Monday, January 6, 2014

Haunted by Susan Oloier

Do you ever bother writing book reviews for books you love?

I didn't used to -- until I learned how TRULY vital and heart-warming they are for authors. It's like anything else in life, a kind word goes a long way for both the speaker and the hearer. The more generous we are by nature, the better the world around us becomes. Period.

That said, I don't typically share reviews here for books I love, but you're going to see a few coming up on my blog -- not because I'm becoming a book blogger -- but because I've read some amazing ones lately that were penned, er, typed by people I know! And they deserve to be spotlighted because writing an amazing book is STINKIN' HARD WORK!

So today I'm sharing:


Seventeen-year-old Hailey Steele killed her boyfriend in a car wreck, which fills her with guilt and self-loathing. So when Eli Carter enters her life, Hailey persistently denies her attraction and developing feelings for him. It’s wrong to like someone else when your boyfriend is dead. It’s easier to cope in other ways, like changing schools and using alcohol.

Meanwhile, Jeremy McClure—not realizing he’s dead—waits in the cemetery for his girlfriend to arrive. He’s certain they agreed to meet. Why else would he be here? The last time Jeremy saw Hailey, they were cruising home on a dark and rain-slicked road after an underage party. What he doesn’t expect is an encounter with someone else.

Eli Carter has a jaded past. His junior year was full of skeletons, and his closet thrown wide open for the entire high school to see. But he manned up, and still got burned. With new girl Hailey, Eli has the chance for a fresh start, someone who knows nothing about his past. That is, if she’ll ever give him the time of day.



Buy on Amazon

My Twenty Cents:

Writing that Makes My Toes Curl

Hailey is a star in her own right, and to see her topple from having it all to questioning whether she deserves to be loved, well it broke my heart -- but how often do we get sucked into a downward spiral and can't see past our own misery? Eli is rock awesome. He's been through his own crazy trauma and has determined to forgo women altogether...until cute, tortured Hailey walks by. 

I knew when I picked up this book I was asking for an emotional roller coaster, but I didn't anticipate how much I would identify with the feelings of guilt and self depreciation. It really got me thinking about how I sometimes carry more weight than is necessary. I repeat, it got me thinking. Above and beyond that, reading Susan's words was like eating literary candy. Sweet imagery, so poetic, luscious prose.

I had to stay up until 3 in the morning to make sure these two would resolve their issues, and I enjoyed every moment. A beautiful story, tasty prose, and a plot that leaves you pondering in self reflection? What more could you ask for in a book?

Do you like contemporary stories? Is there a book out there you've read, loved and should get off your lazy keester and probably (DEFINITELY) review? What is it about a story that really grabs you?

Speaking of reviews... I woke up to THIS on Saturday. (Titled, "Not at All What I Expected.")

OH YEAH, and sign up for my SUPER STELLAR AND OH SO FUN Blogfest, eh? (DO IT NOW!!!) I promise there will be cheese.  

81 comments:

  1. The book sounds great... I love contemporary stories ♡

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    1. I'm not usually a big fan, but I did like this one.

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  2. I love sharing about books I love. Granted the ones I share about are middle grade (not everyone's thing), but for me, it's the personal referrals that get me to buy a book.

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    1. I ADORE middle grade books. They're so stinkin' creative and talk about PERSONALITY. I'm with you. If someone has personally recommended a book my direction, it's a done deal. With as hefty as my TBR list is though, I've been a little more hesitant. It seems the more I read, the more amazing books I discover. Dangerous. =)

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  3. Crystal, you made me all teary this morning. Thank you for the beautiful review. I'm glad you connected with the story. I'll be paying it forward soon. Moonless is at the top of my TBR list (and I, too, love writing reviews for books I love). Thanks again!

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    1. Susan, thanks for giving me the opportunity. Here's to amazing reads, eh?

