Sunday, 13 April 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Lynden Rolland's debut novel, Of Breakable Things! Click on the banner to follow the other stops on the tour, read interviews with the author and find out more about the book.

Of Breakable Things - A Lynden Rolland
ISBN - 9781939765154
Publisher - Month9Books
Release date - April 29th 2014
Find - Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository | IndieBound

A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.

Alex Ash was born broken. Living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is like living on death row, but she is willing to fight for her frail life as long as it includes the boy next door. Chase has always held the pieces of her together, but when he dies tragically, Alex’s unfavorable fate becomes a blessing in disguise.

Faced with a choice, she finds herself in a peculiar world where rooms can absorb emotions and secrets are buried six feet under. Among limitless minds, envious spirits, and soulless banshees, Alex hardly rests in peace.

Yet again, I've read another debut novel that feels like it's been written by an author with several published novels under their belt. So far this year has been a great year for debut authors and I can only hope the trend continues! What first drew me to Of Breakable Things was that amazing cover, haunting & sad, it screams read me so without thinking I added it to my wishlist and jumped at the chance to take part in the blog tour. There are two different summaries of the book out in the wide world, the one on Goodreads leaves a lot more to the imagination as it makes no mention of the fact that Alex is terminally ill with a rare connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos (which I know a bit about as I was tested for it when I was first ill as a teenager, usually diagnosed in childhood it can occasionally remain undiagnosed into adulthood). There are varying forms of the illness and Alex is unlucky enough to have the variation that affects the whole body, tissues and organs, meaning death is always a high probability and at a young age.

Alex and Chase are best friends, Chase is completely normal with a large family and lots of brothers, Alex lives with her dad after her mother passes away having had the same disease. Everyone that meets the two children are stunned by the depth of their connection, when Alex dies and finds herself in her old third grade classroom with her teacher and about to make the decision of where to go her teacher comments on how she didn't think it was possible for eight year olds to have found the love of their life. This is how deep their bond is, so much so that after Chase dies in a tragic accident Alex willingly accepts that she is going to die because she doesn't want to be in a world without him. Alex eventually finds herself in Eidolon, the spirit town in California where all those that have died but have decided to not move on because of the spirit energy they have, live, work and even go to school. On hearing Chase's voice she knows she has made the right choice and sets out to find Chase & his family, easier said than done though as while she finds his family Chase is nowhere to be seen. 

All manner of things proceed to happen after her arrival, people's utter shock at her resemblance to her mother, banshees appearing close to the town, a box of old letters mysteriously appearing written by someone called Eviar and addressed to Sephi. People disappear, are attacked and make mention of Paradise which is not at all what it sounds like. There are Legacy spirits and incomers, intrigue and mystery but the over-riding them of the book is romance. Of Breakable Things doesn't read like your typical love story though, Chase & Alex have a completely natural relationship that develops as they grow older. Chase sees past her medical problems but never has the opportunity (whilst he's alive) to tell her how he feels and fears that Alex will think he only loves her because she is so fragile. Both of them ending up in Eidolon gives them the chance to be open & honest with each other and finally be together.

I could go on and on about this book, there were so many great characters - I particularly loved Chase's brothers, especially Jonas who it would appear has also been in love with Alex for quite some time, and Liv Frank (still alive but with the ability to sense ghosts) who was regarded as somewhat of an outcast too, and of course Alex & Chase themselves. Alex was so strong considering she's spent her whole life knowing she is going to die at some point, I loved her relationship with the Lasalle brothers and how she was a part of their family. Ms. Rolland's writing really is quite beautiful, it's not often I find myself highlighting passages but I certainly did in Of Breakable Things. I think what was most well done is that although the main theme of the book is death the story never came across as depressing. There was humor, friendship, love - all of which came together to make a wonderfully unique story. Another plus point was the use of different 'points of view', mainly Chase and Alex along with the use of the letters from Eviar as part of the narrative added to the unique feel of the story and added to the mystery. The level of detail was incredible, the spirit world, the rules they have to follow and Eidolon itself were so real in their description you could almost be there yourself. For a debut author that is some fantastic world-building and I can't wait to read more of Ms. Rolland's work. I'm hoping that there's going to be some sort of sequel/prequel/anything to Of Unbreakable Things because although the ending was the perfect finish there could so many more stories featuring the same/different characters and I'd like to see more of the spirit world beyond Eidolon.

I was drawn into the story of Alex and Chase from the very beginning, so much so that I read this in one sitting. The only - slight - negative point for me was towards the end of the story it started to drag just a little bit during the build-up to the grand finale which is why I rated it 'stay up late' rather than 'up all night'. If you like stories about friendship, family, love and what might actually exist beyond human boundaries then Of Breakable Things is definitely worth a read.

A. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, a picturesque town obsessed with boats and blue crabs. She has always been intrigued by the dramatic and the broken, compiling her eccentric tales of tragic characters in a weathered notebook she began to carry in grade school. She is a sports fanatic, a coffee addict, and a lover of Sauvignon Blanc, thunderstorms and autumn leaves. When she isn’t hunched behind a laptop at her local bookstore, she can be found chasing her two vivacious children. She now resides just outside Annapolis with her husband and young sons.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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  1. Great Giveaway Sounds amazing!

  2. Very excited about the giveaway! Fingers crossed!

  3. What an interesting synopsis! I'm sure I've seen this cover before but I didn't really look into what the book was about. I love discovering new debut authors. Thanks for sharing!

    Cat @ Addicted 2 Heroines

  4. This book looks amazing. Im noticed the cover the other day (how could u not) then was totally sold at the blurb. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Monday!


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