Blog Tour: After Tuesday by Renee Ericson

Rating: 3.5 stars
Pub Date: May 5, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Genre: New/young adult contemporary dramatic romance
Format/Source: epub from author
Status: Book 1 of the These Days series

I received After Tuesday from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was set up by Shane from Itching for Books. The rest of the tour schedule can be seen here.

Family really is a pain...especially when your father is an addict.

For the last two years, high school senior Ruby has been her own rock and solace. She has learned to depend only on herself and hides her family's issues by keeping herself somewhat unnoticable. Despite her isolation, Ruby has intrigued the affections of someone unexpected. Finding herself loving life once again as his persistence sparks a romance awakening a well-protected heart.

While Ruby's relationship with her father is constantly teetering, her new-found affection continues to blossom into something more than she ever thought possible. Soon, Ruby comes to realize that opeing up your heart means being susceptible to love and disappointment.

We take down one of the canoes and place it at the edge of the lake. He hands me a paddle and puts his paddle along with his bag inside the boat. I get in, sitting near the bow, so Brent can take the stern before he pushes it into the water.

As we begin to drift farther across the lake, I feel that familiar sense of calm take over my body and mind. There is a conscious feeling of peace that emanates from these waters. I can't contain the joy that spreads across my face as nature relaxes my every nerve, opening my mind to the possibilities of this moment and ever moment from this point on. Hope, freedom, peace--I sense all fo them right now. I'm lulled into a place of contentment while sharing one of my favorite things on earth with someone new, different, and unexpected.

"Just keep heading out," Brent says from behind me. "It won't take us too long to get there."

I don't care how long it takes or where we're going. This moment, right here and now, is my definition of heaven. I know he says there's more to come, but this is good enough for me.

I can almost always tell if I'm going to primarily like or dislike a book based on how much I read and how quickly I read it.  This isn't fool-proof, but it's a general indication of how well I htink it's going to go. Well, it took me about 30 minutes to read a fourth of the book so I had a feeling I'd really enjoy After Tuesday, and I was right!

After Tuesday reads like Ruby's diary to me. Normally I prefer a bit more dialogue as if I am an invisible observer watching the action occur, but I enjoyed the way that After Tuesday read a little bit more like Ruby was telling me her story. Not like a conversation, exactly, but, yeah, like I'm reading her diary about the whole thing. I love it when a book's style and format are different from what I expect, and I like them. I'm pretty set in my reading preferences so a change in style and pace is really nice for me.

Basically the book focuses on Ruby's relationships with the two main men in her life, her dad and her new boyfriend Brent, and how both relationships affect the other. I can see After Tuesday fitting in with several of Sarah Dessen's more "serious" novels like Lock & Key or even Dreamland. There's some heavy material here with the way that teenage Ruby has to deal with her dad's alcoholism. There're so many genuine emotions: anger, sorrow, pain, embarrassment. And then she's trying to navigate her first real romantic relationship when gets really intense really quickly, and Ruby has to decide how much of her life to share with Brent, which leads to some serious consequences. I think one of the best aspects of the book is the reality of Ruby's naivity at being in a relationship. It's scary how much I identified with her when I compare her first couple weeks with Brent with my very first Serious Relationship. Lucky Ruby gets Yummy Brent, though, and I was stuck with...Not-Yummy-Brent.

Speaking of Yummy Brent, anytime a relationship in a book can give me stomach butterflies, I'm going to jump up and down for joy. I laughed when reading the acknowledgements at the end because apparently someone championed for more kissing. She certainly got her way! Ruby and Brent are HOT for each other, and I was totally into it. Also, Brent is a total wordsmith. There's a scene where the two have to compose poems for their English class, and oooooh, I want Brent to write a poem for me! Sexy like a fox, a soccer player, and a closet poet?! Forget going after the MBA in college, boyfriend needs to become a writer when he grows up!

After Tuesday really is no light-hearted summer romance. The romance itself is intense and epic, and the side plot with Ruby's dad is deep and dark, but don't let that keep you from picking it up. I want to finish with this really lovely quote from the kind-of end of the book: "Those times were laced with fear and disgust. This time is laced with hope and possibilities." I'm hopeful that Ruby's story is on its way to a Happily Ever After, and I'm so glad I get to find out because the sequel, Forgotten Yesterday, is coming out in a couple months!

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About the author:
Renee loves to wear hoodies, is fluent in Yoda speak, and likes to make videos with Lego figures. She is a long time insomniac, but doesn't have the energy to start an underground Fight Club so she settles for writing stories about the characters who plague her mind. She grew up in the Midwest and currently resides in the Boston area, but sounds nothing like Ben Affleck or Matt Damon.

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This giveaway is hosted by Shane from Itching for Books, not me. Winners will be contacted directly by Shane. Good luck!

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