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Blog Tour: THE MEMORY BOOK by Lara Avery: Novel, Secret, Review & #Giveaway
Jun 30th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

The Memory Book Banner

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT THE MEMORY BOOK:TheMemoryBook_Cover

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.

Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

 

ABOUT LARA AVERY:

Lara Avery takes her role as a young writer very seriously; she enjoys wandering the world notebook in hand, making her living off of odd jobs. One of those jobs happens to be publishing the novel Anything But Ordinaryjust two years after getting a degree in Film Studies from Macalester College.

When Lara left home armed with nothing but a basketball scholarship, she told everyone she was going to law school. Then, when she started interning at The Onion and publishing pieces of fiction in national anthologies, she realized her secret plans to be a writer all along.

Though Lara sat down to write Anything But Ordinary everywhere from a 110 degree apartment in Kolkata to a hostel in Berlin, she always felt at home in Bryce’s story. Writing currently from St. Paul, MN, she hopes her debut novel will be the first of many.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

My review:

The Memory BookThe Memory Book by Lara Avery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OH MY HEART! It’s aching right now! How do I possibly describe this book? How does one sum up a future unfulfilled, dreams extinguished, love found better late than never, a body ravished, memories stolen, the devastation of a disease?

beat
heart
beat

I need to hug Cooper.

This is a beautiful, heart wrenching, special book, and I loved
every
single
word.
Even the ones
that broke
my heart into m i l l i o n s
of p
i
e
c
e
s.

View all my reviews

 

Novel Secret by Lara Avery

A place that inspired the setting:
Okay, this is a fun one. The Memory Book takes place in the Upper Valley, a little pocket in the Green Mountains, along the Connecticut River on the border of Vermont and New Hampshire. I’ve spent many a week there with my best friend, Mandy, who is from the small town of Strafford, VT, where the main character Sammie also lives. I dearly love the place. If ever I become wealthy enough to buy a patch of land, I would buy it there.
Anyway, I’m going to tell you a story that also takes place in the Upper Valley, kind of. This is a little taste of 21-year-old Lara (I’m 28 now) and why it might be better that I’m writing books about young romance rather than continuing to live it.
Once, 21-year-old Lara had a boyfriend. We’ll call him Carl. She met him in her last year of college, and fell deeply, madly in love. Coincidentally, Carl was also from the Upper Valley, and a lot of why they connected was reminiscing about the places they’d both been there. The rolling mountains, the secret swimming holes, the winding roads. Alas, Lara graduated, and because Carl would still attend college, they decided to break up, being in different phases in their lives.
This did not sit well with 21-year-old Lara. 21-year-old Lara went back to her hometown in Kansas to get a job and save money so she could write, but she was miserable. While pining for Carl, she would wait tables and go home and lie in her room and cry. One day, about one month into her new life, she was to go to her cousin’s wedding in Virginia, as a lone representative of her family. She packed a backpack for three nights and boarded the plane, feeling no joy. Because she didn’t have Carl.
On the plane, she had a revelation. Virginia is on the East Coast, she thought, and Carl is also on the East Coast, at home for the summer in New Hampshire! She had a few hundred bucks saved up. Why not fulfill the burning desire she had in her heart for Carl? So when the plane landed in Norfolk, she did not meet her aunt. She did not go to the wedding. Instead, she looked up the nearest bus station.
Lara knew if she told anyone, they would try to talk her out of her decision. Lara did not want to listen to reason. Lara was in love, and no one could stop her. When her bus pulled into Washington DC, she told her family where she was. They all told her she was crazy, and to go back to the wedding. Lara said no. Lara called Carl. Carl also told her she was crazy. Then, for reasons to this day I am not sure of, Carl said okay.
So Lara rode the bus for two days, barely eating, barely sleeping, her body running on the pure, sweet fuel of Carl. Carl picked her up at the bus stop in Hanover (the very same bus stop where Sammie says goodbye to Stuart when he goes to New York), and they frolicked in the mountains. They swam in the swimming holes (like the Pot Holes). They kissed under the stars.
Meanwhile, Carl’s mother was confused. Who was this strange young woman who popped up without warning to stay in her home? Why was she always dressed like she was about to go to a wedding? Was she all right, you know, in the head? On the third day of Lara’s impromptu visit, Carl’s mother sat Lara down and asked her all these questions. This time, Lara could not use the fuel of Carl-love to escape logic.
Lara didn’t know the answer to any of these questions. But she didn’t want to go home and wait tables. She wanted to be a writer, maybe live in New York City. She wanted to be with Carl, but knew that could never happen. She just wanted one last week with Carl, that’s all. She wanted it to never end.
Carl’s mother was a practical woman. Carl’s mother gently led Lara to a computer. She pulled up the website for a bus that went straight from the Upper Valley to New York City. Lara got the message. It was time to go. She would go to New York with no money and three days’ worth of clothes on her back, and maybe change the Carl fuel into story fuel. (She would last about a year in New York, still waiting tables, still pining for Carl. And her family was pissed at her the whole time, understandably so.) Anyway, that beautiful, dappled afternoon, Carl and Lara said goodbye at the bus stop in Hanover. Lara wept like a little girl that she couldn’t just stay there forever, climbing mountains and swimming in the swimming holes with Carl.
So, in a way, the setting of The Memory Book is an homage to that crazy burning, keep-hold-of-every-moment feeling that I associate with the Upper Valley. The whole book contains so much of the bittersweetness of saying goodbye to it that day.

