Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour/Book Review - The Ghost of You by Amanda Burckhard + win an eBook copy!

Title: The Ghost of You by Amanda Burckhard
Release Date: 12/30/14
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Dates read: February 18-19th, 2015

Rating: 4/5 stars

Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.

A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.

The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.

Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.

My review:
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
     I enjoyed The Ghost of You waaaaay more than I thought I would. I found the premise of The Ghost of You really interesting. I love seeing books about the grieving process and how different people deal with it. But I've had some somewhat bad experiences with this sort of story, too (like the Kissed by and Angel series by Elizabeth Chandler. They're good, but there's just something missing from it). So, I was weary when starting TGoY, expectations low and all that. I was so not disappointed - TGoY was a sweet story that had me tearing up at times - something that doesn't happen often with YA contemporaries.

     The best way I can describe TGoY is an emotional rollercoaster ride - albeit an amazing one. I was almost as devastated as Emmy when Derek died, I was happy for her in her few happy moments with Logan, I was frustrated at her when she started taking the pills. I felt like I was living through everything she was and I think that's a testament to Amanda Burckhard's writing skill - I got so sucked up in this book that I almost forgot I was reading sometimes. The writing was pretty seamless, it only took me about a day to read TGoY because I just kept wanting to read. This book is seriously addicting.
     The characters were all amazing too. I loved every single one of them and I felt terrible for them for everything they'd gone through. These characters are all so real, they have their flaws and strengths (for example, Logan wants to help Emmy and wants her to open up to him, but he can be pushy at times, too, even if his heart's in the right place). There is nothing I appreciate more than a well-formed characters with flaws and TGoY delivered exactly that.

     The friendship between Skye and Emmy was a great one. I liked that Skye was a constant anchor in Emmy's life and did her best to help Emmy get through her brother and her best friend's death, and yet she wasn't pushy about it. She let Emmy heal in her own way while still being there for her. YA novels need more friendship's like this one because it was so refreshing to read.

     I only wish that we could have known more about Jess, Derek's girlfriend who also died on the same night as he did. I know that Emmy was more focused on her brother's death, and it was understandable, but for all she said about Jess being her best friend, I couldn't tell that much from her thoughts in the book. But who knows - maybe the sequel will be about the Jess' family?

     I think what I liked the most about TGoY is that it shows Emmy's grieving process in detail, and it's not a "generic" grieving process (denial, anger, acceptance, etc...) because not everyone grieves that way. Emmy knew that Derek was dead, she accepted it, but she didn't want to accept the loss of her hallucinations of him. It was very interesting to see Emmy's process of dealing with her brother's death.

     The Ghost of You is a wonderful novel about loss, love, and how life can go on even when it feels like it can't possibly. The characters and the writing are so alive and well-detailed that it's almost like you're living the story right along side them. I highly suggest you check this book out (released today so go go go!!). I am anxiously awaiting the sequel, and so will you!

P.S. Also, at one point in the book, Emmy and Logan are eating peanut butter and Oreo sandwiches and I'm telling you... try it. It's so delicious, it's not even funny!

About the Author

     Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.
Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she's been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.
She currently lives in North Sioux City, South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.
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