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  4. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary either, but when others like myself make recommendations I have to take notice. :)

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  5. Congrats to Susan!!! Stay safe and warm Crystal!!!

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  6. I love Susan's cover and Oh she commented, so fabulous. Reviews are important, glad you're doing your part Crystal.

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  7. Hi Crystal .. I've written one or two reviews - but as I've never written a book, I really need to concentrate .. and make notes. I need to learn how to do them - something I hope to do in 2014 ... but you've certainly put the tempters out for Susan's book - so I wish her very good luck ..

    ... and good for you for trying something different .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I get that. The first time I left a review for a friend's book I was SUPER nervous, worried about saying something that sounded stupid or silly. I've since come to the point where I just talk about what the book made me feel, or the aspects I loved about it. (Characters, writing, setting, plot.)

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  8. Sounds like a wonderful book; I'll need to put it on my TBR list. Congrats to you for the great review of your book! ☺

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    1. Yay! Thank you, Dana. I hope you love Haunted.

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  9. Hi, Crystal,
    I do have a few books that keep nagging at me.Haven't posted anything since reading them. :( I've reading Haunted now and yes, it's a wonderful read.

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    1. It's awful, right? I'm trying to catch up on my backlog too. The only way it happens is if I write out my agenda on the calendar.

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  10. Great review! I love this book!!! Susan is an amazing writer! And you're right- need to make sure I post my reviews! so important.

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    1. Definitely. We all need a little reminder here and there, eh?

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  11. I know. It's hard to keep a book you've enjoyed to yourself. That's the reason I'd originally started posting reviews on my site. And Susan surely has something to be proud of with Haunted. I personally loved it!

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  12. Thanks so much for the review. I appreciate your thoughts. I knew that reviews were helpful for authors, but hadn't realized just how helpful till my book came out. Yeah, they are a blessing! :)

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  13. Ugh, I'm terrible at writing reviews. But I know I really should do them. *sigh* That aside, Haunted sounds great. Definitely adding it to my to-read list.

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  14. I recently read another review of this book who also gave rave reviews. It sounds like a great read. Adding it to TBR. :)

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  15. I do love contemporary. They are full of real people, which I love.

    Haunted sounds great!

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  16. I can see why you like this book. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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    1. That's because you're looking through your camera. Yup. Things look much clearer through a lens, eh?

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  17. I don't feel like I'm good at writing reviews, but I do it because if I've enjoyed a book, I'm eager to spread the word. And word of mouth is how I fill up my TBR list. Thanks for spotlighting Haunted. I loved contemporary YA. Looks like my list just got a little longer.

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    1. Hey, as long as it doesn't turn into a stack that avalanches on you, I'm going to call it good. =)

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  18. Ooh, this one sounds interesting!

    I do like to share thoughts about middle grade books on my blog and I hope that it helps spread the word about the book to help the author. I've gotten some nice comments from the authors (that helps motivate me!) and a few kids at my school have even used my blog to give them ideas for what to read.

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    1. Rightly so! It's so very difficult to get the word out about middle grade books, but I'm ALWAYS looking for new books to toss at my kids. (And self.)

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  19. I do write reviews for books that I really like. It's only fair. I enjoy the ones I get so much.
    Susan's book sounds pretty intriguing. So does yours! I need more time to read!!
    I'm all signed up for the fest and I know exactly who!
    Heather

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    1. Yahoo! I can't wait to see who you picked, Heather. It's going to be rockin', eh?

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  20. 'Haunted' does really seem spooky, and I like spooky ....arrrrrrrrrrrgh!
    I don't feel that I'd be very good at writing reviews because I would only want to write positive and good things - but then, why not? It's good to boost authors' self-confidence. I probably wouldn't if I was going to give it less than a 3*. Having said this, it is all relative, and what one person considers wonderful, another person might think it's diabolical. That makes me feel as if reviews can be meaningless at times - ?