Tour Schedule:

 
Week 1:
 
Week 2:

 GIVEAWAY: 3 FINISHED COPIES (US ONLY)

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Blog Tour: RUN by Kody Kiplinger – Novel Secrets & #Giveaway
Jun 7th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

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RUN by Kody Keplinger

Publisher: Scholastic

Pub date: June 28, 2016

 

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT RUN:Run Cover

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who’s not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter — protect her from what, Agnes isn’t quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it’s the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo’s dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and — worst of all — confronting some ugly secrets.

 Kody’s NOVEL SECRET

One thing my readers might not know about me is that I grew up quite poor in a small, southern town. I’ve lived in tiny houses and in trailers – a few different trailers. And growing up, the books I read never reflected that sort of setting. Or, if they did, the books were all about being poor and how much that sucks. Only, I rarely thought much about being poor. Because where I lived, everyone was poor. So my life didn’t revolve around it. It was there, always weighing on the decisions my family made, but me and my friends didn’t think about it a ton. We had crushes and school projects and all sorts of things in our lives, all sorts of stories, that weren’t about poverty.

So in writing RUN, I wanted to write about a town like mine. A town where everyone is either poor or, at best, lower middle class. But I also wanted to show characters living in that town who have lives beyond poverty. Characters who think about poverty on occasion but whose stories don’t revolve around it.   I wanted to write about characters that teenage me could recognize.

While the town in RUN, Mursey, isn’t necessarily based on the town where I grew up, it does share some similarities, being small and in Kentucky. The culture is similar, too. And I tried hard to show that sort of world honestly – both the good and the bad. Because no matter how long I live in NYC, in my heart, I am always going to be a poor kid who lived in a trailer in Kentucky.

ABOUT KODY KEPLINGER:Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger was born and raised in small town western Kentucky, where she began her writing career after penning the New York Times and USA Today bestseller, The DUFF, at age seventeen.The DUFF, now a major motion picture, was chosen as an YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers and a Romantic Times Top Pick. Kody has since written other books for both young adult and middle grade readers. When she isn’t writing, Kody is posting about fashion and body positivity on her Instagram, chatting about her favorite TV shows on Twitter, or making videos for her YouTube account. Kody is also the co-founder of Disability in KidLit and a teacher at the Gotham Writers Workshops in NYC.

Kody is active on social media, so feel free to reach out to her on TwitterFacebookInstagram or YouTube.

GIVEAWAY: 3 Finished Copies of RUN (US Only)

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Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of RUN (US Only)

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