April 23, 2018

#BookTour: The Summer of Broken Things by @MPHaddix ‏@simonteen #Giveaway and join the author from 7-9pm EST. @YoungEntmag for a Twitter Takeover tonight!

About the Book:

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.

Welcome to Day #6 of The Summer of Broken Things Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Summer of Broken Things on April 10th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win a copy of the book!

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 16th — BookhoundsYA
April 17th — The Book Rat
April 18th — Book Briefs
April 19th — Parajunkee
April 20th — A Dream Within a Dream

April 23rd — Crossroad Reviews
April 24th — I Am a Reader
April 25th — Page Turners
April 26th — Once Upon a Twilight
April 27th — Tales of the Ravenous Reader

About the Author:
Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.

Follow MargaretWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Teenagers and their parents. Discuss.

That always opens up a can of worms, doesn’t it?

Some of my fellow YA authors and I faced the request to do just that when we served on a panel called “Awkward Family Photos” at a recent book festival in Tennessee. But the audience member throwing that topic at us also asked: Is it true that YA authors need to get rid of their characters’ parents, in order to allow the teen characters to solve their own problems?

My co-panelist (and great, great author) Sara Zarr and I both gave similar answers: No, YA authors don’t have to get rid of the parents. We just have to make them incompetent.

Sara approached her answer more from the angle of talking about parents who are neglectful and/or just not particularly interested in their kids’ lives. Sadly, plenty of parents like that exist in reality, as well as in fiction.

But I went in a different direction, thinking about how often good parents with the best of intentions can fail to be much help. Or, sometimes, they even make things worse.

Part of this was based on my own experience parenting teenagers: Sometimes my kids had problems that I didn’t know how to solve either. And sometimes it was just a matter of them having to experience heartaches and disappointments regardless; short of locking them in their rooms and cutting them off completely from the rest of the world, there was nothing my husband and I could do to protect them. (And while some parents do try to isolate their kids from the rest of the world, I didn’t see that ending well, either.)

All the difficulties that teenagers might face—that parents can’t solve for them—can lead to uncomfortable and even heart-breaking dilemmas in real life. But the mismatch between what parents want for their kids and what they can actually do for them becomes a gold mine for authors.

In my newest book, THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS, both my main characters, Avery and Kayla, have parents who love them deeply (and Kayla has extremely loving grandparents as well). But a secret the parents chose to keep when the girls were little becomes a ticking time bomb, and when the secret is accidently revealed during the girls’ trip to Spain, it’s devastating for everyone involved—the parents no less than the kids.

The combination of writing BROKEN THINGS and serving on that “Awkward Family Photos” panel got me thinking about recent YA books I’ve loved with truly wonderful, involved parents (or, at least, parents who are trying to be that way) but painful experiences for the kids anyhow. Here are five that I particularly admired:

1. FAR FROM THE TREE, by Robin Benway. In this National Book Award winner, Grace, the main character, has very loving, well-intentioned parents. But as she grapples with the aftermath of giving birth, finding another family for her child, and meeting her own birth siblings for the first time, she faces several dilemmas that she may be better equipped to handle than her parents are.
2. THE NAMES THEY GAVE US, by Emery Lord.  Lucy, the main character, is thrown into a crisis of faith when her mother’s cancer returns. She also breaks up with her supposedly perfect boyfriend. Lucy’s dad is a minister and her mother’s a school nurse, and they are solidly there for their daughter. But they do have a few family secrets that Lucy wasn’t necessarily prepared to face. Reading this book, I particularly admired the way Emery Lord portrayed Lucy’s journey through faith and doubt and restored (but changed and less simplistic) faith at the end.
3. LUCY AND LINH, by Alice Pung.  This book’s Lucy is the daughter of struggling immigrants in Australia, and she wins a scholarship to an exclusive school where everyone else seems to be incredibly rich--and incredibly oblivious. I loved seeing how Lucy navigates both the opportunities and the pitfalls at the school. I also fell in love with her parents, who want the best for their daughter, but are not necessarily unhappy with their own lives.
4. SAINTS AND MISFITS, by S.K. Ali. Janna is keeping secrets from both her parents and friends: about the crush she has on a boy who’s not Muslim like her, and, more devastatingly, about her encounter with a monster everyone else thinks of as a saint. By turns funny and thought-provoking, this book shows a girl struggling to be true to her own beliefs even as she’s still figuring out herself and her world and where she fits in it. 
5. THE HATE YOU GIVE, by Angie Thomas. Surely everyone familiar with recent YA literature already knows about this book, but just in case: Starr has amazing parents, but they can’t protect her from certain realities of life in twenty-first century America. After she becomes the only witness to a police shooting of one of her friends, she faces both private grief and a very public decision. Her parents’ support definitely makes a difference, but she ultimately has to take a stand for herself.
My Review: 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Recommended Age: Young Adult 
Genre: Realistic Fiction 
How I Acquired this book: Netgalley, Publisher
Overall rating: ★★★★
Noteworthy experiences while reading this book:  When I started this book I really sure what I was going to find. I really didn’t care for her other series that my oldest had to read in 6th grade. So I kind of went into this one being a little prejudice against it. But what I found was so much better than I could have ever dreamed of. 

