Wednesday, July 27, 2016

YA Book Review & Blog Tour + Giveaway!: "Almost There" by Laurel Garver

Amazon // Goodreads

                      { Back Cover } 

Paris, the City of Lights. To seventeen-year-old Dani Deane, it’s the Promised Land. There, her widowed mother’s depression will vanish and she will no longer fear losing her only parent, her arty New York life, or her devoted boyfriend.  

But shortly before their Paris getaway, Dani’s tyrannical grandfather falls ill, pulling them to rural Pennsylvania to deal with his hoarder horror of a house. Among the piles, Dani finds disturbing truths that could make Mum completely unravel. Desperate to protect her from pain and escape to Paris, Dani hatches a plan with the flirtatious neighbor boy that only threatens the relationships she most wants to save.  

Why would God block all paths to Paris? Could real hope for healing be as close as a box tucked in the rafters?

{ My Review }

Almost There made me fall in love with the YA genre all over again. This is the kind of teen fiction I enjoy: An authentic and inspirational novel that accurately portrays the teen life. Throw in a romance thread, family drama, teen angst, beautiful wordsmithing, an artistic element, and weave them together to create an original, page-turning-worthy plot.

Honestly, this is the best YA novel I've read in a while. The plot was well-paced, and the story was a quick-read, but mainly because it was difficult to put down. The characters weren't stereotypical; instead, each character, including the supporting ones, were unique and three-dimensional. They weren't perfect, either. Even the Christian characters came with baggage and flaws, yet they were willing to admit their wrong-doings.

I thought the author did a perfect job of reflecting today's teen angst, dialogue, and struggles. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the well-written descriptions. Many books today are either too description-heavy in a way that distracts from the story, or they're too bare bone, lacking any details to aid in painting my imagination. Laurel Garver wove in setting and character details in a way that planted me in the scene without interrupting the flow of the story, and she did so in a way that made me feel as though I were watching a movie. The overall story itself was unpredictable. In fact, there were certain threads that pulled me along and kept me guessing until the very end. I also really appreciated the use of humor in the story, especially in the scenes that could've otherwise come across as emotionally heavy.

If you're searching for a quick contemporary read that is original, realistic, inspiring, well-written, and does not lack in depth, Almost There will not disappoint!

5 / 5 stars.

{ Recommended Ages 13+. Parental permission advised due to minor mature content. } 

** DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

{ About the Author }

Laurel Garver is a writer, editor, professor’s wife, and mom to an arty teenager. An indie film enthusiast and incurable Anglophile, she enjoys geeking out about Harry Potter and Dr. Who, playing word games, singing in church choir, and hiking in Philly's Fairmount Park.

{ Contact links }

{ Giveaway }

You’re almost there! Just a few clicks here and a few clicks there and you’ll arrive! Arrive where? Why, you’ll arrive at the rafflecopter page to enter the creative giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ Tour Schedule }

July 25
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Robyn Campbell-Review and Author Interview

July 26

July 27

July 28

July 29
Peggy's Hope 4U-Author Interview

July 30
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

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  1. This looks like a great book! I hope I can read it:)

    1. Great choice! So many amazing ancient sites to see, and gelati can't be beat. :-)

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review, Tessa! I'm delighted you enjoyed ALMOST THERE!

  3. Oh, I am SO going to read this! Hhhmmmm.... I'd probably go to South Carolina. My family just moved, and I'd love to see my friends again. =)

    1. And I just read Almost There and loved it!

    2. Wow, that was fast reading! So glad you enjoyed it. If you're able to post a review on Amazon, that would be fantastic.


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