Monday, January 28, 2019

Blog Tour: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry


Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), order your copy of ONLY A BREATH APART now!

Title: Only a Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release: January 22, 2019
Pages: 368
Review: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she's psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

You Can Find it At:
Goodreads

First Impressions

First off, I will read anything that Katie McGarry writes. No matter the premise, I will read it. There are a couple novellas I haven't read yet, but otherwise I've read all of her stuff. I was excited about Only a Breath Apart as soon as I discovered it. A new Katie McGarry release is always a gift. I was super excited when I got approved for the blog tour and got an advanced copy to read. As soon as I had some time, I dug in!

Characters

As far as characters go, Jesse and Scarlet weren't my favorite Katie McGarry creations, but I still liked them. Just so you know, my favorite couples are Echo & Noah and Rachel & Isaiah. Relationship goals right there. But I digress.

I really liked Scarlett. I sympathized with her, and just wanted her to get the best the world had to offer. I also felt that she and Echo would get along well. Scarlett has created the persona of 'Ice Queen' in order to handle life with a controlling/abusive father. She never knows when he might go off, so she and her family cater to his every need and whim. This makes real relationships hard. Scarlett acknowledges that, and that she is often the backup friend. She states that she's okay with that, but the reader can tell that it weighs on her. For a lot of the book, I just wanted to give Scarlett a hug. No one knew what she was going through, and so she often had to deal with issues on her own.

I wasn't a big fan of Jesse for a good bit of the book. While he was raised poor compared to Scarlett, he had a loving family behind him. That's not to say his life was easy, but by the time we meet him and Scarlett in present day, he's had a support system for a while. The only reason he doesn't have a stronger one is because he pushes people away. Jesse also has some friends, and while I find them interesting, I also found the quite rude. They routinely make fun of other kids at school, including Scarlett.

The romance between Jesse and Scarlett took some time to grow on me. I told a friend while reading that I was ready to ship it, but Jesse needed to make up a heck of a lot of stuff to Scarlett. Personally, I don't think I would have been able to forgive Jesse for everything, but Scarlett's a better person than I am. That said, the characters did grow over the course of the book, and by the end I was 100% behind their relationship.

World Building

One thing that was a big part of the world was religion/faith. It was vague, but present. I'm not a big fan of religion in books, but it stayed mostly on the supportive side and I know some teens really value that in books. So while it didn't land well with me, it wasn't necessarily a detracting factor.

Only a Breath Apart is a standalone novel. Some of Katie McGarry's books feature characters from previous ones. While there aren't any characters we already know, it seems to take place in the same general world. It would be fun to see Scarlett and Jesse run into some of our previous main characters in a side novella/extra.


Excerpt:

~SCARLETT~

Evangeline fans herself. “That boy is hot.”

Hot isn’t exactly the word I would use for him. Hot somehow feels…lacking. Hot is for some boy in our gym class who has recently grown facial hair. Jess Lachlin is no boy. He has fire-red hair, a sun kissed tan from all the hours working on his land, deep green eyes and a body made to handle rough, rugged days. 

I might have been ignoring Jesse for years, but I’ve seen him. Every girl in this school has gone out of her way to drive or walk along one of the country roads to watch Jesse as he works his land. Living across the street, I’ve had a front-row view. His shirt off, drenched in sweat, muscles rippling as he moves, the way he sometimes pauses in his front yard and looks across the road as if he knows I’m watching. A fluttering in my chest and then—

“Would you date him?” Evangeline asks. 

“No.” Camila’s answer is swift. “And it’s not like he dates anyone. Except for his friends, the boy is a recluse.”

“Why wouldn’t you?” The kneejerk question surprises even me when it pops out of my mouth. Camila and Evangeline look at me as if those were the first words I’d ever spoken. If I could hide under the circulation desk without making this moment worse, I would. 

“Besides the fact he’s cursed and anyone a Lachlin falls in love with drops dead?” Camila walks toward me and Evangeline follows. Camila watches me with more curiosity than I care for, but it’s nice that she’s moving the conversation in my direction. “Jesse’s a train wreck, and he taints anyone in his vicinity. Dating him would be a social, emotional and literal death sentence.”

