Friday 1 April 2016

Release Day Blitz, Review & Giveaway ~ Heartfall by JB McGee

Heartfall by JB McGee is LIVE!!!!

Book Description:

Claire Ross has never been good enough. Not for the girls in the elite group of dancers in her class and certainly not for the approval of her ballet teacher, Mr. Robins. She definitely doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. Simply put, she doesn’t love herself, so how could she possibly love someone else?

After twelve years of friendship, Sebastian Reyes’ adoring gaze holds more. They soon find themselves unable to control their feelings for one another.

When tragedy strikes, Claire finds herself in a very unlikely and unfavorable position. Regardless of the weight of the emotion, she must make difficult decisions that impact the rest of her life.

Will Claire see that her true love has been right in front of her? Happily ever after isn’t just for fairy tales. To get hers, all she has to do is trust, open her heart and fall.

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When I was five years old I wanted to be a ballerina, so my mom signed me up for dance. Over the next ten years, I explored all three styles: tap, jazz, and ballet. Tap ended up being my favorite, and I studied it for ten years, ballet for four, and jazz for one. 

The years I took ballet, I was told to grow my bangs out, to wear my hair in a bun because that’s what ballerinas do. When I ate my snacks from the convenience store because that’s what my single mom bought me after school on her way to drop me off at the studio, I was ridiculed and told if I lost just a few pounds, I’d be the perfect size for a ballerina. I was in elementary school. Looking back at those pictures, I wasn’t fat. Not even close. After my entire class was promoted to pointe and I wasn’t, I quit ballet. 

While this story is fiction, there is a lot of me in Claire, but it only takes a few minutes to read the trending headlines to see that this happens to a widespread audience every day. I think there is a lot of every girl in Claire. 

Do you like every part of yourself when you look in the mirror? Or did someone, society, make you feel if you lost just a little bit more weight or changed a small part of who you were, you’d be better in their eyes? And then after so long you found you didn’t like the person you saw through your own eyes, didn’t even recognize her? 

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so. 

When I started this book, that’s not the message I’d hoped to spread or share, but that’s what it ended up being. Like all of my other books, Claire’s story was cathartic for me because it helped me release a part of my past I didn’t realize I’d been hanging onto so tightly. As much as I loved dance, those years in the studio damaged me. But on the contrary, each day in the studio, each mean girl, each hurtful comment, they took an oyster and produced a pearl. A one-of-a-kind, oddly shaped, uniquely colored, and beautiful pearl. 

Every day since writing Heartfall I’ve tried so hard to look in the mirror and find something I like about myself or to ignore something I’d ordinarily criticize, and I challenge you to do the same. We’re all beautiful and strong women. This is Claire’s story on finding her beauty and strength. Along the way, she’s blessed to find incredible love too. I hope you enjoy it.

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“If you made me weak, I never want to be strong.”

I have to start by saying I am a huge JB McGee fan, I have loved her other books and she always manages to evoke every single emotion out of me without fail and this book was no different. At times I had tears rolling down my face, I was a mess, I was cursing the author because she had done it again but after putting me through the emotional wringer and while trying to mend my broken heart, for me this book lost its way. This is just my opinion, but for me it was a book of two halves and the first half was fantastic.

I was bullied at school, really badly to the point I was beaten up beyond recognition, there was always an excuse for them but for me, it was always why me? What had I ever done to them? Claire was the victim of bullying, for years she had put up and shut up and then one day, finally, she gets her knight in shining armour in the guise of Sebastian Reyes. He was the leading male dancer, he had the biggest heart of gold and wore it proudly but most of all, he had seen and heard enough, it had to stop.

“Because I think us dancing together is going to be what leads you from the darkness back into the light.”

Sebastian was wise beyond his years and sixteen-year-old Claire had been on his radar for years, he had admired her from afar but now he was stepping up to the plate, protecting her from the girls and finally had the guts to declare his feelings and intentions. The boy had it bad, but it was reciprocated, but these two had issues to overcome, mostly Claire’s insecurities and self-confidence.

“…And maybe one day, I’ll love me.”

Bullies don’t realise the damage they inflict, for them it is a casual comment, a stupid prank, or a little slap, something that they forget five seconds after the event. The person on the receiving end, each word, each prank, each slap…lasts a lifetime and JB McGee really brought this to the forefront. It resonated deep and brought back harsh memories, but most of all I empathised and I was willing Claire to see what she had in front of her. A boy that loved her implicitly, a boy that would do anything for her and a boy that loved her for who she was, inside and out. Sebastian and Claire were inseparable.

“Some people have to use small words to fill big insecurities.”

Part 2, yes this book literally is a book of two halves, here is where for me it just lost its way and I am being deliberately vague because I don’t want to spoil anything. My character connection was shot, I didn’t feel it, I didn’t believe it and for me that impacts my reading. I am an emotional reader, I have to live and breathe it and the first half, I had that in spades…emotional overload. JB McGee wrote the first half to perfection and I personally feel because she did such a fantastic job it made the second half lose its impact.  There was one plot device used as well that I personally felt wasn’t needed either, for me it was a tad unbelievable and just negated everything that had happened in the second half.

However, as I have said, I adored the first half, it ticked every single box I love and while the second half wasn’t my cup of tea I was still emotionally invested in Claire’s story. I wanted to see it to the end but most of all I wanted her to be happy. I loved the epilogue and was glad to see Claire’s story come full circle. She was stronger than she thought and while she had been through the mill to get there, sometimes fairy tales do come true, there is a prince out there for everyone, you just have to trust your heart to find them.

“I’ll love you a second past forever.”

About the Author:

J.B. McGee was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. She is the mother of two beautiful children and a stay at home mom/entrepreneur. She finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006. During her time studying children's literature, a professor encouraged her to become a writer.
In 2011, it was discovered that both her children, she, and her husband have Mitochondrial Disease, a disease that has no cure or treatments. Being a writer allows J.B. to remain close to her family, raise awareness for mito, and to lose herself in the stories that she creates for her readers.
J.B. McGee and her family now reside in Buford, Georgia. She is an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of her debut series, the 'THIS' Series. 

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://www.jbmcgee


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