Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here Tour Stop

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Today is my stop on the Here Blog Tour, hosted by A Tale of Many Reviews, and I’ve got my review for you as well as a fun This ‘N That interview with Denise. You also have a chance to win a copy! How’s that for a great day!? 🙂

Denise Grover Swank
Series: On the Otherside, #1
Release date: November 11th 2011

Goodreads / Purchase

Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can’t ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

*A copy was provided by Denise Grover Swank for review purposes*

Here starts off as a sort of light contemporary romance with a glimpse of possible paranormal elements to come. I wasn’t very impressed at first, I felt it was all very cliché, thus I was foreseeing another “same old” predictable paranormal romance. However, at the turn of a page, I was completely baffled by a sudden change of events which essentially transforms it into a rather dystopian/sci-fi novel. This was a very welcome change as, up to this point, I wasn’t really feeling it with this book. But boy was it interesting! I can’t say very much else without spoilers, but I can tell you that the plot becomes action packed, highly fascinating, and undoubtedly original.

After Julia’s accident – the one where her best friend died – things have been a bit off. She can now draw, she has no memory of the accident, and she’s suddenly caught the attention of the school hottie. Even though the plot at first didn’t completely captivate me, I did find a liking to Julia from the start. I liked her voice and being in her head. It’s emotional; her guilt over killing her best friend is tangible, her mindset is realistic and I understood her. This connection to her easily made the seemingly ordinary plot more engaging. Once you hit about half way, though, nothing about the plot is ordinary!

With a fair amount of romance in the story, we do have a pretty big love triangle in the mists. I wasn’t particularly fond of it as it felt as if Julia was taking advantage of the situation at one point, but I did like the characters involved. The boys are full of charm and wit; they are definitely a great part of the cast. I think we could have easily done without the current triangle’s appearance. The situation is VERY peculiar, though; I do admit that it’s thought-provoking, if nothing else.

This being the start of a series, there is more discovering and digesting, than actual world building. We could have gone deeper now that I think about it, but I was so enticed by what we were uncovering that questions only arose afterwards – which is fine since there’s more to come. I’m particularly curious about the alternate school from the first part. It sounded very ominous, but nothing came of it. I also hope we get to go back and learn what all happened once Julia’s world collapsed.

A complete and fantastic surprise, Here turned out to be extremely different than what I initially expected. We get a story that is exciting, authentic, as well as mind boggling; it makes you contemplate the ramifications of what has happened. I especially recommend it for fans of dystopians who like a deviation from the norm.

4 Hot Espressos

10 “Favorites” Interview with Denise Grover Swank

1. Favorite movie/actor/actress? Hmm… this is hard. All I can think is that there is one actor I will just about always go see in a movie—Will Smith.

2. Favorite song/singer? This changes often. Currently stuck on repeat is Relient K

3. Favorite place you would love to visit? Other than Starbucks? (See below) The beach. I love the ocean.

4. One item you cannot live without?  My iPhone (yes, I think that makes me pathetic.)

5. Who would you like to meet? (dead or alive) Wow. I’m so lucky to have some awesome people in my life. Umm… I’d love to chat with Suzanne Collins about how her concept for the Hunger Games developed.

6. Favorite hobby?  Reading and gardening

7. Guilty pleasure? Starbucks—I visit too often.

8. Favorite author and/book?  Sarah Addison Allen. I’d love to write as beautifully as she does when I grow up. 😉

9. Do you collect anything? Other than children and dogs? No. 😉 ( I have six kids and three dogs.)

10. Favorite color?  Currently: steel blue. Ask me again tomorrow and it’s bound to change. I’m a Gemini. Enough said. 😉

 Denise’s Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning. Denise is represented by Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary.

This post is a part of:
Denise Grover Swank is generously offering one ebook copy of Here for giveaway
Open internationally
Giveaway ends April 16th, 2012
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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21 Responses to “Here Tour Stop”

  1. Lynn K.

    Sounds interesting! The cover is creepily intriguing as well. Thanks for the review and interview, now I have one more addition to my tbr list. 😀

  2. Amy

    I have been looking at this book for a while. It sounds really good, but I had not really heard much about it. So I didn’t want to get it. After reading your review I am pretty sure I will enjoy it. Great interview too. OMG! 6 kids! My one is enough to drive me crazy sometimes lol!

  3. Giselle

    @Denise: Thanks for having me Denise! I can’t wait to read the sequel!

    @Amy: Dude I’m pretty sure you’d like this! 89% similar babyface! >.<

    @Lyn: Thanks chick! The cover IS creepy I love it!

  4. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    I think we have almost the same thoughts about HERE. I was interested in the beginning, what was going on w/Julia. But I wanted the plot to move on a little quicker. Once you get through the first half, wow! That was a dramatic shift that I really enjoyed.
    Nice review, as always, Giselle!

  5. Jenny

    I’d pretty much see any movie Will Smith was in too, I love him. He just seems to have such a great sense of humor, and I love someone that can laugh at themselves:) Also, if you do ever get to ask Suzanne Collins how the Hunger Games came to be, can you share with the rest of us? I’d really like to know too:) Thanks for the review and favorites list Giselle and Denise!

  6. Heather

    *high-five for Starbucks lovers!* I love Denise’s books and HERE is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Now I want to read it even more! Thanks for the great review, and the interview.

  7. Carina

    My review for this is scheduled for tomorrow and, like you, I was really surprised by the twist in the middle of the book. But it was a very positive surprise, so I ended up liking HERE a lot. Can’t wait to read more. Lovely review and interview! 🙂


  8. Mimi Valentine

    LOL that’s okay, Denise — the one thing I could probably never live without is technology-based too! x) It’s my computer. And given how much time I spend on it (for homework and blogging and everything in between), it’s probably not healthy to be so dependent on it haha. With six kids and three dogs, you must be so busy! But I adooooooore my little cousins and the kids I babysit (AND my aunt’s dog), so I could definitely see why you’d collect those! 😉

    Top tens are always so much fun! Thanks for sharing this, Denise & Giselle! 🙂 <3

  9. Sam

    Wonderful review, Giselle. I’m glad to hear this became a much better read after the cliched same-old start. It sounds like a good book! 🙂

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I want to go back to high school and be involved with a love triangle. Wait. You mean to say that doesn’t happen to ever teen girl? THE BOOKS LIED?!?

    Sorry, just being snarky. This story does really sound good and I like that, even though I’m not a fan of triangles, both of the guys sound like good people versus good boy and bad boy.

  11. Lexie

    I’m definitely not a fan of love triangles, but I may have to check this out when I can–I can’t say I’ve ever seen a book before that totally switches genres partway through, so I’m interested to see how that works. 😀

  12. Ashlee

    Wow, this cover is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the photography and the typography. It’s beautiful! The cover art, the summary, and your review have definitely made me interested in reading this book.

    Onto my wishlist it goes! 🙂


  13. Candace

    Holy cow, how do you find time to write with 6 kids?! I thought it was hard with two….
    This book def sounds interesting and I’m glad to hear its different even if it starts off feeling cliche. I love being surprised with a turn of events. I’m off to get it for kindle! (Though I’m not sure WHEN I’ll have time to read it.)

  14. Jac

    The words “Contemporary Romance” would have NEVER come to mind after seeing that cover! *lol* But this sounds really interesting, and I am definitely a dystopian fan who likes deviations!! Thanks (as always) for the great review!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books