I’m familiar with the curse, and it’s no truer than Glory and her prophesies. “That sounds melodramatic.”

“It’s not.” Camila has a swear-to-God seriousness to her. “Mom and Dad had Bible study at our house last night, and Pastor Hughes came. Everyone thought I was in the basement, but I went to the kitchen for something to drink, and I heard Pastor Hughes ask everyone what they knew about Jesse.” 

Eavesdropping. How Camila.

“Did you know that before Veronica started hanging with Jesse that she was on track to be a concert pianist?” Camila says.

“Seriously?” Evangeline tilts her head in disbelief, and I’ll admit to putting down my cell. 

“Seriously. And Leo Wheeling was a star soccer player, predicted to be the first freshman to play varsity for our high school, and then he started hanging out with Jesse.”

Faint middle school memories of hearing Leo’s name over the announcements regarding soccer emerge in my mind. 

“Then someone said that before Nazareth Kravitz moved here, he had taken the ACT in the seventh grade and received a perfect score. He moved here, met Jesse and the rest is history.”

Nazareth sleeps through most of our classes, that is, when he bothers showing for school. 

I nibble on my bottom lip as I’m not sure how much I like the Jesse-is-the-devil enthusiasm. I may share the opinion, but that doesn’t mean anyone else should. 

“Of course, then there’s Jesse himself. Drinking, drugs.” 

“The fights,” Evangeline pipes in.

“Don’t forget the suspensions—”

“And he’s been arrested!” Evangeline finishes Camila’s statement like the two share a brain. Her eyes sparkle like that precious piece of scandalous gossip was just too good not to spread. 

“The boy is a walking disaster,” Camila continues. “Anyone who hangs out with him wants to become a loser. It doesn’t matter he’s going to be a millionaire once he sells his grandmother’s land. Anyone who spends time with Jesse is asking for hurt.”

“And death.”


“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

Author Bio:

Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine's Reviewer's Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.  

You Can Find Her At:
Website

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 21st
@booksniffer7 – Review
Bickering Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Book Ballistic – Excerpt
Book Hoarder Mom – Review
Brittany and Elizabeth’s Book Boutique – Review & Excerpt
Celindareyesblog – Excerpt
Cinta Garcia de la Rosa – Excerpt
Crystal's Book World – Excerpt
Do You Dog-ear? – Review & Excerpt
Little Shop of Readers – Excerpt
Novel Addiction – Excerpt
Resch Reads & Reviews – Review
Sister Sister Book Blog – Excerpt
This Jabberwocky Eats Books – Excerpt
Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review

January 22nd
A Book Lovers Playlist – Excerpt
Beware Of The Reader – Excerpt
Beyourselfbebhaltair – Review & Excerpt
Booknerd1107 – Review
CeliaMoontown – Review & Excerpt
Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review & Excerpt
Echoing Books – Excerpt
GataLeitora – Excerpt
Its a mun thing – Excerpt
Mean Girls Luv Books – Excerpt
Mythical Books – Excerpt
Read more sleep less – Review
Stellar Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
The Lovely Teacher Addictions – Excerpt
The Romance Reviews – Excerpt
Words Are Life – Review & Excerpt

January 23rd
A Novel Glimpse – Review
Bewitching bibliophile – Review & Excerpt
Book Freak – Review
Books Are My Life – Review & Excerpt
Bookworm Misfit – Excerpt
ClaryNathanWill – Excerpt
Craves the Angst Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Latteandbook – Review & Excerpt
Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Phishbowl's bookshelf – Review
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt
Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored – Excerpt
The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt
The Readdicts Book Blog – Excerpt
Velarisreads – Excerpt

January 24th
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review & Excerpt
Avid Reads – Excerpt
Book Boyfriend Reviews – Review
Bookishly Nerdy – Review & Excerpt
Collector of book boyfriends – Review
Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt
Kick Back & Review – Excerpt
Lisa Loves Literature – Excerpt
Milky Way of Books – Review
Star-Crossed Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Sweet Red Reads – Excerpt
Tale Out Loud – Excerpt
The Cover Contessa – Excerpt
The Lovely Books – Excerpt
The Start of Something New – Review & Excerpt

