Sam is a fifteen-year-old drug orphan living with her custodial grandmother who is stricken with late-stage Alzheimer's. She struggles to fill the role of caregiver to her grandmother while keeping her little family a secret from the authorities who would send Gamma to a state facility and Sam to foster care. Just because her life isn't hard enough, there are still boys to have crushes on, essays to write for horrible English teachers, and a squad full of bullies to torment her on a daily basis.
I'm Choosing This Because:
This is another book that I decided to read for a blog tour. What can I say? I like getting involved with these things. I was drawn to this because of the synopsis. Now if I'm honest it's not the best blurb and doesn't really draw you in but it tells me enough for me to know that this is the sort of book that really reminds me of why I enjoy reading. So thanks to Megan at Reading Away the Days for making me aware of this book that I definitely need to read.
Judging a Book By Its Cover:
I'm not entirely sure how the cover relates to the blurb if I'm 100% honest with you all. It's just a girl mid pose. I'm not saying that she isn't pretty or anything, I'm just saying that it doesn't really work for me. I do like the simpleness of it and the shades of blue (well I think it's blue and because this is my review we're going for blue) are really lovely. I do like how the font also keeps it simple, if it had been more elaborate it would've drawn away from the image but there's still a definite lack of connection between the cover and the blurb for me and yes that is a bit of a problem.
Pricing the (Possible) Awesomeness:
Well as you all know I like to do a quick price check on Amazon so you know what sort of price the book is available for. Well this is available as a paperback and as an ebook. The ebook is cheaper at £1.98 but I know some of you prefer actual books and if that's the case it's £5.25. I know, quite cheap for indie.
The Earth is For Dancing is a tough book for me to sum up. Not because I didn't like it, I assure you I did, very much so but because it isn't driven by a plot, more a steady series of events that surround Sam, our MC. It evokes such emotions in the reader and for me I just wanted to hug her. I really did. So while I'm not sure that this is something I would've bought in the shop I'm certainly glad that I got the opportunity to read this.
Writing - There was something about the writing that really drew me into the story. Once I started reading I had a nightmare trying to stop. I read this in a matter of hours. I was gripped with the harshness of Sam's life and admiration when it came to watching her deal with her grandmother. I did notice very rare, infrequent errors but they definitely didn't draw my attention away from what mattered.
Length - I thought this was a great length, I had the Smashwords PDF and it was 248 pages long. The chapters all had a nice flow and none of them felt overly long. In fact a lot of them felt really short but maybe that's just because of how immersed in the story I was! I could've happily carried on reading about Sam's life but at the same time I can't help but feel that it definitely ended at the right time.
Sam - Our main character. She grows throughout the book. She starts off allowing people to treat her like dirt and watching her blossom into a young woman who can control things and make sure that those around her don't take advantage. I did like her, but more than that, I admired her. She had a lot of love for her grandmother and the way she looked after her was admirable.
Other Sam - Every book seems to at least have a love interest and in The Earth is For Dancing we have Other Sam. He's a great guy. He's the kind of guy that needs to exist more in YA books. He's kind, he's funny, he's loyal and he's completely normal. He's not a weird stalker, he's just a guy with a crush on a girl. I really did adore him. He's just a breath of fresh air to me and I genuinely appreciated that.
Overall this is a heartbreakingly real story, one that while may take the idea to the extreme highlights that there are children and teenagers looking after ill family members. The writing captured my attention and refused to let me go. Sam stole my heart with her courage and determination. This didn't take long to read at all and I definitely think that it's worth looking at if you like contemporary YA. Or even if you're just slightly bored of supernatural creatures, it's only £1.98 for the Kindle version, go on! Give it a go!
I've been debating what to rate this since I finished and I've decided to just play it safe. I don't think it's worth 5, however I think it's worth more than four so I may well take it up to 4.5, I don't know. I definitely recommend this, I want people to read it and see this intriguing story of a young carer. I can't say enough good things about this. I really did like it a lot.
I just want to thank Megan and Lorca for allowing me to read this as part of the blog tour. I had a blast and I'm so grateful. Also while I did receive a free copy of this book it hasn't changed my opinion in any way.
Author bio: Lorca Damon is a young adult writer and teacher. Her fiction focuses on the very real issues that teenagers actually face today, scenarios she learned from her students in the juvenile correctional facility where she teaches. She is the author of an Amazon bestselling title on autism, Autism By Hand, as well as a book of bizarre humor essays entitled It Was Like That When I Found It. Her two previous titles, Autism By Hand and It Was Like That When I Found It, are available on Amazon in print and for Kindle.
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