Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Art of Letting Go - Anna Bloom

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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The Art of Letting Go - Anna Bloom
The Uni Files: Year One- The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom

One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action. 

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

Find the book: Goodreads

Purchase Links:
Amazon US     |      Amazon UK

My Thoughts:
Honestly, I was staring at my blank pad and the cursor for I don’t know how many minutes. I was just struck speechless about this book… in a very very good way.
I just hope my thoughts will do it some justice.

*deep breaths*

OH MY GOSH! One of the best books I had ever read, EVER!

I read the excerpts before and boy did I wanted to read it, ASAP! Then my lovely babycakes (Zoe of The Book Lovers) read it prior and already swooned over Ben Chambers and has already staked her claim.
I’m left swooning over the distance.

*Okay, that did not sound enough for a review, let me try again
Deep breaths*

The author, Anna Bloom, opened the Uni doors for readers: relationship, friendship, family, school and unforeseeable future (as of the moment). It had showed the naturally Uni life itself: the living quarters, the inebriated state, those lectures – downright papers and exams! It was a great balance on how she portrayed the real college life while focusing on Ben and Lilah’s relationship. Also, it was a refreshing read in the New Adult genre. Anyone who was familiar with this genre knew how NA naturally could be consumed by unprecedented hormones. This book did dwelt on that but it was implied not explicitly… Aside from those can-t-keep-my-hands-off-you and natural snogging. And that, I thought that was the perfect semblance of what college life is: school, finding yourself and love.

The setting in the story just flowed in a way that was familiar yet unique. It was in Uni, where a person felt liberated or in a sort of independence. As I was used to heroines in NA being in college years, teens to early 20s perhaps, this book made a unique turn. The heroine, was still sort of dependent to her parents, still did not have a great outlook in life and she was 25 years old. She took the, what seemed like a, coward way and ran to somewhere; she ended up filing an application for in the Uni. Again, I was stricken on how it was not on a fluid narration, it was some sort of a diary but different. More like a journal, since the “dear diary” thingy threw Lilah off. It was not like how normally books were told the "this was what is happening" story, instead Lilah recounted the events for us in her journal. And I just loved it!
Oh and before I full introduce Lilah, let me share this: The cover was pure love! It was simple yet it looked like it was ripped from a journal or scrapbook entry. And the title as melancholic as it sounded… was what the story was about: finding something or realizing something then letting it go and moving on. Was it worth it? Or not? Letting go of something or someone? To let go or to stay?
The cover and the title just showed a glimpse of what the story was and it did well. Kudos!

So, moving on, Lilah, Lilah, Lilah. I never did loved a character’s mind until I meant this crazy chick! She was such a funny character. I enjoyed every bit that I was reading from her POV. She was crazy, awkward, lost but then her hilarity was beyond! No forced sarcasm nor jokes, she just came off naturally humorous! But aside from this positive (or negative, it depends on how the reader would react towards her) she had her past she was getting away from. Yet like any person who did not have a clear path ahead, she was just lost. She ran away from things. She had those sorry excuse of parents… who ended up having selfish yet loving actions regarding her. But still, she did not know what to do. She was 25 for that matter yet nothing captivated her. And I just felt her at that point, I may not be at the same age as her but the thing was that I graduated Uni yet I still do not know what to do. So I understood where Lilah was coming from. It was hard to see people having passion in something and you sulk with yourself thinking if what will happen to you. Someone planning your future, but do you want that? Did you want that? Wait, I was blabbing my own dilemma yet that was what Lilah was being bugged about. It was a two-thumbs up to me that she ended up studying again and that want to be able to find herself. She had made rules that she kept on breaking. I meant, I still praise that she was trying to have these impossible goals, right? She even thinks twice before doing so… unless, being confronted with Sexy Hot Body! Yes, she lost focused and ended up studying Sexy Hot Body, also known as: Ben Chambers.

So, Ben Chambers. I could rant all day how good-to-be-true this guy was. But I would not, because I would like the other readers to feel, read and be serenaded by him. Ben, You hot you. Guitarist, Brainy, Can cook. Honest. Just pure real. Yeah all those positive things. You were just so downright honest, you never beat around the bush and you were the perfect example of a person who wanted to have what he wants. Yet you made it in a way that was acceptable to our complicated heroine. If it were not for Lilah, I would be so willing to be locked in that chambers. What more of those secrets do you have in that chamber of yours? (I was trying not to insert this pun, yet I just can’t). Ben Chambers had these tons of great things about him and I wanted him or just one like him (I was not being so picky). But mostly, what I loved about him was that, he was caught under the spell of love at first sight and his feelings toward Lilah were just blatantly obvious. He never held back. He knew everything but he let Lilah took her time.

