Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blog Tour: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Tour Hosted by Itching For BooksSchedule

Charm & StrangeTitle:  Charm & Strange
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Publishing Date:  June 11th 2013
Pages: 213
Genre:  YA Psychological Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Kindle Edition provided by Itching For Books


When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

WOW! I am going to have a hard time with this review, for many reasons. I am still shocked from the actual story. It was a very intense story. It's hard to review the story without giving anything away. The story is built on mystery and the unknown. I just don't know how to put into words the way I feel about this book. It was just so unreal but yet real. I couldn't put the book down once I started. It was beautifully written filled with many different emotions on every page. 

Win lives within a boarding school, he  is a loner, he is scared of himself, he has a dark past. Win often looses control, his temper, he can become violent. This story takes place over a couple days as Win remembers his past, fights with his monster inside, and choosing his present. 

It will be really hard for me to review this book without revealing anything... so it may be short. 

What stands out to me to the most.... the way this book was written was spectacular. Win's story is told alternating between past and preset and we get a look into his life as child, his life now as a teenager, and a bit in between. The entire story revolves around the mystery of what really happened to Win and who he really is now. The story was raw, intense, and extremely compelling. I felt confused for a bit, but I believe it was on purpose. I believe the author wanted us to see Win as others did, the ones that didn't truly know him and also as he saw himself. A confused boy that didn't know what was fact and what was fiction. I couldn't help but keep reading... page after page...It was a feeling of needing to know. 

The story consists of a few characters but mainly the reader is in Win's head and we are reliving memories that include his family.... siblings, grandparents, cousins. They are all there. The story also consists of the present and there are two other characters involved in Win's life, two friends, one new and one old. They other characters are there but I didn't feel very connected to them. The story was about the fight inside of Win. Win was the only character I ever felt connected to. I didn't mind. I usually need good character interactions but this story didn't need it. Win was enough. There are a few parts in his past where the relationship between Win and his family members is very important and the author did a wonderful job conveying the emotions for those relationships. The same goes for the relationship with Lex in the present. Its a very important relationship and I was able to feel the importance of that relationship. 

Win is a very complex character. Almost as if he was 2 characters. One of his past and one in his present. They were different yet the same. He was dark  inside,scared, confused, lonely, and strong. He had so much going on inside it was overwhelming. The story starts off seeing very little of who Win truly is but as his story unravels in pieces, I was really able to see Win. 

The story was such a wild ride for me. My emotions were up and down, waiting and wanting to see more, to know more. About 65 percent of the way through I got a feel for the direction of the book and so I was half expecting the end but not quite expecting it all. The mystery and darkness of the book was so awesome. 

This is one of those books, I finished the last page, took a deep breath, and just said WOW. I am not sure how to digest all of that. It was pretty awesome. 

Stephanie Kuehn is a YA writer who grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with a ton of wonderful bookstores. Her very first job was working in one of those bookstores, and she's been a freakishly avid reader for as long as she can remember.
Stephanie's other passions include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. She's currently living in Northern California with her family and their wild menagerie of pets.

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  1. This was a hard review for me too, I was so afraid to give something away, but I sooo loved it. I totally agree that Win did seem like 2 characters, he was just freakin amazing. Awesome review.

  2. I would love to read this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  3. Great review. Thanks for participating :)

  4. interesting book cover! must add it!

  5. I've seen this everywhere lately. And it does sound like a wild ride. Wonder why I didn't know about it sooner...


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