January 25th
A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt
Abellafairytale – Excerpt
Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Boundless Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Confessions of a Wordaholic – Review & Excerpt
Fandomly Bookish – Excerpt
Girl Plus Books – Review
I Heart Romance & YA – Review
Kaidans Seduction – Excerpt
Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Excerpt
Tales of dreams and nightmares – Excerpt
The Book Branch – Excerpt
The Book Trollop – Review & Excerpt
VoxLibris – Review & Excerpt
Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews – Excerpt

January 26th
Ali's Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt
Beauty and Lace – Excerpt
Blunt Book Blog – Excerpt
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
Bookish Intoxication Writes – Review & Excerpt
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt
Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Family, Books and Food – Excerpt
Jesssiereads – Excerpt
Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt
Lovelyreadspublishing – Excerpt
Madison’s Library – Review & Excerpt
Rainy Days and Pajamas – Excerpt
Reese's Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

January 27th
3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt
All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt
As the Book Ends – Excerpt
Book Bitches Blog – Review
Books 4 Girls – Review & Excerpt
Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review & Excerpt
Chasing Faerytales – Review
Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review
K&M Sultry Reads – Excerpt
K's Korner – Excerpt
Less Reality More Books – Review & Excerpt
My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt
Poetry law and something more – Review & Excerpt
Roxy's Reviews – Excerpt
Two Books in a Shelf – Excerpt

January 28th
Aaly and The Books – Review
A Book Fanatic Obsession – Review & Excerpt
BenderDreamerGirl: read.dream.escape – Excerpt
Book Reader Addicts – Review & Excerpt
Bookishly Slytherclaw – Review & Excerpt
Contagious Reads – Review & Excerpt
Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Escape 2 Fiction – Review & Excerpt
Midnight Book Girl – Excerpt
PBC – Excerpt
Rad Babes Read – Review & Excerpt
The Book Hookup – Review & Excerpt
Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
We Live and Breathe Books – Review & Excerpt

January 29th
A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt
A Lovely Book Affair – Excerpt
Bangor belle books – Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt
Books & Tea – Review & Excerpt
Chapter by Chapter – Review & Excerpt
Cupcakesandbookshelves – Excerpt
Desperately Seeking HEA’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Echosreviews – Excerpt
GotToReadThoseBooks – Excerpt
Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt
Lita's Book Blog – Excerpt
Margay Leah Justice – Excerpt
The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt
The Library of Belle – Excerpt

January 30th
Actin' Up with Books – Review
Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt
Bookistry_by_Ashleigh – Excerpt
Buttermybooks – Review
Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt
Geeky Reading – Excerpt
Little Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Lo’s Lo-Down on Books – Review & Excerpt
Read. Eat. Love. – Review & Excerpt
Taylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Review
The Butterfly Reads – Excerpt
The Writing Finch – Excerpt
YA Bibliophile – Review & Excerpt

January 31st
Adventures in Writing – Review
Becca’s Bookish Life – Review
BookCrushin – Review & Excerpt
Here's to Happy Endings – Excerpt
Little Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt
Margaux – Excerpt
Ms. Me28 – Excerpt
Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt
Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review
TBR Book Blog – Excerpt
The Bookish Introvert – Review & Excerpt
True Story Book Blog – Excerpt

February 1st
Alotabooks13 – Review & Excerpt
bad boys and bedtime stories book blog – Review
Caitlin's World – Review & Excerpt
CJR The Brit – Review
Court of Binge Reading – Excerpt
Hedwig Reads – Excerpt
Literary misfit – Excerpt
Moonlight Rendezvous – Excerpt
Readers Retreats – Excerpt
The Reading Faery – Review
Total Book Geek – Excerpt
Twirling Book Princess – Review & Excerpt
Vera is Reading – Excerpt
Whoo Gives A Hoot – Excerpt
YA/NA Book Divas – Excerpt

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