Sunday, August 12, 2012

BLOG TOUR: WANT by Stephanie Lawton- Review, Interview, and a Giveaway!

When I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for WANT, I took one look at the cover, read the blurb, and was SOLD. And now, I'm excited to tell you more about this awesome book! First up we have a review, followed by an interview with the author, and down at the bottom a giveaway! So, on to the review!

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.
Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.
Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Want by Stephanie Lawton
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
Received from: InkSlinger Blog Tours
The Sisters Say: Dark. Decadent. Devastating.

Can I just say… WHOA.

This book doesn’t pull any punches, I’ll tell you that. It’s fresh and different… and oh so very dark. I thought I knew where this book would end, but it sure as heck surprised me (which I LOVE)!

Anyone who has ever been seduced by the arts knows it’s a tempestuous world—full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Supreme joy and paralyzing doubt. Confidence and self-hatred. It’s that way for writers, actors, painters, and especially musicians. You pour your soul into your work for other people to judge it, mangle it, reduce it to dust. And no matter how much it hurts, you keep coming back for more. Because it’s addicting.

That’s what music is for Julianne. And even more so… that’s what Isaac is. He’s addicting. He’s bad for her in so many ways. But she keeps coming back. After all, there are a lot of bad things in her life—at least this one is handsome.

There were so many things about this story that drew me in. If I had to describe it in one word, I’d call it lush. Or perhaps decadent. Like the perfect piece of chocolate. Sinfully good. The setting in the Deep South is at once familiar and foreign. The culture is a world of it’s own, and it’s fascinating to read about. Then there is the music. I don’t know about you all, but I adore stories about music. There are few things in this world that can connect so many kinds of people from such different lives (books, of course, is another). And I think we all can relate to Juli’s dream—to succeed, to do the impossible, to escape the stifling and suffocating world in which we were raised.

Raise your hand if you’ve been there or are perhaps there now.

*raises both hands*

It’s so easy to want and hope alongside Juli, which is why every obstacle that’s thrown in her path feels devastating. And there are A LOT of obstacles.

This is one of those books that will keep you enthralled all the way through the end. You’ll laugh at Dave, because that guy can’t help but make dirty jokes (and you can’t help but laugh). You’ll swoon over Isaac because he dark and broody and sexy. You will despise most of Juli’s family because they are equal parts cruel and selfish and blind. And you will hope… hope that she overcomes it all, that she lives her dreams.

There’s not much more you can ask for from a book than to experience a character’s world so fully—highs and lows, funny and sad, in love and in loss. And that’s something that Lawton does extremely well.

This book was BEAUTIFUL DISASTER (by Jamie Macguire) meets REVOLUTION (by Jennifer Donnelly. And if you’ve talked to any of us at YA Sisterhood before, you might know we love both of those books.

My issues with the book? I felt like there were some moments in the plot that weren’t as fully fleshed out as I would have liked. I questioned things about both of her parents’ behavior. I don’t want to give things away, but there were times when I didn’t quite believe the characterization of the Mom, and especially the Dad. And I felt as if occasionally there was a scene missing from the book. Something HUGE would happen, and I would wonder… what’s going to happen when she sees that person again or how will so and so react to that news. And unfortunately, I never got to see those scenes. The story hopped right over them and kept going.

Now, these issues didn’t keep me from enjoying the book by any means. I still read it in one sitting. But I found myself wanting to sink deeper into the story than the author allowed. I wanted to dig my fingers in, delve into the characters, and excavate their secrets. And THAT… is when you know you’re hooked by a story.

I definitely look forward to seeing what Stephanie Lawton writes next! Keep scrolling for our interview with Stephanie! 


Hi ladies and gents (there are some gents out there reading, I know, stop hiding)! Today we’re bringing you a pretty unique kind of interview with Stephanie Lawton, author of WANT from Inkspell Publishing. Music plays a pivotal role in WANT. Julianne is a piano virtuoso, and she dreams of going to a prestigious music school in Boston. To pay homage to Julianne’s love of music and just music in general, Stephanie Lawton will only be able to answer our interview questions using song titles or lyrics. She can mix and match for longer answers if need be. I lucked out and only had to write the questions! But this isn’t easy, so make sure you give her some love in the comments!

1. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to get to know you and your musical tastes a little bit better, Stephanie. We’ll start out easy. Tell us a little bit about yourself!

“I’m a walking contradiction” (Green Day); “I don’t think it’s very nice to walk around my head all night” (Cage the Elephant); “A simple girl from simple means … the regular she’d rearrange, the girl knew how to cop and change” (The Black Keys); “I need another story, something to get off my chest. My life gets kinda boring, need something that I can confess” (One Republic).

2. What made you want to become a writer?

“A white blank page, and a swelling rage!” (Mumford and Sons) *giggles*

3. We’re Texas girls here at the YA Sisterhood, and we’re curious—What made you set WANT in the deep south?

“I’m here to set the record straight, this is where it all began. This town is the mother of mystics, let me fill you in. In 1857, some good ‘ole Mobile boys traveled down to New Orleans, taught them how to make some noise … Hey, ya’ll, it’s Mardi Gras in Mobile!” (Ray Farnell and the Moon Pie Band); “I don’t wanna walk around, I don’t even want to breathe, I live in a Southern town, where all you can do it grit your teeth” (“Southern Belle” by Elliott Smith); “I love you, I hate you, I can’t get around you” (“Always” by Saliva); and forgive the cliché, but “Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue!”

4. What song best describes Julianne? What song does she wishes described her?

“Bleed Like Me” by Garbage and “Firework” by Katy Perry (LOL).  Maybe “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons.

5. What song best describes Isaac? What song does he wish described him?

“Paranoia in B Major” by The Avett Brothers or “Not Strong Enough” by Apocalyptica … or maybe “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys; and “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) by Enrique Iglesias (HAH!)

6. What song best describes the way Isaac feels about Julianne? And vice versa?

Oh, this is dangerous territory: “Lovesong” by The Cure (or 311 or Adele); and “Kiss with a Fist” by Florence + the Machine.

7.  What has been the best moment in your writing life so far?

“The spotlight is on!” (Mutemath) and “My body tells me no, but I won’t quit, ‘cause I want more!” (Young the Giant); “This is not the end, this is not the beginning, just a voice like a riot rocking every revision,” (Linkin Park).

8. Can you give us a hint as to what you’re working on now or next?

“I can’t have you close, so I become a ghost and I watch you, I watch you. Maybe if you stay, we could die this way …” (from “Your Surrender” by Neon Trees); “I know it must be the killing time, unwillingly mine … In starlit night I saw you, so cruelly you kissed me, your lips a magic world,” (from “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen); “I’m a dead man walking here, that’s the least of all my fears … it’s not Alabama clay, gives my trembling hands away, Oh, please forgive me father,” (“Barton Hallow” by The Civil Wars).

9. Here’s an easy one. Because you probably need a break. What’s your favorite song?

Of all time: “A Letter to Elise” by The Cure. Right now: “Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well” by A Silent Film.

10. And finally… How difficult was it to restrict your answers to songs/song titles?

OMG this was torture (but the good kind)! I mauled my iTunes library and cranked up the satellite radio in the car. Thanks for the challenge! 


I know you're all INCREDIBLY intrigued by both this book and the author, right? RIGHT?

Well, now's your chance to win your own e-book copy! 

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