Christy@Love of Books: Karice Bolton: The Camp
So what do I have for you all today? A lovely five star indie gem! I am always thrilled to
find a good solid indie read and Torched by Andrea Lynn Colt was one of those books that kept me up way past my bed time. It was that good! Before we get to the book, let me introduce you all to indie author Andrea Lynn Colt:
Andrea Colt grew up reading, and squabbling with her twin. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her fiancé, a fridge full of cheese, and two muses in feline form. Visit Andrea on her website, Facebook, Twitter Goodreads or sign up for her newsletter in order to get to know her better.
Here is Andrea to share with us her thoughts on some of our favorite things:
Food & Love & Novels by Andrea Colt
Time for one of my favorite subjects: food!
Basically, food is love--at least it is to me! It’s a social glue right from the start. How many friendships have been born while trading apple slices for jello during lunchtime at school? And later, noshing on brownies at sleepovers, or sharing appetizers during happy hour?
Love-wise, there’s a reason first dates usually involve a meal of some sort; it’s a way to see whether you’re compatible on a basic level. And romance isn’t romance without chocolate-covered strawberries, or a dim-lit restaurant with crusty bread and great wine. The night my fiancé proposed, he cooked me dinner first: pan-fried chicken with green beans. To anyone else, just food (albeit delicious food!). But to us, since it was the first meal he ever made for me, it meant something more: love.
Food signifies different things to different people (and different characters), whether it’s a challenge, a temptation, a reward, or simply sustenance. In novels, what a character chooses to eat or not eat could illustrate an inside joke, a mutual interest, or even a shared memory. It can show that a character is adventurous, neurotic, depressed, health-conscious ... the list goes on.
Food can also show intimacy between two characters. Knowing another person’s favorites (and which foods make them want to hurl) shows that we are paying attention, that we care enough to notice what that someone likes and doesn’t like.
For example, at one point in Torched, my main character Rose makes her antagonist/love-interest Paxton’s least favorite coffee flavor, because it’s their habit to annoy each other. But later, when Paxton needs cheering up, she brings over his favorite sandwich fixings as a subtle way of trying to make him feel better. Despite years of being at odds with each other, Rose still knows Paxton pretty well.
Mentioning food in a novel isn’t just a throwaway detail—it can, and should, contribute to the reader’s picture of who that character is. What do they love, or loathe? Are there memories connected with that croissant in front of them? Do they like broccoli? How do they take their coffee—or do they not drink it at all?
Thanks so much for having me here on Rainy Day Ramblings, Heidi! I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day :)
Thank you, Andrea for making us all hungry! I certainly noticed all the delicious references to food in your book as Rose was always baking cookies and brownies and all sorts of scrumptious treats! The lovely Andrea is offering up a chane to win her book. She is giving away a signed copy of Torched to one lucky U.S. resident and also an ebook for International followers. Thanks so much Andrea! Trust me, you want to read this one! I loved it! Fill out the Rafflecopters to enter! Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Torched by Andrea Lynn Colt
~Sparks fly in this romantic young-adult mystery~Cheerleader Rose Whitfield's senior year goes up in smoke when she's framed for arson. Sure that the culprit is her neighbor Paxton, with whom she's been feuding since middle school, she sets out to clear her name and take Paxton down hard--not necessarily in that order.Excerpts and more at www.andreacolt.comPaperback, 370 pagesPublished September 2012
Five stars! An Indie gem that is not to be missed!
Rose is poised to have a spectacular senior year. She is competing for valedictorian, she is head cheerleader and she is in the running for homecoming queen. Not to mention, she has a wonderful boyfriend who she is definitely in love with, and a got your back best friend. Everything is fantastic.....until the fire. After spending a Friday night home alone, Rose is awakened by the pounding knock of the police at her front door. She is being arrested for arson. Relieved that her parents are safe, Rose heads to the police station, she is certain this is all a big misunderstanding and her name will be cleared in no time. Unfortunately, there is some damning evidence against her, such as her fingerprints and shirt at the crime scene, photos of her boyfriend kissing another girl and a gas can and matches left by her back door. Rose is being framed, and the worst part is that no one not even her parents believes she is innocent. Rose sets out to clear her name despite all the obstacles in her path. School is a now a nightmare. Everyone is against her, even her best friend and boyfriend. The only one who believes her his her arch enemy, Paxton, with whom she has engaged in a prank war since the eighth grade. Now her enemy is her only ally. Can Rose prove she is innocent?
