Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Goodbye to You" by A. J. Matthews

Goodbye to You
by A. J. Matthews

Goodbye to You is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a spotlight and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Europe? Nope. Mexico? Nope. Key West?
Not me. This summer, I'm playing nursemaid to my sister. Yeah, I know. Relatively good looking twenty-two-year-olds don't spend the summer bedside in the cancer ward, but that's the plan - until my sister threatens me with bodily harm unless I get on the plane.
That's when I met him. He likes me. Really likes me. But more than that, he loves my boobs - like can't get enough. I have no idea how to tell him that they'll be gone soon. Courtesy of a preventative double mastectomy. Yep. That's what testing positive for the breast cancer gene mutation will do to a girl.
But don't feel sorry for me. I'm enjoying him, holding on until the last possible minute, while I muster up the strength to tell him, and watch him walk away.

Featured Review
I love finding a new (or just new to me) author that knocks it out of the park!
Plot: fresh idea, believable angst, appropriate reactions to secrets and insecurities. Nothing over the top. Heartbreaking, hopeful, but not dark.
Characters: Thea was heartbreaking. I can't fathom at any age, let alone in college, testing positive for a cancer gene mutation and having to make a decision to remove body parts that are so synonymous for "femininity". She was courageous, loved her family, loved her "boobs", insecure about her "after" body, reluctant to get involved in a relationship at this stage due to the impending surgery. Shay was also heartbreaking. His family carried the scars of genetic markers that passed along mental illness. His angst was just as believable as he worried that nobody would love him for fear of mental illness striking him at any time or passing it along to his children. My favorite types of heroes are those who are loving, persistent, respectful, emotionally available, and no cheating. Shay was all of these. These two together were magic from the start. Yes, they have their ups and downs, but everything fit in context of the impending secret surgery (Thea was keeping it a secret from friends and family). At the beginning, Shay describes himself as awkward, shy and not fond of crowds. The author could have ramped that part of Shay's personality up some as he didn't come across to me much that way.....a little bit, yes, but after reading that at the beginning I was expecting that to factor into the relationship which it really didn't.
Language: The author has a way of manipulating words for maximum imagery without being overly flowery. The dialogue (and internal musings) were natural and fit the characters ages/situations. This was definitely a show, not tell, book as the emotions bled through the language. I felt everything and cried quite a few times. One suggestion for the author (maybe more of a personal peeve) would be to find alternatives for the word "crotch", especially during sensual scenes. That is one jarring word in my opinion ... ugly in sound and ugly in thought. Just ugh! There are better words to use that are more appealing to the mind. Just my two cents ...
Overall, Goodbye to You was a huge hit for me! I definitely recommend this book. Personally, I will be adding A. J. Matthews to my "check for new books from this author" list. It really was that good!

From the Author
I wrote my first book at six. A retelling of The Three Little Pigs, illustrated by my grandmother, the book was never picked up and was self-published instead, glued to cardboard with a cover fashioned from wallpaper scraps.
Today, I write stories featuring nice guys (or nice guys in-the-making) in between my other jobs writing research reports for a commercial real estate company, refereeing two young daughters, navigating the teen waters with a too-cute-for-his-own-good son, spoiling a neurotic cat, and making my darling, patient husband shake his head. I'm also an autism mom, chocolate enthusiast, sports-watcher, nacho-eater, and beer-drinker.
A Maryland native, I live in North Carolina now, but dreams of the beach fuel my fantasies, and my characters can often be found strolling in the sand or sailing along a coast.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.