As the story progressed, the characters, more specifically Lilah, had matured. She might not have had realized it as much but she was getting through the heartache, doing what she thought was the best, stood up what she felt was right. Even the way she kept whatever she had, it all proved that she grew up. She knew what the consequence of every dilemma she had. Though she still had those fluctuating progress, but that was how a person learn -- it was never that stable, there were things that were a mistake and supposed to happen. Change and maturity were never a smooth sailing.

As I had mentioned earlier, I understood every point Lilah had. Especially her dilemma and heartache with Ben. Just be on her shoes at that instance, and it was hard. After she had the guts to face everything, threw whatever off she had to lose, “that” event happened. Sometimes our eyes lure us into something we do not wish to see. Lilah was confounded with doubts, and I did not blame her, with her outrageous leaps through conclusions, I saw her standpoint. But the good thing was that she realized everything (late or not).

I would share just one part: I loved how Lilah explained “Persuasion” to Ben. It was the picturesque of their relationship; I just did not fathom how Lilah did not see their relationship that way. Though she was often has some sort of delay to pick thing up. I hope she did manage to realize that; as much as she dwelt on feeling every Taylor Swift song. Oh Gods, I just entirely loved the constant Taylor Swift anthem that perfectly fit the story or moments for Lilah. (Or this might be some sort of Taylor Swift’s story? Kidding).

Another person I loved, was the brilliant and gorgeous Meredith, she was such a support and just the very best friend. As she was pro-Ben all the way. I mean, who wouldn’t? She was also that constant bugger that perused Lilah that Ben was true to her (Lilah). She was a light of reason when Lilah needed her. She was pure vocal and as idealistic as she was, at the same time, logical. Add up Lilah’s twin, Tristan. These pair, Mer and Trist, were a couple that was also a match made in heaven. They had shown Ben and Lilah, mostly Lilah that there can be a relationship built on love. True love. How a couple would go through those things yet remained the anchor of each other. Maybe, Lilah just needed to keep her eyes open. And I believed, she really did. Well, while taking her time *insert sigh*.

Lastly, the pacing and sequence made the story more interesting. It was a rocky and difficult terrain, slow and annoying it may seem but it worked, they worked out. It had the right amount of drama. Had that whole parents fiasco, having your parents control you life and such. But they fell in love, they knew it from the start but there were setbacks. And now they were prepared. Ready or not, the story was starting to unravel more and more. As for the ending, oh my heart, it was beautifully bittersweet! Let me have the sequel now! The story about them was just getting fired up!

Okay, here was the deal: I laughed, I squealed, I swooned, I gasped, my heart had all those necessary lurch and skipped a beat, had she some tears (well, teary-eyed, just to save my face here), be sarcastic, tolerated mental friends and heroine, drooled and eyed bugged out over Ben (and Ben’s unexpected words… countless times). I hugged my pillow at night and stared at the ceiling thinking how I would love to reread it all over again. As my emotions took over, I took every single glare, mocking and whatsoever from my family while reading this. Then I thought I discovered the bipolar in me. Well that angry slash at my sis for interrupting my Ben Chambers quality time, talking to myself and being ecstatic at some parts. Must be the side effects. I would like to think of this in a good way *winks*.

P.S. To the life of any guy:
DO NOT use the: “It’s not what you think it is” (Or “it’s not what it looks like”) and “I’m in love with you” on the same sentence or paragraph or day. JUST DON’T, EVER. It makes everything horrible, I swear. Real life or not.
Just save the “I love you” in another day.

So to readers who want British humor and just have fun, this is the book to be snuggled up with!
It was worth a read. Every single page (well when you start at story that is) was that enjoyable.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sapphire Solitaire Necklace (open worldwide)
One prize package for US and one for the UK:
candy, ebook, signed post card and a $20 gift card (£10 UK)
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Author Bio:
Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

Find the author:
Website/Blog     |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     GoodReads

-     Jassie

3 sprinkled sunshines:

Candace said...

I laughed so hard reading your review, I LOVE your excitement, it's just contagious! I'm SO glad you loved this one so much too!
Thanks for hosting a tour stop!

Camelle Rogando said...

Jassie!!! Your review! It's so long.. Haha i love it and i read and i can feel how you enjoy reading this book! And to be honest i wanna read it too!!! I find it interesting! I love your review it's pretty! :)

Ellen Alwaysyaatheart said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this. I really did to. I can't wait to find out what happens next. Nice review!!

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