What I Liked:
- I am always overjoyed and thrilled when I run across a gem of an indie read and Iwas delighted after finishing Torched. I wavered a bit on my final rating between a four and a five, but decided to nudge it up because this book was so darn entertaining. I picked it up and read it in one sitting, I read until one in the morning to finish! It has been awhile since a book grabbed my attention and kept me reading late into the night. This book entertained me, made me smile and left me feeling good. For all of those reasons I am awarding it a five. Besides, it is always nice when an indie book knocks my socks off!
- I truly admired Rose. In the beginning, I wasn't certain I would like her as she came off to be a bit of a spoiled, popular cheerleader, but happily, I was wrong! She is much more than that. Rose shows great strength and spunk as she works tirelessly to clear her name, even after she is forced into a false confession. Along the way, she is confronted with some hard truths about herself. Perhaps she wasn't as nice as she thought, and maybe she could have treated some people with more kindness. I liked the way she accepts her faults and endeavors to do better. It isn't easy to lose almost everything overnight: friends, popularity, your car, boyfriend and your reputation, but through it all she endures and shows tremendous growth. I always enjoy books where the protagonist undergoes a metamorphosis.
- The romance is awesome! This is another book that features one of those antagonistic romances that I so adore. Rose has been at odds with a certain boy for years. The pair have been cooking up some unbelievable pranks to play against each other for years, and they claim to completely loathe each other. Eventually, things take a turn and it is just so sweet. If you like romances where the couple is at odds for the majority of the book, be sure to get this one. Not to mention, some of the pranks that they pulled off were very creative and funny! I truly wonder where Andrea got her inspiration for all the clever gags.
- Not only does this book have a super sweet romance, but it also has a great mystery. Rose fights tirelessly to clear her name, but as she continues to search for the culprit, she finds that there is a lengthy list of possible suspects. It is certainly hard for Rose to face the fact that she wasn't as nice of a person as she thought, and that there are a lot of people who might have a vendetta against her. I was guessing up until the final pages as to who the perpetrator was, and the reveal was definitely a bit of a surprise.
- Finally, this was a clean, well edited book and I did not find any glaring errors. In all honesty, I was so caught up in the story I was reading at turbo pace to get to the end and find out if there would be a happily ever after for the romance and also discover who really set the fire so I wasn't paying attention like I normally do. This is definitely a book that a publisher should be picking up and distributing. It is worth the read! Don't miss it!
And The Not So Much:
- This book does have a bit of a mean girl theme, and I am not a fan of mean girls. When Rose's former best friend turns against her, things get ugly. Rose becomes the target of mean girls and is bullied. Thankfully, she holds her head high and makes it through, but I hate to see anyone the victim of bullying. There is nothing particularly cruel, but be aware there is some instances of bullying.
- I was disappointed in the relationship between Rose and her parents. Her mother is especially annoying since she is extremely shallow, self absorbed and she does not support her daughter. I was hoping that there would be movement towards improving the relationship between the two, but it doesn't happen. I guess that you can't have everything and I do realize that this is true in real life. I was disgusted with the way Rose's father behaved as well. He refuses to believe Rose and forces her to go against her beliefs because he is unwilling to take the chance of losing Rose's mother who demands a comfortable life, even if it means living beyond their means. The whole situation is troubling, but again, you can't expect everything to be rosy that isn't the way things work in the real world.
- One another point that bothered me was when Rose was repeatedly proposing she was innocent and no one believed her why was she not given the chance to have a lie detector test? It would prove she was innocent, but on the other hand, it would ruin the plot.
Torched was my first surprise five star indie book of 2013. I am thrilled that this little book hooked me and kept me reading well past my bedtime. These days, it takes a lot for a book to thoroughly keep me entertained and this book did that and more. If you are in a bit of a reading rut and you want a intriguing mystery paired with an adorable romance do not hesitate....Get yourself a copy of Torched immediately. I will absolutely be reading the next book by Ms. Colter!
"It was like I kept trying to lean against a support beam, and was only now discovering it was hollow."
"I'd thought the key to life was being perfect--perfect car, perfect boyfriend, perfect hair and clothes and grades. Then I'd lost most of that list, and you know what? I was still me. Maybe I wasn't perfect, but perfect wasn't everything."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.