Monday, February 1, 2016

Release Blitz and Review: Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey

Title: Chasing Spring
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Feb 1, 2016
Find on Goodreads
I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.
I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.
To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.
I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved.


4.5 Stars
Review by Lisa Kane

Lilah Calloway is going back to Blackwater, Texas. She's been living with her aunt in Austin for the last year and a half, but her aunt has to go away and there's no way that Lilah's dad will let her finish her senior year in high school living by herself. She left town when her mother died and she wants no parts of going back. Blackwater is full of deception and hypocrites and liars. 

Blackwater, Texas-Population: small.

As if things couldn’t get worse, her father, who coaches the high school baseball team, tells her that Chase Matthews is going to be living with them for awhile. His father's drinking problem is out of control and since his mother died, there is no alternative but to let him stay with them. How much worse can it get for Lilah-she and Chase were best friends until both their worlds were rocked by tragedy. They haven't even spoken and now they are supposed to live in the same house? 

"He's going to be staying with us for the next few months---"
"I know that it's going to be an adjustment, but it's just for a little while---'til graduation at the latest."

Chase has spent the last year and a half without Lilah. Not by his choice, but by hers. He's casually dated Kimberly, more of a friends who became more for a while but it's not really going anywhere. He's uncomfortable staying with the Calloways, but he's going away to college after he graduates anyway. He tries his best to get Lilah to talk to him but that's not going so well. 

I'd been done the first day she'd started to ignore me, but she'd moved off to Austin and left a gulf between us. Now that she was back, I wondered if her silence would last.

Lilah has a need to know the town's secrets. Everyone has them. Everyone in that small town knows hers. It's only fair that she finds out what they are covering up, and let's face it; they are all living a lie. 

It wasn't fair that everyone knew my secrets but I didn't know theirs. The scales were tipped in their favor, and since I couldn't erase the secrets on my side, it was time to start weighing down theirs.
Lilah is trying to find her way. She's tried hanging with the stoners; Ashley and Trent may not be the best influences but it gives her an outlet to let off steam. Chase is the chosen one at school-he hangs with the jocks, he's smart and he's surrounded by the Diamond Girls. A group of the beautiful girls that are self appointed cheerleaders for the baseball team. Lilah doesn't really fit in anywhere. 

But Chase had said it best: this was our story and happy endings are few and far between. We'd forever be moving in opposite directions-after all, he was the golden boy, and I was the lost girl.
No matter how hard they want to-there is an ugly truth that separates Chase and Lilah. A connection of the worst kind and neither one is sure that they can ever move past it. Chase wants to move on and not let his father's descent into the bottle and his mother's death define his future. But Lila isn't there yet. 

I hated how stubbornly I loved Lilah. She could tear me in two and I'd still come back. A dark part of me wanted to hate her. It'd be so much easier if I thought she was as evil as she thought she was, but I knew the secret she tried so hard to hide: she was scared shitless, scared of letting anything happen between us, scared of looking past everyone's flaws to get to the meat of life.

Chasing Spring is a beautiful story so different from Ms. Grey's other works. It's a young adult story with serious undertones about substance abuse and betrayal and death. But there are many light hearted moments; particularly Lilah's memories of gardening with her mother, long before her mother gave in to her demons. It's about forgiveness-the kind that lets you forgive others but mostly yourself. Most of all it's about change-people can change if they want to; if they allow themselves to move forward and to learn from both their mistakes and the mistakes of those they love. 

I gardened because I was obsessed with the notion of finding beauty in the dirt. Dirt is chaos, gritty, full of bugs and decay, but from that dirt comes such immense beauty. 

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

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