Monday, January 21, 2013

Review of Allusive Aftershock by Susan Griscom


Title: Allusive Aftershock
By: Susan Griscom
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Published by Amber Glow Books
Release date: December 18, 2012
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Blurb:

What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him.

But, Max--her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet--hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking. 

When Max leaves her stranded in his parents' wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict. 

But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?



Ok, I read this book in like two days, just because I needed to know... KNOW if they all made it out alive!  You'll have to read the book to know for sure, but I will say there are heartbreaking moments these characters endure.

The book starts with an earthquake, which frankly would scare the hell out of me!!  Also, my sister lives in California and I pray that nothing like this ever happens to her.  I loved Adela, because she was so kind hearted, and worried about everyone around her before worrying about herself.  She did have a stubborn streak in her, which does get her into trouble, but it does make her who she is.  

It is when they are back at school that the big quake hits, causing a lot of damage and killing a lot of people.  It starts Adela on a journey of survival and reflection.  She realizes that her best friend Max is not the great friend she thought.  In fact, he is a jackass who looks out more for himself then Adela.  Until she calls him on it.  She's always believed herself in love with him, but he proves his true nature to her in due time.  

When they find Courtland Reese burned and barely conscious, in front of his burned down house, she and Max work together to get him to the safety of Max's family's wine cellar.  Max is heartbroken at the state of his house, and the loss of his parents, but does man up with Adela to get Court in the cellar.  In the meantime, Adela starts taking care of Courts burns, much to the complaint of Max who doesn't think it's needed.  

Now... there is Court.  He's beautiful!  He is who people call to assist them in calming their animals.  He works mainly with horses, but because of this gift, he's made fun of.  Kids in school call him a freak, and Mr. Doolittle.  Adela isn't too sure of him, and when she finally is able to get to know him, realizes that the kids are wrong.  Also, is surprised by the source of who started the rumors in the first place.  Court has been in love with Adela since he first saw her, and thinks of nothing but her.  Even while injured he thinks of her before himself.  Making sure she drinks and eats before him.  When she comes down with a fever after leaving the cellar, it is up to him to take care of her and get her to safety.  

Soon, Max decides to take off to find people and help.  He's aggravated that Adela decides to stay behind to take of Court.  She tells him that he needs someone there to take care of his burns, and he can't be left alone.  When they are alone, feelings are finally able to be brought to the surface that were kept buried.  Revelations about Max come to light, that Adela realizes that she had been lied to about.  Things that were cruel and heartless.  

There was a point I thought what more could this couple go through... would Adela find her family?  Would she find her horse that she loved so dearly? 

In the end, Adela suffers some heartbreak, but with the love and support of Court, she's able to get through it.   

I loved this book.  I could not put it down, as I had to know that they made it out safely.  I had to know what happened with Court and Adela, and if she found her family and horse.  Max, in the end, didn't turn out so bad after all.  He proved to be a pretty good friend to both of them.  He and Court were forced to work a few issues between them, but for Adela they would do anything.  


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A Note from Susan Griscom:
I daydream often and sometimes my daydreams interrupt my daydreams. So I write to remember them. If I didn't write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play—a dreadful disaster, though not from my writing, of course, I must blame it on the acting.

I love writing about characters living in small quaint towns and tend to lean toward the unusual and spooky.

My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running hot.


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Excerpt 1:
As Courtland stood, the legs of his chair scraped along the floor and the back of his knees pushed it out of the way of his tall frame. His dark green hoodie hung loose and unzipped, his jeans sat low on his waist. His hair was slicked back away from his face, different from the normal way it usually fell over his forehead, giving him the appearance of an ancient Native American warrior. If I wasn’t already in love with Max and Court hadn’t been so mean to me the other day, I might actually think he was hot, the way he walked up to get the book without saying a word, his gait easy but cautious as he sauntered past Max’s desk. One never knew what Max might do and Courtland had been the brunt of his antics more than once.
“Stop by the library on your way back and pick up a couple of the books they have on earthquake preparedness. There should be a good selection on the subject. Ask Mrs. Snow to help you; she’ll steer you in the right direction.”
Courtland strolled out of the room while Mr. Montgomery continued his talk about earthquakes.
Sometimes I felt sorry for Courtland, the way some of the kids made fun of his keen intuition with animals. This morning, I was still too mad at him to care much about that, though. My mind wandered back to Big Blue. I really wanted to ride him—maybe today would be a good time to do it. If Max rode with me, Courtland might stay clear. I scribbled a quick note in my binder, ripped the page out, folded it into a little square and handed it to Max while Mr. Montgomery wrote something on the board. He read it and folded it back up before sticking it under his history book. After flashing a smile at me, he nodded.
I sat doodling on the paper in front of me, making little swirling designs I thought might look good on a book cover, half listening to Mr. Montgomery when I felt a brush of material glide over my arm. I looked up to see Courtland as he strolled past me, back from his trip to the office.
 All of a sudden, my desk jolted

