*Dances the Roger Rabbit*
Summary: 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.
I got all set to talk about the coolest, most awesome thing I loved most about this book, and then last minute I read the summary as I was pasting it from Goodreads, and CRUD. It's not even mentioned. Which means if I talk about it, I will be spoiling it for everybody. Dang it dang it dang it.
Okay, so, fresh approach, avoiding the coolest thing which answers "never guessing where he's really from."
So, obviously, HERE is a mystery. Eh hem. It's also a romance, but it's special in a certain regard, which I can't talk about because that's also not mentioned, and that would be giving away something quite major. Hm...
The amazing thing is, even with so much of the story being a complete surprise (and those surprises being some of most memorable aspects of the book), the summary itself is really compelling even without those spoilers. That should give you an idea of what to expect from HERE.
(I totally just talked in circles--but bear with me.)
So let's focus on non-spoiler things. Like Julia. She's emotional, a little lost, suffering from intense survivor's guilt. The amazing thing is that Julia still manages to come across as a three dimensional character with a well rounded personality; she's not just 'the depressed character." She's got issues outside of the death of her friend Monica. Like her parents. And school. Lack of self confidence. And eerie occurrences (this is where the story elevates to a higher, more intense level). It's got a bit of a science fiction flare, but very accessible, with teen drama that makes the fantasy of it still feel really relatable. Swank captures well that angst that seems to drive teenage existence without overwhelming the reader with it.
It's easy to get carried away with HERE, to just rush through the pages. It's filled with tension that drives you forward, propelling you headfirst into the fantasy element without you even realizing it's happening. It's quite a genre buster--a story that feels like a YA romantic mystery, but it pulls elements from history, sort of...bending them...while throwing in some SF/F that ultimately shapes the mystery into a thriller.
I really like genre busters, so this is awesome.
HERE is cool and different from so much of the YA that is out there now, though I predict we'll see more books like this in the next year or two. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how it's different without ruining it for you. Just trust me on this.
Win a Signed copy of HERE by Denise Grover Swank
Hey, guess what? After some pleading and serious whining, I managed to procure a signed copy of Denise's book to give away. Cool, huh? All you have do is fill in your name and email on this form:
Enter HERE to win a Signed HERE by Denise Grover Swank
This giveaway is international and ends Friday, December 16, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter.
Thanks so much for entering and commenting and being all around supreme. Oh, and if you just can't wait to see if you won and would like to pick up a copy of HERE for yourself, check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. But enter anyway. Cuz it's signed.
OH, and come back again because I've got some more surprises for you guys. You realize I haven't done giveaways in like a million years? Let's remedy that. Tomorrow maybe? (Sorry, I'm not trying to be vague--I just never know if I'll find time to do this stuff.)
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR THE WINNER.
Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting today!
Nikki Katz dishes on WHY WE BROKE UPElana Johnson roars for FURY
Shannon Whitney Messenger marvels at A MILLION SUNS plus a preorder giveaway
Carolina M Valdez is all about HERE with giveaway
Gretchen McNeil twirls for AUDITION
Corrine Jackson hails THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF ME AND YOU
Stasia Ward Kehoe is wild for DON’T BREATHE A WORD
Katy Upperman gets in the spirit with ELF ON A SHELF
Okay, so this is really weird. I can't figure out why all the names except Nikki's are all white. I tried to fix it and ended up with something weirder than this, so white background it is. Sorry.
And the winner of HERE by Denise Grover Swank is
Kate A. E.
Congratulations, Kate! Please contact me with an address to which I can send your book.
Thank you so much to all who entered! More giveaways coming up!