Sunday, August 25, 2013

Are You Mine? by N.K. Smith ~*~ Review & Guest Post ~*~

Title:  Are You Mine?
Author: N.K. Smith
Published: August 7th 2013
Page Count:  317
Genre:  YA Romance
Shelf: Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★


Human connection? Who needs it?

Ever since she can remember, wealthy but weary Saige Armstrong has felt different from her peers in Pechimu, New Jersey. With only one good friend to her name, she has navigated the complicated halls of high school and is now faced with the timeless question: Now what?

Fox Harrington, a fun-loving, socially charismatic graffiti artist uses his passions to color his world how he wants it. He knows exactly where his life is headed. That is, until he meets Saige.

A summer project links the two together, making a tentative friendship bloom into romance, but despite their affection for each other, fundamental beliefs and ways of thinking threaten to destroy all they have built.

"These moments in life are the best there are. They’re heavy with emotion, messy with the what-ifs, and frightening with the unknowns."

My Review:

With this novel Smith takes the transition between high school and college/university and presents it in a very
captivating light. She brings forth a myriad of trials and challenges that an individual could face and shows how her characters can come out on top at the end. As a reader you see and (re)live all of the trials and insecurities of a first real relationship, and of two individuals who haven’t had the ideal childhood. Smith very tactfully tackles some really tough and possibly uncomfortable topics while still being upfront and personal about them.

I love Smith’s approach to the characters in this novel. It’s so real and raw that you can’t help but appreciate them as individuals. The author’s writing really gets into the mindset of the main characters. There is a very distinct difference between the two. It also really helps the reader got to know each of them as individuals, and as a couple. There is also a seamless transition between the two viewpoints that doesn’t break or jar the flow of the story, even though they are written in such vastly different manners. She gives her readers a no-holds-barred look at their personalities and innermost secrets. She also shows how the relationship between these two individuals can be simultaneously straightforward and convoluted.

Overall, Smith’s unique presentation of life at the end of high school kept me intrigued throughout. She brought forth a variety of different situations for her characters to navigate and presented them in a realistic yet positive light. It was definitely a read that made me think and feel.

Add to your Goodreads shelves.
Buy your copy online via Amazon or B&N.

Guest Post from Author N.K. Smith:

I’ve been writing for a long time and publishing for a few years, and I’ve dabbled in a few different genres along the way. With my new book Are You Mine? I chose to go into the New Adult genre feet first. Like with all my novels, it wasn’t exactly a decision so much as the path that led me there.

What I mean is: I’ve never sat in front of a computer screen thinking, I’m going to write a novel in THIS genre. Instead, I write the idea and characters within my head as accurately as I possibly can, and when the dust and sweat settles, I lean back, look at the manuscript and figure out which genre it fits into. New Adult is a genre that is new to the world, even though many people have been writing within that genre for years (it just wasn’t a genre yet). I’ve written several short stories featuring characters new to adulthood, so I think the fact that is a recognizable genre in and of itself is fantastic.

When the dust settled for Are You Mine? it was clearly a NA novel about people facing that age-old question “What now?” Saige and Fox have different outlooks on life, but they’re both at that cliff of young adulthood staring out at the tumultuous sea that separates them and that next stage of life. They both must decide what’s important to them, how they want to proceed in life, and if all the stuff of the past matters when they are about to embark on a new journey of discovery.

Since I didn’t start out with a preconceived notion of which genre the story was going to fit neatly within, I guess I’ll just tell you about the origins of the story. I commute to and from my day job for about forty-five minutes to an hour each way. The road is well-travelled, and it unfortunately it causes some pretty major jams.

I pay attention to quite a lot of stuff, and one thing I like looking at is graffiti. On this particular bridge, there is a set of inchworms, or at least that’s what they look like to me. So I started thinking about the particular artist who sprayed them, and I wondered if he and she knew that those little worms made at least one commuter smile. Then I started imaging the person who could’ve put them there, what kind of person he or she was, what kind of person he or she would fall for, what his or her life’s ambition would be.

And Fox Harrington was born.

Saige, a worn and weary young woman, would be the natural choice for Fox. She represents a challenge to the nearly always happy Fox, so she was created to be the type of person who could truly learn a thing or two from him. The story flowed naturally once she revealed herself to me as a writer. Graphic novels blend both art and words into the perfect fusion of verbal and visual.

Saige and Fox have a piece of my heart, and my hope is that if you give them a chance, they’ll grab a piece of yours as well.

Happy reading!

About the author:

Based in the American Midwest, N.K. Smith is a Technical Writer for a Fortune 100 company. The author of the Old Wounds Series, Ghosts of Our Pasts, and My Only, she is a mother of two who finds the time to write very early in the morning when the rest of the world is still fast asleep.

An avid lover of history, art, music, books, and people, she is interested in telling stories that speak to the human condition.

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