Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Book Review & Giveaway: Grace Grows

By Allie Smith

**Giveaway is now closed**

I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially one between a rock star and an everyday girl, probably because this has always been my not-so-secret fantasy. Since I was a teenager, I’ve harbored a school girl crush on some rock star or another. I’d daydream about how we’d meet and whether or not I‘d fit into his rock star world.

This is what happens to Grace, only her rock star, Tyler, is still a struggling artist and brand new to New York City, walking dogs to make ends meet (which is how they have their chance encounter). Grace is a text book editor who lives with her lawyer boyfriend. On the surface, Grace is as steady as they come, which charms Tyler, who is immediately smitten. He pursues her, indiscreetly and in spite of the boyfriend, from the beginning. Although Grace is flattered by the attention from the gorgeous and sweet Tyler, she’s also wary. Grace has abandonment issues stemming from her parent’s divorce and her father’s (who’s a famous artist) absence from her childhood. Tyler, who appears to get by on a wing, a prayer and a song, makes her nervous. Perhaps, he’s a little bit too much like her dad. His carefree nonchalance terrifies Grace, yet she continues to be his “friend.”

Sumners has created complex characters that are very likable, despite their flaws. You can’t help rooting for them. Tyler is the sexy, sensitive rock star, living a Bohemian life style. Grace is endearing, with her responsibility, intelligence and love of all things grammar. I felt empathy for the loneliness she endured during her childhood, which explains her reluctance to get involved with Tyler - to a point. Tyler, on the other hand, was brought up in a traditional and loving home, which gave him the confidence needed to take risks and pursue his dreams. Eventually you ask, who is more of a grown up? I concluded that it was Tyler

Grace’s stubbornness was sometimes an issue for me. After a while, I found myself very frustrated by her actions. The story would drag a bit when Grace’s fears consumed her, but then sunshine illuminated the pages when Tyler appeared. Tyler so obviously adored her and did nothing to make Grace doubt him as much as she did.

In addition to the romance drama, this is a story about being true to yourself. Grace has to decide what she wants to do with her life – live safely (and boringly) or pursue her dreams. Can she forgive her parents for their failings, and have the grace to allow them to make it up to her? The title of the book, Grace Grows, is perfect, because I kept wondering, can Grace grow up? I was intrigued by the depiction of the music industry and what it’s like for new artists starting out, which is an angle that I’d not been exposed to before. Sumners writes as if she’s a music industry insider. The author’s husband, a musician, wrote all of Tyler’s songs. The poignant lyrics are an important element of the story (visit Sumners' website to listen to them).

I loved this story. It reignited all my rock star crushes, which has driven everyone around me crazy. I’ve got my head in the clouds, listening to my tunes, daydreaming about what could be. If you have a rock star fantasy or like a good story about finding one’s true self, then this book is for you. Either way, rock on.

Allie Smith, a former CPA who five years into her career decided that she hated working with numbers and willingly gave it all up to be a stay-at-home mom, lives in suburban Atlanta with her husband and four children. In between carpool, play dates and refereeing the kids, she loves to read and write. The mother of a child with autism, she is currently working on a memoir of their journey. She can be found at her blog.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have FIVE copies of Grace Grows, for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada. They also will include with each book a download card for the Grace Grows Original Soundtrack of songs that are in the story, written and recorded by singer-songwriter Lee Morgan.

How to win:
Tell us your favorite movie involving rock stars, musicians, bands, etc. (Ex. Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg, Almost Famous, etc.)

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends May 19th at midnight EST.
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TinaB said...

The only one I can think of is "Camp Rock" with the Jonas Brothers. Ha! I've watched that a hundred times with my twin daughters.

Book Mama said...

I loved Rock of Ages (not the movie, but the Broadway show). It was amazing.

Nova said...

I loved "Purple Rain" back in 1984!

Victoria said...

The Doors! I absolutely loveddd Jim Morrison, and their music, and the movie was SO SAD! But I can watch it over and over again.

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

I loved the movie PITCH PERFECT...funny and had great music!!!

rhonda said...

I loved almost

Mary Jo Burke said...

This is Spinal Tap. So good it seems real.

Jennifer L. said...

The only movie I can think of that I saw and enjoyed was Almost Famous.
jentam777 at gmail dot com

Lea said...

I don't really have a favorite, does "Wayne's World" count? I've seen it and they rock out. :)

Hailey Fish said...

The Hunger Games with Lenny Kravitz as Cinna the stylist.

Jilleen said...

That would be a tie between Grease and Purple Rain - I know two totally different ends of the spectrum!

Jill at Seaside Book Nook

seasidebooknook at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

The Blues Brothers is one of my favorites.
kumquat8 at hotmail dot com

DarcyO said...

That Thing You Do is my favorite movie about the music industry.


bn100 said...

the Amadeus movie

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

The Doors

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I loved School of Rock!

Rita Wray said...

I love the movie Eddie and the Cruisers.


JROSEN60 said...


karenk said...

Grease ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

PoCoKat said...

Rock of Ages

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

rubynreba said...

I would say Grease.

Unknown said...

I would have to say Grease. It's such a classic.

Unknown said...

Forgot email:

Unknown said...

I recently watched Pitch Perfect-such a cute movie with great music!

Jeryl M. said...

I like School of Rock and Pitch Perfect.

Janie L. Hermann said...

It would be a tie between This is Spinal Tap and Almost Famous.

Oh, and I married a rocker so this book is right up my ally.

janieh at gmail dot com

Lauren McCormick said...

Grease is my all time favorite!! Every time my Hubby and I go to the Drive In Movies we sing Stranded at the Drive In. Haha

daryl wolke said...

A Star is Born..Streisand and Kristofferson

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and telling us your favorite movies about musicians.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for sharing the book with our readers. chose FIVE winners from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to:
5-Mrs Mommy Booknerd
7-Mary Jo Burke

Shelle Sumners said...

Congrats to all the winners! I hope you have great fun with Grace Grows and the Grace Grows Original Soundtrack!

xo Shelle