Monday, June 1, 2015

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway)

Hello readers and Happy June! Ethan here welcoming you to my stop on the blog tour for Anne Heltzel's Charlie, Presumed Dead, hosted by the incredible team at RockStar Book Tours! Today's post will feature my thoughts on the novel as well as a great giveaway from our author. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

Author: Anne Heltzel
Pub. Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

ANNE HELTZEL is a Brooklyn-based author and editor of children's books. Anne was born in Ohio, has been a voracious reader since
the age of three, and credits her careers in publishing and writing (both lifelong dreams--just ask to see her childhood journal) to a serendipitous coffee shop conversation during her senior year of college. Anne was on a law school track until the aforementioned fateful conversation prompted her to switch gears and move to New York City, where she entered an M.F.A. program. In 2007 she began her first job in publishing. In 2008 she graduated from The New School with a master's degree in Writing for Children. Anne has since lived in India and Paris, and has taught writing and reading workshops in each of her former homes. More recently, she participated as a mentor in NYC's Girls Write Now program. When she is not writing, Anne is furiously (and passionately) editing novels for a Manhattan publishing house. She is represented by Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management. Anne also writes under the pseudonym Anna Collomore.

Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

My Thoughts:

Last month, I was in a big reading slump and was looking for something different to help pull me out of it. I got the email about signing up for the blog tour to promote Charlie, Presumed Dead and was really pulled in by the synopsis. It's not my general read, by any means, but I was curious. After devouring the novel I can definitely say at least one thing about it: boy, it certainly is unique. 

I've never in my life read a novel quite like Charlie, Presumed Dead. I won't say much about the plot because it's 242 pages full of spoilers, but this story was nothing like I envisioned. Constant plot twists kept me on my toes the entire time. You can't sit this one down for a second, folks, or you'll miss out! 

I will say a bit about the characters, as they were my biggest faults in the novel. This is just for me personally and it really didn't affect my overall thoughts, but I didn't care for either of the two main characters. It's odd in a story when I don't relate to the characters even a little bit, I can't say to me that this has happened recently. Both Aubrey and Lena are beautifully written, extremely complex characters, but they just weren't the female MCs that I am used to seeing. They are dramatic, self-centered, and really just not girls I would ever associate myself with. I personally don't see what Charlie saw in either one of them. Aubrey is a 'good girl' with a huge secret and Lena was so over the top and annoying I could have strangled her. I have to hand it to Hetzel, she got a lot of emotion out of me with this read.

When it came to the settings, I was very impressed. Having been born in America and never having done any traveling abroad (aside for a cruise to Mexico), I was really captivated by the exotic landscapes. From the pristine halls of Paris, to the slums of Bombay, Charlie, Presumed Dead takes the reader on a suspense filled journey across the globe! Each setting was written in just enough detail to set the tone, without bogging it down. This all added to the novels very fast pace which definitely keep me reeling from page to page.

There is a lot happening very quickly in this novel so let me say again, you've got to keep up. Characters pop in and out, the settings change from page to page, and the POV flips with each passing chapter. It's a bit like an amusement park ride where you never know which way is up, but you have a great time riding it out! 

The entire story is a great testament to the writing style of Hetzel. It's extremely unique with complex characters and a plot line that had my jaw on the floor on multiple occasions. It should be noted that this is definitely not the genre I typically read in so I was really shocked by how much I ended up liking it. It was seriously a great read. Warning, this one has a cliffhanger like none other! 

I would like to say a few things about the genre classification for this novel. From my understanding, this is a YA novel, but it definitely had a much more mature feel to it, placing is solely in the NA category for me. There is some rough language, sex, and some mature themes such as suicide, drug use, etc that really made me think NA much more than YA. Nothing wrong with any of that, just a heads up for those who are considering checking out this read.

I have a lot of questions about where this series is going so I'm more than a little anxious to see what happened in the next installment of this series. Hetzel has a great thing going and I can't wait for more! 

All-in-all I am granting Charlie, Presumed Dead a well-deserved 4-star review. It was mind boggling at times and left me more confused in the end than I was at first, but I sure cannot doubt Hetzel's beautiful writing voice and unique plot. I cannot wait to see more from this author!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Hetzel. It wasn't my all time favorite read, but I think it has great potential for some f you guys to fall in love with it! Also, it says it doesn't release until tomorrow, but it was in my local B&N yesterday! Go get yourselves a copy! Make sure to enter the giveaway before you leave. Huge shout out to the author and to the team at RockStar Book Tours for allowing me to participate. Until next time, Happy Reading!


1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting! The cover is fabulous!!!!!
    Sarah Bird