Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision Blog Tour: Review & Interview!!


Hello there guys!!

Happy Tuesday! Today I'm super happy to be part of the Blog Tour for Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision, hosted and organized by the wonderful ladies of Pen & Muse Press (thank you Jolene, you're a dear!).

I'll have Jennifer over for a super quick interview as well as my own review of the book, and don't miss out on the giveaway at the end of the post, so you can win your own copy of the book!

But before all that, a lil more info about the book!


Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision

 Unemployed. Broke. Maid of Honor.

All (unfortunately) words that describe Em Hayes.

Without any job leads in San Francisco, Em caves to her mother’s promise of free rent and returns home. Her best friend, Nikki, couldn’t be more thrilled. Em’s degree in Event Management is gathering dust, and what better way to put it to use than planning Nikki’s wedding?

There’s just one flaw in that plan: Cole Connors. The girls’ former roommate. And part of the reason Em hasn’t been back since college graduation.

Em’s never been able to forget Cole—or how close they were before she pushed him aside and ran for the hills. Cole’s never forgotten Em either— but in the past two years, she hasn’t given him much choice but to try.

And, according to Nikki, there’s no better pair to plan the wedding of her dreams.

Em’s usually good at squashing messy feelings, but being around Cole again brings them all rushing to the surface.

And this time, she’s not sure she wants to run.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23008175-now-and-again






Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Jennifer is the author of the YA fantasy series, Threats of Sky and Sea, as well as the New Adult contemporary novel, Now and Again.







Review


I'm not the most avid contemporary reader, and even less if we're talking about contemporary NA, but I have been getting myself to read more contemporaries since last year and I'm happy to report that for the most part, it's been a pleasant surprise after another.

I really love Jennifer Ellision's fantasy series, so giving her contemporary NA a try was a no brainer for me, and as with her fantasy books, she hooked me up from page one!

Em is coming back home and she's none too happy about it, since she run away all the way to the opposite side of the US as soon as she graduated college. And now that she's back, she has to face everything that she run away from.

The book is told in dual POV, Em's and Cole's, and also switches chapters between the NOW of Em coming back to Florida in time for her best friend's engagement party & wedding planning and the THEN of college times so we learn about the past that shaped Em's flight response.

Cole's POV was easier to read than Em's, and he felt quite genuinely a male POV, even when he was jumping off a window to avoid facing a girl he had just broken up with (again?) (sort of?)... He was more upfront and open with his feelings and tried his best to be honest with Em at all times.

Em's POV was harder to read because she was so closed up and refused time and again to face the past and her feelings. She's very much still avoiding everyone that means something for her and continues to ignore her feelings about the past and those rekindled in the present too. But as hard as she was to read at times, it was also very rewarding to see her grow and finally accept that the answer is not running away from pain or help or love.

Alternating the timelines worked great since it helped us understand both Em and Cole better, and I really enjoyed seeing their friendship develop in the past as well as see when & how things changed. I really liked Nikki being the common thread (and friend) that connected them both with the present and the past and the friendship. Nikki was also a lovely character, a great balance to Em's closed up nature.

I must confess to want a bit more after the ending, maybe an epilogue of sorts? It is the perfect resolution for the story told, but I really wanted to see a bit more of what comes next! Despite my need for a lil extra pages, I absolutely enjoyed this one, so 4 very well deserved stars to this contemporary NA!


Interview

Hello Jen! Welcome to my lil corner of the blogosphere!

Hi Pili! Thank you for having me! It’s an honor to be here. ^_^

I consider myself a big fan of your fantasy series (cannot wait for book 3!) and was quite surprised when I saw the book you were writing next was a contemporary (that despite contemporary not being my fave genre, I've loved too!). How did the contemporary bug bite you? Anything in particular that inspired you to switch genres?

Buckle in for a long answer, haha. Now and Again was actually the first book I ever wrote, though the published book is very different from what the first drafts looked like. It was my first NaNoWriMo project, my first project that wasn’t fanfiction, and it has its roots in a short piece I wrote for one of my Creative Writing workshop classes in college.

But 1) My female main character, Em was really a tough nut to crack. I couldn’t figure out why she pulled away from Cole (her love interest and the male main character) so much when I knew that she wanted him. And 2) I didn’t have the practiced skill to turn the book into something that I felt was worthwhile. I reluctantly shelved it and spent a couple of years reading more than I ever had before, writing a little fanfiction to remind me what I loved about writing, and starting what would become my first published book, the YA fantasy Threats of Sky and Sea.

Flash-forward to me cleaning out my closet one day and coming across the binder that housed the bare bones of Now and Again. Somewhat afraid of how bad it would be, I read everything I’d
written all those years ago and I realized that I finally knew what made Em tick. And I knew I had to tell her story, so I started the book all over again.

I really enjoyed having the dual POVs on the book. Did you plan it that way from the start? Who was your favourite character to write? Cole or Em?

Oooo, this is tough. Cole’s voice came through for me a lot clearer, so sometimes he was my favorite just because he was much easier. He was a relief to write after the struggle that was Em.

But, there’s something to be said for the challenge of Em. She was never easy to write, but once I understood what made her tick, I connected with her on a level that I really haven’t ever connected with a character before. Em isn’t really cold—she just uses it to hide a vulnerability. She doesn’t hate love or commitment—the idea of letting someone have the power to hurt her just terrifies her. And if I’m honest, those are things I completely understand.

So, I guess I have to go with Em. She’s my girl. ^_^;

The changing timeline from now to then worked great for the book, giving us lil tidbits here and teasing us to discover more. Was it always planned like that?

For the most part, yes! I definitely knew that I wanted to tell both the story of “Now” and the story of “Then.” I toyed briefly with the idea of making it a bit more linear in structure--making the big chunk of “Then” come before the big chunk of “Now”-- instead of a chapter here and there interspersed throughout. But I didn’t even attempt it. It just didn’t feel right.

Thank you so much for being here Jen! 

Thank you again for having me!





Giveaway

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win 1 of 3 e-copies of Now And Again!!

13 comments:

  1. Lovey interview! This book sounds great. I have to read it soon!

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    1. It was great Lis, and a super fast read!

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  2. Thanks so much for having us Pili! You are a gem.
    Love the interview questions. It's so interesting to me to hear from the author on what was going through their minds when they were writing. I loved the dual POVs in the book and it was fun to read how that process went.

    You ladies both rock!

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  3. I have not read any NA as of yet, and this sounds very interesting!

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  4. Gorgeous post Pili :D Adore your review. <3 Yay for liking this book a lot :) And the interview is awesome too. This is really not a book for me, but you do make it seem interesting :D Thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3

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  5. Em sounds a little tricky in the beginning of this one Pili with the way she tries to avoid everything in the hopes that it will just go away, but I'm glad she grows throughout! I so love a story with quality character growth:) And Cole sounds enjoyable, it's always fun to get a dual POV with a romantic setup like this!

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    1. Yep, Em was a bit of a tough nut to crack at first, but it was a great fun book and I loved it!

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  6. This sounds super cute Pili! I think I'll need to give it a try! Em might frustrate me a bit, but I'm a fan of seeing characters grow!

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    1. I'm pretty sure you'll love it Jess! And even when Em is tough to relate to, Cole is there to make things better for us readers! ;)

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  7. I love this book's cover! Not one for me I think, but the author seems great (as does her fantasy series). Fabulous post, ladies. :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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¡Muchas gracias por vuestros comentarios, leerlos me alegra el día!/ Thanks a lot for all your comments, reading them brightens my day!!