Monday, February 4, 2019

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway) Monday: The Accident by A.M. Heath


You can find the other stops on the tour here!

Other books I've reviewed by A.M. Heath:



Standalone to date

Blurb:
"Can a wrong number bring true love or only heartache?

Ashlyn Conner’s life is spiraling out of control. She's already lost her father, and now that her mom is battling thyroid cancer, she fears being orphaned at fifteen. When a friendly stranger texts the wrong number, Ashlyn finds a confidant she didn’t realize she needed. The more Ashlyn gets to know Chris Knowles, the more she’s convinced he could be the caring husband and loving father the Conner women so desperately need.

If only she’d been honest and hadn’t made him believe he was texting her mother, Danielle.

When the truth comes out, will she lose her friendship with Chris and damage her relationship with her mother? Or can God make something beautiful out of her lie?

Told through text messages and Ashlyn’s journal entries, The Accident is a heartwarming, family-centered story."




Review:
I received a copy of The Accident from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.

If I could use one word to describe this novella, it would be adorable.  I mean seriously, this is so cute!

1.  The characters.  This novella is a mere 105 pages and fitting any kind of meaningful character building in there is extremely challenging.  However, Heath did it brilliantly.  Each character is explored through at least one facet of their psyche: Ashlyn with her insecurity, Danielle with her uncertainty, and Chris with his faith in God.  To make any good character stick, this is the perfect technique.  I'll get into this a little later, but to briefly explain: this is an epistolary novella meaning instead of being writing from POV's in the traditional manner, it's written in the form of letters (or in this, more modern take, in text messages and journal entries).  Basically, through written, outward means instead of more inward POV means.  The point is, we get to know the characters based on what they say and how they say it.  We have no access to their direct actions (as told by a narrator or otherwise) and we have no access to their thought process.  This introduces a really interesting element into the character building and their interactions.

"When you feel justified in your anger is when you have the hardest time letting it go. … Her actions deserve punishment, but not your wrath. Not your silent treatment."

2.  The plot.  Somehow, within the span of 105 pages, Heath manages to fit in both a macro and micro plot line (the love story and the smaller interactions that take place throughout).  They worked really well and kept me reading a at a nice pace.  Without getting into spoilery territory, I'll just say that there's always constant tension that is perfectly applied.

"Can a wrong number bring true love or only heartbreak?"

3.  The romance.  Referring back to what I said in my intro, this is by far the cutest aspect.  The whole romance is based on Ashlyn lying to Chris when she was first texting him and pretending she was her mother which is a new type of romance planting that I've never come across.  That whole pretense made for such an interesting romantic development between Chris and Danielle (once she was actually the one texting him).  It turns into this great slow burn romance that is so sweet.

"I've seen the way those two look at each other over my head. Chris practically watched Momma half as much as he watched the game last night, and I know how much he loves his hockey."

4.  The format.  Getting back to what I was talking about in the character section.  Being an epistolary novella, this work provides some interesting perspectives and forced me, as the reader, into a new role.  Heath does a great job with the texting format and how it works into real life texting.  For example, she includes time stamps for the texts and during difficult conversations or when a large chunk of text is sent, there are pauses in the time between replies (5:17pm to 5:20pm instead of 5:17pm to 5:18pm).  These little details made all the difference to me.  I did find, from time to time, however, that Heath slipped back into the her more traditional writing style for a few lines without properly blending it into the 'scene.'  Small instances but they happened just enough to give me a jolt.  That being said, I want to take just a moment to talk about the POV's (or, perceived POV's).  Heath does such a nice job differentiating voices for different situations.  For example, in the beginning, Ashlyn is pretending to be her mom until she genuinely gets into conversation with Chris and that's shown in the cadence of the text messages.  We get to see her true voice in her journal entries and it was so interesting to see a character try to mask their own voice and only slightly succeed because of their own unconscious motivations.  Can you tell I love the mechanics of epistolary novels?

"I feel so stuck. So … stranded in the fog. I can't see or feel. I'm just there. And I'm all alone."

The Final Verdict:
A sweet, thoughtful take on a different kind of romantic beginning with an interesting structural framework.
4.5 stars



Meet the Author:


Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.



What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.




I’d love to hear from you. You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.
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Giveaway:


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Thanks for stopping by!  What do you think of epistolary novels?

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book... I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by, Loretta!

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  2. Sounds like a fun read! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It certainly is. Thanks for stopping by, Caryl!

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  3. Thanks so much for reading and featuring The Accident. I always enjoy your indepth breakdown in your reviews. And I ultra love that you appreciated the time and attention I spent with the time stamps on the text messages. ;) It was one of those details that I didn't think anyone would notice, so you made my day.

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    1. You're most welcome! I love books that play with format in a constructive way and I think your choices really made the book shine. Thanks for stopping by, Anita!

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  4. I absolutely loved this book! Very unique, I've never read anything else like it.

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    1. I thought the same! Thanks for stopping by, Kim!

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  5. I am glad you were able to really enjoy this book! It sounds like the epilostary method was one that worked well for you and that you were able to enjoy the complexity it opened with how we get to see and know about the characters. And I love a good slow burn romance too :D

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2019/02/january-wrap-up-2019/

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    1. It did! I haven't read many epistolary novels so the ones I do read I tend to cherish :) Right?? They're the best kind of romances :) Thanks for stopping by, Olivia!

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  6. It sounds like Heath did a good job with her character portrayals, especially within the space limits of such a short novella. The timestamp thing you spotted is great observation too. Details matter!

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    1. My thoughts exactly! It's so difficult to fit that much into such a small space with such an unusual format but I thought it worked really well. Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!

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  7. Aw! This sounds like such a good read. I love the concept!

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    1. It is! The idea worked in with the format is perfection :) Thanks for stopping by, Kyra!

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