New Update!

Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finding Lucas By: Samantha Stroh Bailey *Excerpt & Review*

Hi everyone, I'm excited to be a part of the Finding Lucas Blog Tour, so thank you CLP Blog Tours for letting me participate! Below you will see the Book Description, a great Excerpt, my Review, the Author's Bio and her links, so continue on reading, and thank you for stopping by! :)



Book Description 
(Via Goodreads)

Can you ever really go back to the past?

On her fifth anniversary with boyfriend Derek, Jamie Ross finds herself in a Montreal hotel room wondering how the carefree guy she met in a Chicago bar has turned into “the quintessential metrosexual.” Weighed down by Derek’s disdain for her second hand wardrobe, her unusual family and her low-paying job as an associate producer of a daytime talk show, Jamie reaches a breaking point. And when her new boss plans to reunite lost loves on the show, she remembers Lucas— the boy she’d loved and lost ten years earlier. What follows is a quest that is at times hilarious and at others disastrous as Jamie’s life transforms from run of the mill to absolutely crazy. But will finding Lucas give Jamie everything she’s looking for? 


Excerpt

Leah glides downstairs with the same grace and elegance she's always had. My mom is ethereal. There's no other word more precise. Tall and willowy, her once blonde hair is now silver and tied in a long braid that falls to the middle of her back. She's wearing her favorite pale blue gauzy skirt (the one with the tiny mirrors all over it, of course), a hemp tank top, and naturally, no bra. I've gotten used to seeing a lot of nipples around this house.
She pulls me close and kisses my hair, which I shrug off. Not giving up, she puts her hands on my shoulders and says, "Let me look at the gorgeous you. Hmmm, have you been taking your vitamins?"
"Yup. I guess they just don't work for me."
I never take vitamins, but it's a losing battle to tell her that because she'll inundate me with pamphlets about how flax seed oil will improve my mood. Trust me, it won’t.
"Oh, wait! I'll get you some new powder I've been trying. It'll regulate your hormones. You just put it in hot water, let it thicken and drink it down. It works like a dream. Hey, where's Derek?" she asks, peering over my shoulder to see if he's crouching behind me.
I lower my eyes and inspect the navy blue front hall carpet decorated, naturally, with moons and stars. "Um, he had to work. We just got back."
I can feel her silently examining me from head to foot. "Did he ask you to marry him?" she asks warily, and when I look up, I see the worry in her eyes.
Obviously, Leah's not Derek's biggest fan at the moment. "No, of course not. Is that what you thought he was going to do?" I ask, surprised, because Derek and I never talk about marriage.
"I never know what Derek is going to do, Jamie," Leah replies cryptically and shakes her head from side to side, making the turquoise and silver earrings Katie made for her tinkle musically.
Now, any other mother would expand on that, but Leah speaks more with her eyes and her tone, without judgment, without doing the normal mother nagging or clucking. But the result is the same. Anxiety.
"We had a good time!" I throw up my hands in exasperation because I want to prove to her that everything is okay. I don't want Leah to think I'm not happy. Her whole existence is about being happy.
But Leah just smiles serenely. "Okay."
Can't she tell me that she hates him? Can't she tell me I'm making a mistake by staying with him? Why does she need to be so easy and relaxed when she knows it makes me so tense?
I sigh. "Where's Rachel?"            
"On the phone. Where else? I'm glad you had a good time." She locks eyes with me, says nothing, and I want to scream. 
"We did."
"Hmmm." And that one word says everything. "Do you want something to drink? I just brewed a pot of dandelion tea," she asks, walking towards the kitchen at the back of the house.
I follow her lavender-scented trail and say, "No thanks. I just want to grab Rachel's essay and go. I have some work to do before tomorrow."
She turns on the stove and puts the silver tea kettle on the range. "Oh, what are you working on now?"
"People who look like their pets."
She giggles. "I'll have to make sure to tape that one."
Leah loves my show. Of course she does. She supports everything I do. If I told her I was running off to become a fire-eater at the circus, she'd buy tickets for every city and show up to watch me. She'd probably even light the stick. I know that sounds fantastic, having a mother who supports and understands everything you do without placing her own expectations on you. But, sometimes, I'd really just like a mother. 

