the ocean, a forest…whatever helps you disconnect from our every day insanity. There are studies about how nature sounds like birds chirping can calm the nervous system, so it’s scientific as well as anecdotal.
 
I want to say, also, that you don’t have to be an official “nature person”—ie someone who camps and canoes and hikes, et cetera, to benefit from nature. I am a city girl and a homebody, and admittedly wimpy about bugs and not keen on seeing too much wildlife up close. (Not excited to see a bear, in other words.) Sometimes I have to push my self to get outside and just breathe the air, but once I do it’s so worth it.
 
Shannon DuffyThere’s definitely that place for me and it’s the beach. I spend a lot of time in Florida, and on most days, I walk the beach. I love the sounds of nature, the soft rolling waves, and the sandpipers and other wild life frolicking on the sand while the  sun warms my skin. It’s so peaceful and it’s really my happy place where I can just be.

I think for each person it can be different though. Everyone finds their own solitude or happy place in their own way and that’s cool. It’s what makes us unique. I will say that I definitely wish I had a Dreamscape machine. I have trouble falling asleep a lot, so it would be sooo awesome to be gently lulled to sleep with the promise of only pleasant dreams.

Those sound like perfect places to relax and just read! Thank you Danielle and Shannon for answering my question today~ Continue on to read my reviews :D
 

Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
by Danielle Younge-Ullman
May 5, 2015
304 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.



Review

I went into this book not knowing what to expect but wow did I ever enjoy it! So darn much. I was addicted (hee) and read it in one sitting. It was laugh-out-loud hilarious!!

Basically Lola comes from a rich family where her divorced parents don't pay much attention to her so she gets away with things. When she learns her long-time crush is at the same rehab center (more like a spa) as her best friend, she decides to get herself admitted. What follows is a string of hilarious events as Lola slowly comes to realize that she actually does have some rehabilitating to do.

This book is so funny! The mood of the book was light and playful at first with things eventually becoming more sobering during the second half. A warning that there is a fair bit of language in this book. I personally loved it and felt it contributed to the reality of Lola's situation but some may be bothered by it. The words do fly out pretty easily.

Lola is such a riot!! She's witty, snarky, sarcastic, you name it. More than a few times, I burst out laughing because of something she said or did. I was just smiling and laughing all over the place. On a more serious note, her always-joking attitude was her way of shielding herself from hurt and disappointment. I'm sad that her parents were the source of it all. Because of her past experiences with them, she refuses to expose her vulnerability, choosing instead to joke about everything. I could tell that she really just needed to confront her demon parents and let it all out.

Lucky Lola has Adam! I'd totally sign up for rehab just to have him be my mentor. He is so supportive and beyond sweet. I just knew he was going to fall for Lola because she's so different from his serious demeanor. The attraction was apparent and their interactions after a certain confession were deliciously heart pounding!

Was the 12 step plan just a reference to rehab since it wasn't very present in the story? Putting aside the reason Lola went to Sunrise in the first place, I loved all the development she made once there. She was brave to admit her faults/mistakes. It was convincing that things weren't perfect by the end because that's real life. Conflicts don't resolve so easily but Lola's at a good place to start healing and patching up relationships. 

I was the tiniest bit bothered by how some characters didn't have to face the consequences of their actions. They weren't all that important but I felt like I lacked an ending from them. I think it's safe to say they failed at grasping the meaning of rehab.

The story ended on a nice note. There was closure but I'm a little sad because it felt rushed. I wish I was given more time to fully revel in the cutest that is Lola and Adam. Nevertheless, this will be a story I reread for all the funny roll-on-floor-laughing moments!

4.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


Awakening by Shannon Duffy
Awakening
by Shannon Duffy 
April 7, 2015
352 pages

Goodreads Summary:
A thrilling, futuristic sci-fi novel set in a unique and thought-provoking world, from author Shannon Duffy.

Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out—her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn't even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped from the Terrorscape—a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants—and needs Desiree's help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she's ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it's too late?


Review

The story in Awakening had both unique and familiar elements to dystopian novels. I found myself really enjoying the world but at the same time feeling conflicted with the story. It was predictable. My mind kept wandering off in directions the story could have taken to make it different and stand out more.

All her life, Desiree has always followed the rules set out by the governing body known as The Protectorate. Their motto has always been in keeping its people safe and worry-free so she's never had any reason to doubt their ways. That is until her childhood friend, Darian who was convicted of murder, escapes from jail and asks her for her help. It isn't until then that Desiree starts to really question The Protectorate's pairing of her with the guy she's loathed since childhood and the occupation they've chosen for her. If those are the best choices for her then why doesn't she feel the same way? Pretty soon, Desiree finds herself tangled up in webs of lies struggling to uncover the truths before they can get buried again.

The idea of the world was eye-opening. Life would be so much easier if it was already all planned out for us. We would not know any better. Ignorance is bliss right? But of course absolute perfection is impossible and the more The Protectorate tried to create that illusion and hide its lies, the more impact the truth held. The implications were clear - The Protectorate isn't good. Darian sets out to expose them and would stop at nothing to get justice. Meanwhile Desiree digs deeper to remember Sophia and what was done to her and her family to make them forget. The two of them could not be stop. I'm content that Desiree gets rewarded in the end to not only see her little sister alive but also doing really well.

I couldn't help but notice a lot of similarities between Awakening and other well-known dystopian books I've read. The love story ran parallel to that of Delirium and Legend while the strict rule-following society felt like Divergent and the true Terroscape came close to The Hunger Games. Even with these similarities though, I feel the differences were obvious enough for me to enjoy the story as new.

I don't think there needs to be a sequel but considering how the story ended, there definitely is room for one. While the ending gives us closure on certain issues, quite a few things were still left unanswered. I really hope if there's a sequel, it would focus on giving us answers to the bigger picture. Overall, if you're a fan of dystopians, give this one a try for sure!

3 Cats
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.

Thank you for stopping by today and make sure you check out the other blogs on this tour for more awesome Q&As and reviews!!!

The Entangled Blog Tour Postcard

2 comments:

  1. Okay laugh out loud hilarious is something I could so use right now! I will have to mark this one down to read for sure!
    Great reviews on both of these Eileen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! <3 Lola is so fun, I'm sure you'll love her :D

      Delete

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