Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Finding Laila By T.K. Rapp

Title: Finding Laila
Author: T.K. Rapp
Release Date: Jan 13, 2015
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Joey, Cole, Haden and Braxton have been a constant in my life since I was five, and I have loved being one of the guys.
I’ve been cheerleader.
I’ve been study partner.
I’ve been listener.
When we’re young, we don’t realize the profound impact certain people will have on our lives. I had no idea twelve years ago I’d meet four boys who would turn out to be my best friends, my soul mates - my barmy.
Now school is almost done, our last summer together is drawing closer, and I’m trying to hold on to what we have while I still can. After this we’ll have to say goodbye to each other, as our choices will take our lives in different directions. But I don't know if our friendship can survive once secrets and surprises begin revealing themselves to us at every turn.
When it’s all said and done, will our friendships remain unbreakable? Or will our once strong bond prove to be weaker than we anticipated?
Letting go is harder than I thought, but some changes are necessary.
And finding Laila…finding myself…may be the greatest journey of all.

4.5 Star Review by Jen Skewes

Words cannot even begin to describe how much I loved this book.  It is one of those books that just makes you feel.  It is a beautiful and amazing story about finding one’s self with the help of four amazing friends. 

When Laila was five years old she moved to a new neighborhood with her parents and that is where she met four boys who would be her biggest support system through her life.  Cole, Braxton, Joey and Haden have been friends with Laila for the past 12 years.   It has always been just the five of them.  They are each other's support system and all though all five are different and unique in their own way they are there for each other no matter what.  

This is their last year of high school.  For Laila these four boys have been her rock.  She doesn’t have any girlfriends because being best friends with four boys causes people to talk.  They either think she is dating all 4 of them and talking behind her back or they want to be her friend because they want to date on of her “guys”. But this is it.  This is the year where they all decide how to begin the next stage in their life.  It terrifies Laila to know that the four people who know her better than anyone will soon be leaving to start college soon.  How will she be able to make it without them?  What will happen when the summer comes to an end and they all go their separate ways?  

These five best friends have an amazing bond that is like no other.  And I think that no matter where they are in life they will always have that bond.  And that is one of the many things that I loved about this story.  This is Laila’s journey to finding herself.  Along the way she found love, new friendships, things about herself that terrified her.  But through it all she had her best friends.  Each guy played a different role in her life.  Together they were all very close but they each opened up to Laila in their own way, in ways that they couldn’t always open up to each other, at least not right away.  And in return they were always there for her.   They each had different personalities and even in school had other friends but no matter what they always made time for each other and it always came back to the five of them.

I can’t say enough about this book.  It is by far one of my favorites this year, even though the year has just begun.  It just makes you feel.  I felt like I was a part of this close circle of friends.  I wanted to know all about them, what they were thinking, what they were feeling, what secrets they were keeping.  I related to some of them on different levels.  I laughed with them, I cried with them and most of all I wanted to see them all just be happy.  Finding Laila is one of those books that at the end it leaves you with a hang over and wanting more.  The epilogue will completely surprise you in ways I cannot explain.  Everyone needs to read this story.  It is about love, true friendships, finding yourself, and yet so much more.  I think the only reason I did not give this 5 stars is because I needed more in the end.  I needed to see this group of friends in five years and know that they all made it through college and still found their way back to each other.  I would love perhaps a novella to continue Laila’s story and the guys as well.  I would love to see where they all end up.  But either way this story is amazing and one that everyone should read!!

“I guess we know the flavor of the week,” a female voice says from behind me, causing several others with her to laugh.
I know they’re talking about me. They’re always talking about me. It’s been this way since I was in seventh grade, but I’ve made it my mission to ignore it.
“She certainly gets around,” another voice chimes in.
Cole is sitting to my left, Haden to my right and both guys are staring at the field, but neither is paying attention to the game. I watch out of my peripheral as Haden’s forearm muscles tense and relax while Cole bites his lip. They are intently focused on the words being thrown at me, but keep quiet for the time being.
“She must be good because they all stick around,” a guy’s voice states in salacious tone that makes me nauseous.
I don’t wait for another barb to be hurled my way, even though I know it’s coming. I throw my arm around Haden and whisper something in his ear before kissing his cheek then turning to do the same to Cole. I lean forward to see Joey, who is next to Cole and give him a wink, “I’ll get you later, Baby.”
He shakes his head and laughs, “Why must you stir the pot?”
Haden smiles - proud of my display - and it pushes me on.
I turn to look at the three classmates who have stopped chattering long enough to watch my little show, jaws hanging open. I shrug my shoulders, and answer Joey, “I’m just giving them what they want.”
One of the girls, Kasey, looks at me and raises a brow, “And what about Braxton?”
I glance over to Cole who’s listening to everything, but is still watching the game. He smirks, as if he knows what’s coming and a smile of my own begins to break.
They are gawking at me when I turn and wet my lips before winking at the girls.
“If he wins, we all win,” I say huskily.
“Touchdown!” The announcer yells and the crowd jumps to their feet to celebrate. All but the three jerks behind me.

T.K. Rapp is a Texas girl born and raised. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M and it was there that she met the love of her life. He had a contract with the U.S. Navy that would take them across both coasts, and ultimately land them back home in Texas.
Upon finally settling in Texas, T.K. worked as a graphic designer and photographer for the family business that her mom started years earlier. She was able to infuse her creativity and passion, into something she enjoyed, but something was still missing. There was a voice in the back of her head that told her to write, so write, she did. And, somewhere on an external hard drive, are several stories she started and never finished.
Now at home, raising her two daughters, T.K. has more time to do the things she loves, which includes photography and writing. When she’s not doing one of those, she can be found with her family, which keeps her busy. She enjoys watching her kids in their various sporting activities (i.e. doing the soccer mom thing), having Sunday breakfast at her parent’s house, singing out loud and out of key or dancing like a fool. She loves raunchy humor, gossip blogs and a good book.

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