September 15, 2015

Until Beth Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

http://www.memyshelfandi.com/2015/07/mmsai-tours-presents-until-beth-by-lisa.html
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for UNTIL BETH! I'm so excited to be kicking off the tour today! I'll be sharing my review of the book with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.


Until Beth
Author: Lisa Amowitz
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
260 pages

Description:

She doesn’t just play, she kills it. 

Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good. 

Then she's accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they're also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who's so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who's trying to tell her something but is hiding even more? 

And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out? 

PRAISE FOR UNTIL BETH:

"I wish I could have read about a protagonist like Beth when I was growing up--a girl who doesn't fit into her society and must learn to use her abilities for good instead of evil. Her struggles will resonate with teen readers, and the hidden agendas of the school and its students will keep readers guessing up to the final page." - Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of Rogue

"This unique and compelling novel grabbed me on the first page and wouldn't let go. With unforgettable characters and a story that is by turns heartbreaking, thrilling and uplifting, UNTIL BETH is a must-read.” - Christine Johnson, author of The Gathering Dark


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22459608-until-beth?ac=1
Until Beth is a refreshing young adult mystery with some paranormal aspects blended in that will have readers eagerly reading as fast as they can in order to figure out what's really going on. I'm a huge fan of thrillers and paranormal fiction, so this book was pretty much a no-brainer choice for me. I was a bit hesitant because it seemed mainly focused on music - with the main character being in a band and then attending an elite music school. I figured I wouldn't be able to get into the story because I'm not a musician or anything even relatively close to one, but I was happily surprised when I read the book because even though the music aspect is a major part of the plot and characters - it doesn't overwhelm the story. I wasn't even bothered by the musical aspects - I think the author wrote the book in a way that the paranormal mystery is highlighted and focused on, with the music being background. That being said, this was a really original story and a great breath of fresh air for the genre. I'm always saying that there aren't enough good YA thrillers out there (although that seems to be changing lately) - but this novel brought some much needed freshness to the genre. 

The main character, Beth, is a great leading lady for the story. She's a complex person and incredibly realistic. Right from the beginning, we learn of Beth's grief and pain after her boyfriend and longtime friend disappeared. She's stuck in a state between knowing that he's gone and isn't coming back - most people have even said that he's probably dead - and being unable to give up on him or let him go and move on with her life. Beth's an incredibly talented musician - and it's her music and talents that are the focus of the story. She's also a great friend, a devoted and loving daughter and sister (even though she might not show it much), and is very determined whenever she sets her mind to something. She has obvious flaws and weaknesses like a normal person, which made her easy to identify with right from the beginning. The story is told in the first person point of view with Beth as the narrator, so we get to see everything that happens from her perspective. I'm a huge fan of first person POV because the reader is able to connect on a much deeper level with the main character than with any other writing style. The same holds true with this book - we get to see inside Beth's private thoughts, fears, dreams, emotions, memories - basically everything that makes her 'tick.' In my opinion, the author made a great decision when she chose to write from Beth's POV and it took the story to a whole different level that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

The plot was fresh and intriguing. I haven't read a book quite like this one before and it definitely stands out from the rest of the books in the same genre. The premise is fascinating with the mix of music and the paranormal. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started the novel, but I was almost immediately sucked into Beth's world and didn't come back out until the strange mystery had been solved and the book finished. With detailed descriptions and vivid imagery, the author creates a vibrant and realistic world for her story to take place and I had no problem imagining myself beside Beth the entire time. I don't want to give anything away or have spoilers, so this part of my review is going to be pretty vague. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book - even though I had reservations at the beginning. Like I mentioned, I haven't read anything quite like this before, so I found myself getting really into the story and trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. Overall, this was a compelling and exhilarating novel that fans of the genre will definitely not want to miss. I also highly recommend it to fans of music, mystery, paranormal, contemporary, and those looking for something new in YA fiction.


Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly twenty years. She started writing eleven years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency. shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com

BREAKING GLASS, released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series was released September, 2014. FRACTURED, a novella combining the worlds of BREAKING GLASS and VISION releases as an ebook only, June 7, 2015. UNTIL BETH, the first in the Life and Beth trilogy will be released September 2015.

Lisa Amowitz is available for guest appearances, Skype visits, school visits, libraries & interviews. Please contact her for scheduling.

Links: 

http://lisa-amowitzya.blogspot.com 
http://www.lisaamowitz.com 

Grand prize US:
$25 gift certificate
Ebooks of Breaking Glass, Vision & Fractured also by Lisa Amowitz
Swag
Handmade by author guitar pick necklace.
(International will only be ebooks and gift certificate)


Second prize:
Ebooks of Breaking Glass, Vision & Fractured also by Lisa Amowitz
(International: ebooks only) 

 






 

3 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed it! I love Lisa. <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for kicking off the blog tour with such a great start, Stephanie! Looking good!

    ReplyDelete