Check out author's other books? YES 
Recommend this book? YES YES YES YES YES

Notes and Opinions: This one is in dual POV with two amazing girls. On one hand, we have the rich and snobby girl Avery who thinks that the world revolves around her and her alone. And on the other, we have Kayla who is pretty much in the situation that I grew up in. Of course, I didn’t have iPads and social media (because I’m old.....ish). I thought it was kind of funny that this book was partially based in Ohio. Which funny enough is where I’m from. I might have grown up in Florida and that is where I live now. But my true home is a small little town called Wooster. And although it seems to me that it’s a lot more up and coming than Kayla’s town. It was still pretty small when I lived there. 

These two girls are tossed together when Avery’s dad has to go to Spain and pretty much forces Avery to take Kayla along. The girls hadn’t ever really been what you would call friends. But there was so much to their story. I won’t spoil anything for you. But the author did an amazing job with revealing it as well as leading up to it. Because what I THOUGHT was going to happen didn’t. 

So after they get to Spain I really thought that each girl held her own. You had bratty Avery and quiet Kayla just trying to make the best of this odd situation. Each girl had their merits and faults. And I really enjoyed seeing each one of them growing throughout the story and finding themselves. I could see a higher young adult book coming out for these two girls finishing out high school.  

The side characters in this one were great as well. Everyone had a part to play. I loved the boys from their Spanish class and would love to see them reconnect in a companion title. 

The events that play out in this one were both dire and not. We have friends and family issues. One major situation and a lot of little issues from low self-esteem via Kayla and well to put it bluntly Avery being a b**ch a lot of the story to start with.  Each girl goes through so many things during the story that it’s hard to put into word the way it made me feel.  

That being said I did rate this one 4 Stars. The reason for that was this book was set in our time period. They had iPads and cell phones etc. but a lot of things that Avery who was 14 and Kayla who was 16 were confronted with were times they either didn’t know what something was or they were totally clueless. In this day and age that just doesn’t work. I understand that they were from a small town. But hey most of my high school was Amish. It doesn’t get much smaller than that. (Yes we did have kids coming to school in horse an buggy at least once a week) that was in a very small town that my own mother grew up in called Shreve. So there is just no way that some of these things could have been not known. Other than that and kind of wanting slap both girls upside the head every once in a while. This book was fabulous. 

Go Into This One Knowing: Mean girls meet Road Trip Mystery!

Margaret Peterson Haddix Twitter Takeover

Who: Fans of YA and Margaret Peterson Haddix!
What: Twitter Takeover. Bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix will be discussing some of her "firsts" and will be answering reader questions about her books!
When: April 23rd, 7 - 9pm ET

Where: @YoungEntmag
How: Head over to @YoungEntmag on April 23rd, follow along, and tweet your questions to Margaret!

Why: The Summer of Broken Things, Margaret's triumphant return to YA, hit shelves 4/10/2018!

Alternating between Avery’s and Kayla’s distinct voices, The Summer of Broken Things gives readers a realistic look at a wide range of human experiences: from a loving, working-class family to a wealthy, dysfunctional one – yet, all may not be what it appears. Haddix’s raw and honest approach to themes of love, betrayal, reconciliation, and personal growth will resonate with young readers, as well as anyone who has ever been hurt by the people they trust the most. This story is about family in its many forms – and how it may be found in the most unexpected places.  

  • One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of The Summer of Broken Things
  • US only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. This money gets used to buy items for giveaways. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 

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Comments are DELICIOUS! and now that were using this new format for comments the TOP 3 Commenters will all win bookish goodies each month! So that is just one more reason to comment!  This is open to everyone!  So get commenting!  

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I'm excited for too many books, but this book keeps moving up on my must read list with every review so far. Other than Summer of Broken Things, I'm excited to read From Twinkle, With Love.

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