Friday, April 15, 2016

No Place to Fall & Will’s Story by Jaye Robin Brown | Reviews + Giveaways

NPTF coverNo Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown {goodreads}
Published December 9th 2014 by HarperTeen

Summary: Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

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Don’t ask me why it took me so long to finally get my review up for this book, but I figured after doing a re-read followed by reading the companion novella, Will’s Story, that just came out…now was the perfect time.
I am a sucker for books that take place in my home state, North Carolina. There’s something about it that really makes me admire my home and curious to know more about it. I’ve always loved the mountains of North Carolina, but in all honesty, I’ve never spent too much time there aside from the weekend trips to Boone when visiting my friends who attended AppState or to see the leaves come fall. No Place to Fall opened my eyes to more of the mountain country and allowed for me a whole new appreciation.
NPTF is filled with music, family, and so much more. It’s a beautifully written verse that makes you thirst for the sound of a banjo and the simplicity of a small-town life. I was able to make a few connections to the main character, Amber, which left me enjoying the book that much more. I could relate, connect, and respect her in a way that left me really engaged and invested in the outcome of the story. She has experienced a lot in her life and only wants to feel loved and to see her dreams come true. Unfortunately, she makes some choices that hinder her path to following those dreams, but in all honesty, I was able to understand her motives. She only wanted good to come from her choices, but of course, that wasn’t the case for her in this particular situation. Despite the choices Amber made, I could see some good come out of the events that took place. (Excuse me for being so vague, but you must read this book to truly understand what I mean.) I was able to see her relationship with her mom change and improve, the same goes for her and her sister. It was a domino effect so to speak. Although some dominos fell in her favor and others not so much.
JRo wrote some beautifully complex characters. Each set to their own song and dance. I love that. I love that no two characters are exactly alike. They may have similarities, but each one held their own. Amber, Whitney, Sammy, Will, Kush, Devon, Sean….they all were flawed in their own way and I loved that about them. It was so fun to watch them grow throughout the book. It’s a good reminder that the choices we make not only affect us, but quite possibly others around us. The choices Amber made allowed for her to grow and develop into someone much more stronger and confident then when we first meet her at the start of the book. There’s something to say for an author who can capture such growth so beautifully.

Will’s Story: A No Place to Fall Novella by Jaye Robin Brown {goodreads}Will's Story cover
Published April 5th 2016 by Epic Reads Impulse

Summary: Will McKinney is a bad boy. At least, he used to be. After nearly getting arrested for some poor decisions involving prescription drugs, Will has been trying to turn over a new leaf. Well, it’s that or suffer the wrath of his father, the judge. Will’s starting to get his life in Sevenmile, North Carolina, in order. He’s applying to colleges. He’s dating the most popular girl at school. And he recently discovered a love of playing the banjo and performing in front of a crowd. But it’s that same love of music that draws him to Amber Vaughn, his younger teenage brother’s best friend. Now Will finds himself wondering if he just might really be a bad guy because even though he’s got a girlfriend, he can’t stop thinking about Amber.

Will’s Story is a companion novella to Jaye Robin Brown’s young adult debut, No Place to Fall, and perfect for fans of her novel and newcomers alike.

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Let me first start off by saying…thank you, JRo, for writing Will’s Story! Oh my goodness, I loved being able to see inside his mind for little while and see his side of things. It made it even more meaningful reading immediately after finishing my re-read of NPTF. The voice is so distinct, but not so different from that of NPTF.
This little novella is a like a pocket inside of the main story and one that I was able to reach into and steal glimpses of what was happening, just from the mindset of Will. It’s most definitely a novella that I’d say you need to read, especially if you’ve read NPTF. I loved being able to revisit Sevenmile and get to know Will a little more in all of his mysteriousness.

JRoAbout the Author
Jaye Robin Brown, or Jro to her friends, lives and writes in the mountains north of Asheville, North Carolina. She’s in awe of magic and beauty, and is a stalwart champion for the underdog, both human and other. When she’s not writing, you can find her in the art room of the high school where she teaches, or on her small farm hanging out with her dogs, cats, and horses.

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*Giveaways run from Monday April 11 – Monday April 25.*


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View the other stops on the Will’s Story blog tour!
Actin’ Up With Books
B.A. Wilson Writes – Interview
Dizneeeesi World of Books
B.A. Wilson Writes – Guest Post
B.A. Wilson Writes – Review
Melissa Carpenter Books – Guest Post

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