Thursday, 21 January 2016

A North Shore Story | Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to my part of A North Shore Story's Blog Tour! 

So, if you haven't already guessed, I was given the pleasure of joining the blog tour for A North Shore Story, the debut novel of Dean Economos and Alyssa Machinis! I received a free copy of A North Shore Story from PR by the Book for reading before its release day, so thank you very much to PR by the Book for sending me that!

 A North Shore Story, by Dean Economos and Alyssa Machinis
Publish Date: 19th Jan 2016
Length: 122 pages (e-book version)
Genre: YA, Fiction, Coming of Age

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

For the teenagers of Chicago’s North Shore, everyone has something to hide.
In a daring attempt to impress the elusive Sophia, Michael makes the biggest decision of his life, stealing over a hundred thousand dollars from St. Theodore Community Church.
That same night, Nichole’s insecurities are finally forgotten with a drug she soon won’t be able to control.
When Michael makes his getaway, he sees his friend Joseph cheat on his girlfriend with the priest’s daughter and knock over a candle that sets the church ablaze.
As the consequences of that night unfold, Joseph is blamed for the fire and the missing money. Can the teenagers of the North Shore confess their vices to help their friend? Or will their greed, infidelity and jealousy change all their lives forever?

So, without further ado, here is my (spoiler free) review for A North Shore Story!

To begin with, I must say that I wasn't actually a big fan of this book. I wasn't too sure why I disliked it to begin with, but I felt an initial lack of connection with the majority of the characters and I didn't find myself gripped by the writing.

I am pleased to say that all of this improved through the course of the novel!
While I'll admit that the start was quite slow, once I had gotten my head around whom each of the characters were, who their friends and partners were, and who they didn't get along with, I found this book so much easier to understand! At about 40 pages into the story, I found myself completely entranced by everything and wouldn't have put it down for anybody! I still wasn't the biggest fan of the writing in this book, but I was really interested in the plot and was really gripped in by what was happening and about to happen.

The main idea for the story centres around a group of teenagers living on the North Shore of Chicago.  As the story unfolds, a set of events occur that could change their lives forever. Some are by no fault of anybody, while others are a direct cause of something else. But will anybody own up to what really happened on the North Shore? Or will the consequences of somebody's actions lead to another chain of unspeakable events?

This was definitely a very dramatic book, however I was really interested in discovering, thanks to a Q&A with the authors (provided by PR by the Book), that the events that occurred in this work of fiction did in fact happen in reality. Obviously names were changed and the story was adapted to be put into the form of a novel, however the whole 'scandal' regarding the church did indeed happen, and both authors were actually characters in their own novel.
I personally think that's quite amazing! I would really love to find out more about that to discover what really happened on the North Shore, as opposed to what was changed to fit in the book.
But back on the point of it being a dramatic story, I can actually see this story being adapted to be a performance of some sort. I think it would be even more entertaining in the form of a play so I would love to keep an eye on this story to see where it goes, especially if a sequel is released, which the authors have stated that they're open to!

I did think that some parts of this story were possibly a little predictable and the ending did seem a little obvious to me, yet, nevertheless, I was still shocked by what happened and my mouth was actually left hanging open as the story drew to a close! By the end of the whole thing, I was really impressed and overwhelmed by what had occurred, so much so that I very nearly gave the story 4 stars, but decided to settle on 3.5 (officially 3 stars on Goodreads) simply because I didn't think the story had a very good start.

But, overall, I was really impressed by this book and do feel the need to go back to read it all over again to get a different perspective and view on the whole thing, which I think will lead me to enjoy the story even more as I will be familiar with and understand the characters right from the start, which was the main thing I felt that A North Shore Story lacked in.
That, however, does not mean to say by any means that it was a bad book! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing when the story got going properly. While this didn't initially seem like the type of book that would appeal to me, I found myself falling for it in the end!
Due to its short length, this would be a great read for taking to a lazy day at the beach, or for reading when you're fairly busy, as it was one of those books that could be read in one sitting, only taking an hour or so, depending on how quickly you read. On the whole, I generally prefer longer books that can be read over several days; however this made a nice change and was really easy to read in the short time I had to spare!

I would recommend A North Shore Story to fans of YA fiction, mystery, and suspense and drama. I don't think this book would be suitable for young readers due to it containing more mature themes such as drug use, drinking, bad language and sex, but depending on maturity, I wouldn't see this being an issue for any reader older than 13 - it is teen-fiction after all!

So, overall, I enjoyed A North Shore Story and I will be recommending it to my bookish friends - just go in with an open mind and let the story do the talking before you come to any conclusions!

That's all for now but I'll be back for more reviews soon!

Charlotte xxx

Want to buy A North Shore Story?

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