Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blog Tour: Visited by Janine Caldwell


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Visited by Janine Caldwell!  The tour is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, and you can follow along with the full schedule here.


Visited by Janine Caldwell
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.

Add Visited on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

MY REVIEW

Visited is a sweet, engaging, feel-good read that I really enjoyed.  It has a Freaky Friday-type premise, where the main character finds herself in a strangely altered version of her life, and I always love those “what-if” types of books.  I thought Janine Caldwell did a great job with the premise, and I raced through this book and finished with a huge smile on my face.

At the beginning of Visited, main character and narrator Joanna is your typical angsty teen: she’s convinced that being tall makes her a “freak” among her classmates, she resents her new stepfather’s intrusion into her life and her mom’s pregnancy, and she secretly pines to becomes more-than-friends with her longtime best friend Tommy.  Yes, Joanna initially comes off a little selfish and whiny, but that’s intentional and realistic, and I actually liked her right away.  I identified with her insecurities about her appearance (although I’m definitely not tall!) and I appreciated that she’s not the typical YA heroine—her best friend has always been a guy, and she’s more interested in volleyball and sci-fi novels and TV shows than in, say, shopping.

And then, of course, there’s the Freaky Friday-ish element: near the beginning of the book, Joanna falls off her roof and is rescued by a mysterious stranger who, she soon learns, comes from someplace other than Earth.  Even more bizarre, though, is the way her life seems to have changed when she wakes up in the hospital after her accident: suddenly she’s short, and her relationships with her mother and best friend are very different.   Things are finally the way she’s always wanted them…but of course there are new complications that she’s never considered.  And then there’s the  stranger, James, who’s suddenly enrolled in Joanna’s high school and inserted himself into her life…

I was relieved that the situation with James and Joanna didn’t turn into the typical paranormal creature/teenage girl lovefest, and Joanna’s friendship/romance with Tommy didn’t take the clich√©d route either.  But what I enjoyed most of all was the way Joanna’s changed life gave her new insight and compassion for her mother’s situation.  When Joanna felt true empathy for her mother, we could really see her growing up.  I also liked Joanna’s relationship with James, although I wish we’d gotten to know her and see them interact a little more.  Finally, I loved the evocative desert setting and the author’s smooth, easy writing style that drew me right into the story.

 Visited does have a bit of a religious message at the end which I wasn’t expecting—although looking back at the blurb, I probably should have.  I’m not religious and it didn’t bother me at all, I just thought it was an enjoyable, sweet read.  But it is something you might want to be aware of before reading.  Overall, I loved Joanna’s story and I’m eager to read more from this author!

About the Author

Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.

Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault—the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.

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4 comments:


  1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks so much for taking the time to read Visited and for the thoughtful review. If you have time, I sure would appreciate you voting for Visited on Goodreads for best clean teen fiction. Here's the link:
    http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/15058.Clean_teen_fiction_Christian_#17984925
    I also have a fan group I would love for you to join. Thanks again!
    http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/102675-janine-caldwell-fan-group

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    1. Voted! I'm not really joining groups anymore b/c I made the mistake of joining too many when I 1st became an author on GR, and I can't keep up. But thanks!

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  2. Great review, chick! I'm glad you liked it. I'm a bit wary of any books with religion but aside from that it sounds like a sweet story!

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    1. The religions is really only at the end, and it's not overwhelming at all!

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