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    1. Spread the love. Write positive things, eh? I don't usually review books I'd rate less than a 3 anyway. I bury them. Deep in the earth. And hope to forget them.

      I always read a balance of reviews. Someone might be fixated on the grammar or syntax, and accordingly give an amazingly plotted story 1 star. There's a jury and a balance in reviews, or at least, that's my take.

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  21. Wow, Haunted sounds amazing! I also really love that cover--so evocative, and with such a pretty font, too...

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  22. Hugs to you! How thoughtful. I try to read friend's works too. I mean, I have to back my peeps, right? Problem is...I am sooo slow. I know people probably think I forget all about them, but no...just plodding along.

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    1. I know what you mean!!! I totally did the 100 books challenge this last year, and whew! I read Haunted in like 6 hours. It just takes a little practice to boost our reading speeds, eh?

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  23. Poor Jeremy. I hope Hailey won't disappoint him. I'd love to read that book. Congrats Susan.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not so worried about Jeremy. =) He's got the easy role in the book. Lucky dead dude.

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  24. Sounds fantastic! I make an effort to write reviews too. I hope to have more on my blog this year as well.

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    1. That's because you're amazing cheese, Christine. =)

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  25. I;m sort-of the opposite- I hesitate to write a review if I DIDN'T like a book. If I loved it, I'll talk about it until my lungs run out of air. If I didn't like it I have a hard time letting my thoughts out. I think your right about the energy we put out in the owrld, so I want to put out as much positive energy as possible.

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    1. Definitely. I know what you mean. I hesitate over some books and have to search for something positive to say. But I find it, if I think long enough.

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  26. There's nothing like literary candy. Delicious...and it won't go to your hips! :)

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  27. I'm behind on book reviews at the moment, but I'll get going again soon. I love reviewing books and movies. Of course, when you have a physical copy of your book I shall read and review it.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. =) Janie, you make me smile every time you say that.

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  28. That sounds like a compelling storyline, for sure. And emotionally rough. I'll post about your blog hop for Moonless this Wednesday or next.

    The Warrior Muse

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  29. That cover is beautiful!! and sounds like it was a great read :) I've thought about writing reviews and have been asked, but I don't think I could ever do books justice, this review was great though! :)

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    1. Sure you could, in two words: "Loved it!" ;)

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  30. I do write some reviews. This sounds like a great read.

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  31. thanks for the review! This sounds right up my alley!

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  32. Great review! Don't you love a book that you can just fall into?

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  33. Like you, I rarely review books on my blog unless it blows me away and is written by someone I know. Thanks for this review. I love contemporary.

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    1. I really should do it differently though. *sigh* I should share everyone's amazing reviews. If only there was more time/energy...

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  34. I loved this book too, Susan is so talented! Your comment about literary candy is so right-on, she has such a gift with language.

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  35. I just finished reading Haunted today and loved it.

    As for what you should review next. How about my book? :-P

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  36. How great to see Susan here. I love all this support writers give each other!

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  37. I agree with you that writing reviews for books we love is great for the authors and it puts good stuff out into the universe. :)

    I have been hearing a lot about this book. Awesome cover! I am glad you enjoyed this book so much. I look forward to reading it. I am sure I will stay up half the night, too! Sounds SO good. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. =) Be sure to prep with a plate of cheese and crackers, eh?

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  38. Just reading your review made my throat clog a little...I guess I have to read this book. But first I guess I need to be reviewing some other awesome books I have read! LOL

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  39. I always find myself staying up into the wee small hours - I can't stop reading a god book just because it's bedtime!! This book is already on my reading list, but your review makes me want to read even sooner. See, that's how awesome reviews are :-)

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    1. I KNOW!!! Thankfully my reading speed has improved so I can crunch a book quickly, but I often find myself gauging the remaining length and calculating, "Well I could finish it in two hours, which would only make it 2 a.m.. Yeah, I could do that."

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Hit me with your cheese!