Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Review & Blog Tour ~ Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael {Giveaway}

Forever Julia
by Jodi Carmichael
Publication date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Great Plains Publications

Six months ago, Julia's life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy's love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.

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 Already emotionally fragile after losing her father to cancer, Julia is over the moon excited when the most popular boy in school wants to go out with her.  Being with Jeremy though is not always easy as he complains about her clothes, friends and even wants to control what she eats as to not get fat.  Jeremy is obsessive and controlling, but Julia seems to be blind to it all because she wants this relationship to work.  But will she sacrifice her values and her friends just to prove to Jeremy that she loves him?

Forever Julia was an intriguing and skillfully written story that had me glued to the pages hoping that Julia would see that she deserved so much more and didn't need to settle for something she thought was the best she was going to get. 

I really liked Julia's character, because despite all the heartache in her life, she was just a girl trying to do her best and give it her all.  Jeremy however was not my favorite (but really, he is not suppose to be).  He would go from zero to prick in 2 seconds flat and it was very hard not to want to reach within the pages and strangle him.  Blame it on upbringing, or whatever, but people like Jeremy need a good butt-whooping!

Forever Julia may be a work of fiction, but the story is far too real in the lives of many young girls and women everywhere.  I would recommend this book to anyone, especially teenagers and young adults because Forever Julia deals with real life issues that happen every day in some girl's life.  The signs of abuse may be subtle, but there are signs and this story depicts them beautifully. 

4 stars

“Julia you’ve got to stop talking about what happens between us. That’s private. It’s only between you and me. I meant it when I said we belong together. What we have is special, and I don’t want the whole world knowing everything.”
“I don’t tell anyone intimate details,” I say, flushing at the words. “But I always tell my mom stuff. She’s pretty intense about not keeping secrets. It’s one of her big rules. Especially after I had that trouble after Dad   died.”
“Julia, you have me now. You don’t need to go telling any- one else anything. I am here for you. If you have problems, you can talk to me. No one else.  Promise?”
“What about Annika?”
“No one. Julia, you have to trust me, or this is not going to work. I love you. I am willing to keep our personal life private.” Every time he says loves me I get this rush.
“I love you, too.”
“Good. Now let’s get something to drink. My dad keeps the bar fridge loaded.”
“Something to drink? Won’t he notice that you’ve taken some?”
“He doesn’t care what I do. He always says: ‘If you’re going to run with the dogs, you better rise with the roosters.’”
“What does that even mean?”
“That I can party all I want, but I’m not allowed to miss any school. Most importantly, I can’t embarrass him.”
“Oh. He doesn’t care what you do?” My dad was so involved in my life, I can’t imagine if he had been like Jeremy’s   dad.
“He’s only in town a few days a month. He has no clue.” “What about your mom? I know she spends a lot of time in California, but still.” His face clouds over.
“Change of subjects. What did you think about the last basketball game? I totally dominated,” Jeremy says.
“Yes you d—”
My words dry up as he places his hand on my knee, sending a jolt of electricity up and down my leg. I look down, half expecting to see tiny white lightning bolts shooting out his fingertips.
“Uhm, okay,” I mumble. All moisture in my mouth evaporates as my sandpaper tongue scratches the roof of my Sahara desert-dry mouth. I’ve just been zapped by 1,000 volts of Jeremy. As we drive down the winding streets, I am acutely aware that Jeremy has not removed his hand from my leg. This is good and bad. Good because it feels incredible. Bad because I can’t concentrate on what he’s saying. He’s talking about basketball and playoffs. I think. I can’t be sure because all I can think of is his hand. It started on my knee but slipped up my leg to rest on my thigh after the first turn, and there his hand, his very hot hand, has remained. This would be fine, except that I can’t get my mind to stop imagining what would hap- pen if that very hot hand slipped further north. Would I stop him? Would I want to stop him? Would Jeremy think I was a skank? But that’s what he wants, so he can’t think I am a skank? Right?
My head is reeling and now my pits have begun to sweat. Seriously, I now have drippy pits. If just thinking about sex causes my body to go into overdrive, what’s next? Will a massive boil suddenly erupt from the middle of my forehead if he kisses me again?
Jeremy’s voice breaks through the insane skank-babble that is cluttering my brain.
“Julia...hello Julia???”

“Oh sorry, I just…” I am completely flustered.

JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller.
Visit Jodi Carmichael at

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