Review
Jamie is in her early thirties, living in Chicago with her boyfriend Derek, and we meet both of them on their Fifth Anniversary, while they are taking a trip in Montreal, Canada. But...yes, there's the but... Jamie is just not feeling the love that she and Derek once so passionately shared. They have just become, or rather, Derek has become a man that is unrecognizable, in a posh sort of way, and Jamie, finally calls it quits, but of course she will face and hear some outbursts from her now ex-boyfriend. As she is continually living on her own and as a single, she has an opportunity from her TV Job to work on an assignment with her new Boss, Andrew, that has her thinking, what happened to her Friends With Benefits Buddy, Lucas? It's been 10 years since they have seen each other, so why not just go find and see him? What has kept her from trying to find him? Well, it's one journey to 'finding' Lucas, and this is a great ChickLit story that will just keep you guessing and laughing...

I have to say, that I very much liked reading Finding Lucas, and wow it's a debut? That's just awesome, because it was written Really WELL! First, I instantly loved the characters! To me, there are the good likable ones, and then there's the characters you instantly hate, so I believe there was good character development, especially with the main character, Jamie. I loved reading from her POV and felt that there are definitely relatable aspects, including her love of TV Shows. I found myself connecting with her on a few things. Her family might have been seen as dysfunctional, in ways, when her parents divorced when she was 12, and I understood the feelings that Jamie felt when the divorce happened. There are other things that happen after, and it can be hard to adjust and it can be overwhelming, and she unfortunately had a tougher adolescence, but as she grew up, she has had a much more love for and from her family, her sister, Rachel, and her four parents, and the interactions between this family seemed believable, and I just really enjoyed the different scenes Jamie shared with her family. You will learn so much about Jamie, and including the effects from this latest break up, and you'll read what she wants most in life, and I felt for her. 

Jamie has some good and much needed friends including Hanna, Lucy, and her new and chirpy roommate/friend Amy, and again, these characters have some good background info that made their characters believable. These are funny and intriguing characters to look out for. Also, there's Jamie's boss, Andrew, who I really liked and he and Jamie share a somewhat trusting friendship, and their scenes were hilarious and meaningful. Then there's Lucas...and he is someone from Jamie's past and perhaps present? I liked how there were some flashbacks, and a background of their relationship, that makes it feel like they were truly special buddies. 

Now the story itself... was well done, and I think very creative! There are some interesting situations that occur that are well awkward and perhaps shocking (you'll see what I mean once you read!). There are other times where I think you'll seriously laugh at loud. There are comeback lines that are pretty hilarious, and yeah, there were definitely times when the inner laugh was not enough, and I laughed out loud, so I enjoyed the dialogue during those times. Now, there is a suspenseful event here, and that is Jamie's quest on finding her Lover from ten years ago, and I don't want to give too much, but I believe the story ended perfectly. I felt really good with how things went, and I think you will too! You will have a crazy/unpredictable/twisty type of ride with this lovely story, with definite laughs in between, and I now really look forward to reading more of Bailey's work, so this is a Novel I recommend! 
My Rating: 4.5/5
I say R-Rated (Some Mature Content) 

Author Bio
Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but a lifelong passion to write was born.

After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a fulltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other writers.

Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on Mommyish.com and many other publications. Samantha also has a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics. 

She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.




7 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Marissa! This review means a lot to me.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to have hosted you, and really enjoyed your debut novel!
      I definitely look forward to reading more of your work :)

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  2. I love this excerpt! It sucked me right back into the story. This book is awesome! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! And I agree, this is one awesome read :)

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  3. Loved the excerpt, and I'm so proud to be able to call Sam a friend of mine! Rock on, chick!!

    :-*
    Jenn

    P.S. I haven't forgotten about the pix/video I owe you, Sam, and I promise I'll get one or both to you before either of us dies. LOL

    ReplyDelete

I love to read what you have to write and I like to write back, so feel free to comment :)

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