Excerpt 2:
With no electricity, I could barely make out the two figures standing by the door to the cellar. If not for the half moon, I would not have been able to see them at all. I stepped up to them and realized they were staring up at the sky and my eyes naturally followed their gaze. I had never seen such an awesome sight. Without any city lights for miles and miles, the stars in the sky were unusually bright and plentiful. A truly beautiful sight.
“Wow,” I whispered, standing between Max and Court. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Court’s focus change and he stared down at me. There was something strange about the way his eyes bored into me, as if he could see into my soul. I waited for him to look away but he held his gaze on me while I pretended to marvel at the sky. I’d never seen him stare at me that way before and I got nervous. My fingers fidgeted with each other and I clamped two of them in my other hand to steady them. If I hadn’t known better, I never would have guessed in a million years he had injuries. His eyes stayed fixed on me with an intense tenderness I had never seen from a boy before. Maybe Courtland Reese wasn’t so bad after all. Standing between the two of them in all their glorious hotness had my stomach doing flip-flops. I knew it was wrong to think these things under the circumstances, but maybe my mind just needed the distraction … or confusion. I loved Max, but I was beginning to like Courtland too. Man, I was in so much trouble.

Excerpt 3:
“I’m so sorry, Adela. I’m so sorry.” His soft voice barely registered in my ear while he stroked his hand over my head, trying to comfort me. I didn’t want comfort. I wanted to find my mom. I wanted her arms around me, rocking me the way she did whenever I became upset or sick. My legs buckled under me, and I collapsed to the ground. Max held on and sank down with me. We sat on the pile of my broken home. “I’m pretty sure she’s not here.” He continued, “I think she went to Sacramento with your dad.”
I sniffled, hoping Max was right. I knew we couldn’t search through this on our own. I just wanted to try.
I don’t know how long we sat there while I leaned against Max’s chest—could have been a few seconds, could have been a few minutes. It felt like hours. I dried my cheeks with the sleeve of my sweater but couldn’t lift my head from the comfort of Max’s embrace.
I thought about how I’d just used my sweater to wipe my tears and nose and sighed as I sniffled. Speaking softly into Max’s shirt, I said, “My mom would cringe if she saw me do that. She’d say, ‘Adela, stop, get a tissue. You’re going to ruin your sweater.’”
“Ah, you’re right, she would. Are you going to be okay?”
“No, but what choice do I have? I can only pray she’s with my dad and they’re okay—and hope Ambrosia and Aaron survived. We need to find them.”
“Right. First let’s find something for your hand.”
“My hand?”
“Yeah, look.” He placed his fingers around my wrist, turning my hand over; blood covered my entire palm. I stared at my blood-soaked hand as if it belonged to someone else. “When did I do this?”
“You fell when you were running toward the sweater.”
“Oh yeah, right, I fell.” I shrugged. “There’s a lot of blood, but it doesn’t hurt.”
“It will once the shock wears off.” He found a small dishtowel under the ramshackle pile of debris in the kitchen area and wrapped the soft cloth around my hand, tying a knot at the backside. “That should be tight enough to stop the bleeding. Let’s go to my house. My folks can help us.”

Excerpt 4:
An explosion burst through the air and I almost jumped out of my skin. I turned toward the noise and stared in horror at the sight of the Arco gas station completely engulfed in flames. The fire immediately spread into a clump of trees between the station and the half-demolished grocery store about six feet from where Max stood.
“Max!” I screamed and leaped up forgetting about the clenching in my stomach.
Max hurried back and grabbed my hand again. We ran, hopping over broken brick, concrete, glass, and wood from collapsed buildings, swerving between and around abandoned cars stopped or smashed along the road. Max never let go of my hand. Trees and buildings consumed in flames glowered around us, the heat almost too much to bear. The scent of gas permeated the air along with the muck of smoke and debris. Water spewed up from a broken fire hydrant, knocked on its side by the delivery truck now perched on top of it and I gasped at the sight of a bloodied man’s head hanging out the window.
I wanted to be home more than anything now. Did we even have a home? Were my mom and dad okay? The twins? What about Big Blue? I fought back tears, trying to convince myself they were all fine and probably wondering where I was. I squeezed my eyes shut to picture my mom pacing the living room, worrying and telling my dad they needed to find me.
All of a sudden, we stopped running. I glanced up to see why and gaped with horror at the road in front of us. The broken asphalt had buckled into a pile about twelve feet high, obstructing our way. The crumbled debris from the buildings on both sides blocked the entire area. With the newly formed abyss in front of us and the out-of-control inferno behind us closing in fast, we were trapped.


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1 comment:

Kassandra Fuentes said...

Thank you for being part of this tour :D!

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