Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY + EXCERPT: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young




      

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Order your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

OUR REVIEW:

Shel: I had many thoughts as I read The Impossible Vastness of Us but the one that kept floating to the surface was how much I know many of my students would love this novel. Even though the high school experience in this novel feels more dramatized than what I see on my campus, there were a lot of feelings and situations that I really think many of my students would relate to. I couldn't help but feel so much for India and how hard her move across the country was; I know I've definitely had students who must have felt very similarly to how she felt on their first days of school at a new place. I think many of my students would also appreciate how India worked through the challenges, how she made friends, how strong she was, and how much she'd sacrifice to protect and support the people she cared about, namely Elle and Finn. 

Court: Oh, Shel, I thought that too! I loved this book and how it really captures a pretty clear picture of what it is like to be a teenager and really how they have some insane things happen to them and have to deal with emotions, and bullies, and abuse and gosh...just everything and it really shapes who they are. It is set along the lines of a Gossip Girl style upbringing so most people don't get thrown into that, but it really gave some escape from some of the heavy things that were happening. The writing of this book is flawless and really kept me hooked right from the very first page.

Shel: Another thing I kept thinking about was the character of India. India was an admirable character, but she was a flawed one as well; I think that's what I liked about her. I liked that she had all of these emotions and they were messy and raw and not linear. She owned how messed up she felt about things and owned that she didn't always want to fix them--those are hard things to admit to and I liked that about her. I also liked how when she was ready to confront things, even though she wanted to probably hide, she didn't. She took a deep breath and faced them--some grown ups can't even do that so I liked that Samantha Young gave her the strength to do what she had to do. Young also created a cast of secondary characters who were interesting and added conflict and conundrums. The secondary characters and their conflicts may be where some readers rave and some rant. Without going into it, I'll just say that without a doubt the secondary characters gave me things to ponder. 

Court: Did they ever! India is complex, for sure, but I loved how genuine it felt. She could be any of our friends, or daughters and I really liked that she wasn't perfect too. It wasn't all shiny rainbows all the time but she was positive, and nor was it all dreary either...there are some fun times, and sweet times and all the feels of life wrapped up in a beautiful book. I am in awe of everything...and every struggle. Shel is right though...we don't want to give anything away, but there was really so much plot in this book it was like my southern sausage gravy it was so thick. There is a lot to be discovered by taking a chance on this book! 

Shel: As the novel ended and loose ends were being wrapped up, I remember thinking two conflicting things: I hope we get a second book and this book doesn't need a follow up. Weird right? Let me explain. I think part of me was so interested in what would happen with Indie and Elle and Finn that my innate response to the ending was to hope for a follow up book a few years from now. Another part of me liked how 'real' the ending felt--not everything is settled with a pretty little bow on it and I really liked that. I know some won't but I liked that there wasn't a cliched ending and that there's room for the reader to decide on how some things will go for these characters (unless, of course, a follow up novel is written).

Court: I really had one of those...please don't be 100% kindle...moments, because I was ready for hundreds more pages! I really enjoyed this world, and really felt like some things were wrapped up, like Shel said...but maybe some things weren't...there is a little room for an "and then..." moment, and I really am curious to see is Samantha takes this anywhere else. Oh, the possibilities!

Shel: Great YA read that I hope to have on my school bookshelf when school starts in August; pick it up if you have a chance. Court: Agreed. This book would not let me put it down at all! And in true Samantha Young fashion she yanked HARD on my heart strings, and maybe I shed a tear or two...not atypical for me, but really this book has a lot of heart. 




      

About THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US:

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

   

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EXCERPT:
“You’re a great photographer, Finn.”
He leaned against the counter by the sink, seeming surprised by the compliment. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.”
Silence stretched as we could do nothing but stare at each other, and my skin started to feel tight and hot, as if I was seconds from bursting out of it.
“Uh.” I stepped back, suddenly needing more space between us. “So we should probably arrange a time to meet up for the presentation. That’s if you’re not planning to stand me up.”
He frowned. “What are you talking about?”
“You said to meet you after school today even though you work at the Chronicle.”
“I don’t always come to the meetings. I only decided to come work here because you said we couldn’t meet,” he explained, and if I wasn’t mistaken he sounded a little annoyed.
“Oh.” I refused to feel guilty for thinking badly of him. Refused. “Okay. Well, we need to meet up some time soon.”
“Yeah.” He agreed, looking at his feet now.
“I’d suggest Theo’s but it might be distracting for you with Eloise there.”
Finn looked up at me. “Theo’s?”
Confused by the question I raised an eyebrow.
“You said ‘Theo’s.’ You didn’t say ‘my place.’”
“Because it isn’t.” It was my turn to cross my arms over my chest.
Sensing I wasn’t going to elaborate on my feelings about the house I was living in and the people I was living with, Finn eventually nodded. “Okay. My place, then. Tomorrow.”
Glad we’d finally organized a time but not so glad it meant spending more alone time with Finn, I just nodded and stepped back toward the door. “Okay. I’ll meet you out front after school.”
“Do you need a ride home tonight?”
I looked back at him, surprised by the offer, but not surprised to find him staring at his feet rather than at me. “Eloise’s director has upped her rehearsals so she’s still here, too. Gil’s picking us both up in an hour.” I would’ve thought he’d be fully aware of Eloise’s schedule.
“Right.” He straightened and turned his back on me.
There was something about it that was vulnerable. Something about him that was vulnerable. I was probably insane to even think that about him—this beautiful, rich boy—but he was getting to me.
Nobody got to me.
Crap.
“But thanks,” I found myself saying quietly.
He glanced over his shoulder. “You’re welcome,” he replied just as quietly.
Crap, crap.
My fingers slipped around the door handle as I tried to get out of there at superspeed.

     
       
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About Samantha Young: Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017 Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015. Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.  

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