Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Last Good Day of the Year + GIVEAWAY

Hey, everyone, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman. I'm thrilled to have Jessica on my blog today because I read and absolutely loved her latest book. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this guest post from Jessica on life in small towns.

Title: The Last Good Day of the Year
Author: Jessica Warman
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: May 19, 2015 
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author of Between.

Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.

Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.

Guest Post Featuring Jessica Warman

Erin: Jessica, I see that the book is about a murder in a small town. I also live in a small town. It's one square mile, and I literally have no clue how many people live there, but it's more than you think would fit in such a small area. Regardless, everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows everything. How do you feel about life in small towns?

Jessica Warman:
I grew up in a small town; the internet tells me it currently has 845 residents.  You know how people talk about spending all day, every day outside in the summer as kids?  It was like that.  There was a penny candy store down the street from my house.  The owner was an elderly woman named Amy; the store was called Amy’s Candy, and none of the kids ever made fun of Amy or stole from her as far as I knew, because our mothers would have heard about it before we got home.   My friends and I made daily bicycle trips to Amy’s for dip-its, jawbreakers, and  those fake candy cigarettes.  It was as wholesome and innocent as it sounds, and then as I got older, the shine began to peel away little by little.  People in small communities will try so hard to seem good, perfect, pious, etc.  It’s hard to blame them when there’s so much scrutiny – because when the nearest city is an hour away, and even the nearest Wal-Mart is a 30 minute drive, there’s nothing else to do besides talk about your friends and neighbors.

Now that I’m older, I realize things weren’t as wholesome as they seemed.  But boy, they sure did seem that way.  And that impression, the illusion of innocence, is what makes it great fun to poke at the fa├žade of small-town life and let the nastiness ooze from the cracks.  Ugliness sometimes bubbles up from the places you’d least expect.  That’s what makes the reveal so delicious – like opening a fresh pack of candy cigarettes from Amy’s Candy and finding a severed finger.  So wrong, yet so great.   

Erin: Oh, wow! It seems like we had a similar upbringing - there was a candy store down the hill from me, and it was a big deal when all the neighborhood parents let all of us kids go down there together. We'd bring back enough candy and jumbo Freeze Pops to last us until our next trip, but it never lasted more than two or three days.
But... I live in the suburbs - a small borough  north of Pittsburgh. Even though the Interstate was two minutes away, it felt like we lived in our own little world, in our own little town. Now I'm older, and I see more and more of the flaws, but I still love my hometown. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and I had a great childhood, unlike Sam.

Jessica Warman is the author of Breathless, which received three starred reviews and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Where the Truth Lies. The idea for Between came from an incident in her childhood, when a local boy went missing after a party on a yacht (he was eventually found, alive).

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  1. Great interview! I was intrigued by this book the first time you mentioned it here, now I'm like, okay, this has moved up a couple hundred spots on my TBR list, along with everything else she's written. Small-town creeps gets me every.single.time!

  2. OMG. Lauren, it's such a good book, and definitely has me thinking about picking up her other books. You'll have to let me know how you ended up liking it. :)


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