November 20, 2013

'This Much Is True' Blog Tour - Review

November 20, 2013

Welcome to my tour stop on Katherine Owen's This Much Is True blog tour, hosted by AToMR Tours. I am excited to share the knowledge and my thoughts on this complex modern tale of starcrossed lovers.

Title: This Much Is True
Author: Katherine Owen
Publisher: The Writing Works Group
Publication Date: August 11, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | 
KoboBook Depository | Books A Million

Fate brings them together 
Fame & lies keep them apart 
One truth remains… 
She’s become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story… 
At 17, Tally Landon just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party—a college party—where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about the heartbreaking loss of her twin that follows her everywhere she goes. She meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford’s famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense—when she lies about her age and who she really is—intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.

His only focus is baseball, but he can’t forget the girl he saved on Valentine’s Day… 
At 22, Lincoln Presley’s star is on the rise—about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball’s upcoming draft—his cousin’s party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine’s Day that he saved from that horrific car accident and can’t quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What’s the harm in getting to know this girl? What’s the worst that can happen? 
Fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways… 
And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they’ve come to trust the most; one truth remains. 
This much is true.  
Caution: This title contains some strong language, some violence, and some sexual situations and is intended for readers 18+ in age.

This Much Is True is a very character and plot driven story. There were some subplots as well. This is not a typical NA novel where it is a light and fluffy read. There are many layers that adds depth and realistic quality. It spreads out over the span of four years, and in that time a lot goes on in all of the characters lives-- good and bad. By the end of it, you've been taken on a long, emotionally draining journey. Lincoln (aka Linc for short) is expected an early draft into Major League Baseball upon graduating from Stanford. Tally is steps away from being a professional ballet dancer. The story alternates POVs between Linc and Tally. To readers dismay, it's mostly Tally's. We get to see how their lives pan out when they are separated and when they are together. They are both devoted to baseball and ballet, just not so picture perfect. With that, entitles a lot of decisions, sacrifice, struggles and hardships.

Linc and Tally's paths cross for the first time in midst of a car accident that took Tally's sisters life. Linc saved Tally from the wreck. Which is where the story begins. The second time is at a party that their friends drag them to. They both attend as a means of distraction from what's going on in their lives. Linc recognizes Tally who is the girl he saved from that car accident. However, Tally doesn't remember Linc. She doesn't know the face of the mystery man that saved her from the accident is him. Linc is hellbent on getting to know her officially. Wanting to be anyone else, she lies about her identity. Thus begins the start of their snowball of lies. Their lies, either to protect themselves or each other, become the epitome of their problems throughout the story. Lies have a thing of catching up to you, and Tally learns this first hand. While her twin Holly was the good, relationship type, Tally is a one night stand type. So she decides for a quick romp with Linc that night. Little did she know is that it will go beyond physical. They are intensely drawn together by an inexplicable pull they want every answers to.

There are far and few kisses, or even encounters, and one night together within the four years that takes place, but the connection between them is so palpable, that makes too much of those to be unnecessary. It's easy to tell that they truly are meant to be together. Their chemistry and bond are deeply rooted, and they are not always it's best caretakers. It starts with all the lies Tally tells Lincoln at the party. So many obstacles appear in their way, it seems like the universe is against them. They both live different lives that lead to different futures. At the start of both of their careers, they are on opposite coasts. Tally's pursuing ballet on the east coast, while Linc is on the west coast for the major leagues. They are off and on constantly, which makes their dynamic spotty. At times, dating other people. There is a lot of back and forth indecision, schemes, manipulations, deceit, betrayal, lies that snowball, things come up or plans change every time they get their chance within their grasp, only to have it taken from them again. They make decisions and sacrifices that end up tearing the pair further apart and leads to regret. It's like a modern-day star-crossed love tale. Fate has a knack for timing and playtime, even if you don't believe in it. Tragic romance is the best way to describe them. They endure so much. It's a wonder if they will ever manage reconciliation.

The characters were infuriating at times, but that's to be expected. It makes for a great story though. People in real life can have a tendency to be infuriating and evoke emotions like there is no tomorrow; everyone is different. For a prima ballerina, Tally is one troublemaker. She's hurting over the loss of her sister, and comparing herself to her. Don't peg her as a lost cause though. Lincoln lets his family plan his life out for him, makes decisions of his future for him. I felt for him in that part. There are other things about him that made me see red (okay, maybe not to that extreme). He's honestly a compassionate guy. And his love for Tally, though, is so deep and real. Couple of the secondary characters made me want to pull my hair out at times, but they mean well. And the secondary characters Marla, Sasha and Jack are fully involved in Tally's life as is in the book. They are extremely supportive and stick by her side through thick and thin. They represent true friends, and this story delivers in that part. Others, however, do not mean well. I'm not even going into detail with the whole Rob (Holly's boyfriend) debacle, because I will never stop until a full-blown rant is produced. Same goes for Nika (friend of Linc) and Allaire (Tally's scheming dance teacher). Needless to say, they drove me crazy. But don't let that scare you-- this book is an intriguing read.

With all the stuff going on in their lives, not only is it character and plot driven, but it's very emotionally driven as well. It's emotionally heavy and draining as you read. It's like watching a sitcom, minus the cheesiness and snoozefest. There is a lot of angst to endure and resolve.

I like that the story didn't revolve around Lincoln and Tally as a couple in a cheesy teeny-bopper way, because their tale is no easy feat. It's clear that they are meant for each other, but it focuses on the foundation of plot and character development too. The struggles each of them face individually and as a whole. I applaud the characters for never staying down when they've been kicked, and staying strong through all of their hardships (even though I mentally slapped them a number of times).

Owens has a way to keep you on pins and needles. I found myself holding my breath a few times without even realizing it. She has a way of doing a 180 on your head that keeps readers invested. And it's interesting how things unfold too. It's not quite in the way you expect. Owens has a knack for keen and solid writing, and it shows really well.

I like that the storyline is complex, but not so much so that the plot or readers get lost. That is so important, and some authors who try to throw one too many things in their story, it makes a reader disinterested and stop from reading. Owens is thoughtfully careful when writing, and I truly appreciated that. Masochistic readers will understand and thrive in the complexity of it, flaws and all. Readers indulge in it whether they are or not. It's too intriguing to pass up.

As for the ending, it was abrupt and a bit anticlimactic. I felt that there wasn't much of a closure. No, there is no cliffhanger (Thank God!). Yes, there is an HEA, but not enough to take a sigh of relief when things finally fall into place all at once. Don't get me wrong, I love HEA's as much as anybody, but I was hoping for an epilogue to nail a solid end to such a complex story as this. One thing remains true -- being together is all they truly wanted all along.

About Katherine Owens
Dark. Edgy. Contemporary. Romantic.

Were we describing me? Or my fiction? Sorry. I drink too, not enough water. 

I swear too much for God and my mother, and I slip these into my fiction. Sorry. 

I'm impatient, a perfectionist, a wordsmith, a dreamer, which ends up being good and bad. I'm a workaholic; ask my fam-dam-ily

I've written four novels in as many years: Seeing Julia, Not To Us, When I See You, and my latest release This Much Is True.

If you love angsty, unpredictable love stories, I'm yours. ♥

I'd love to hear from you here or connect with me on Facebook.

Purchase This Much Is True

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