Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ellie Stanton by Aurora Zahni Blog Tour + Giveaway

Ellie Stanton by Aurora Zahni
Genres: YA Contemporary
Published: January 14th, 2014
Publisher: Beau Coup Publishing

Synopsis: Book 1 in the Heller Park Series focuses on Ellie Stanton. An imperfect, unremarkable girl makes a hero’s journey. Ellie Stanton needed to have a good day. The universe had something else in store. Getting caught shoplifting. Check. Dumping her lame boyfriend. Check. Expulsion from school. Check. Getting kicked out of her house and then stealing her mother’s car while she’s in a New Jersey turnpike rest stop Cinnabon? Check. The only sensible option is to run as fast as she can and never look back. Now Ellie is running going cross country to raise a little hell and maybe along the way learn everything she needs to know about life.
Review: Honestly, the synopsis of this book completely drew me in. When I received the email about the blog tour, I could not help but to be intrigued by it. First of all, it is a YA Contemporary, which is really right up my alley. Then, throw in that a character who seems to cause all sorts of trouble and then run away from home, and it just seems like a book that would have to be entertaining. And entertaining it was.
You get thrown right into the life of Ellie Stanton, and it is quite obvious that she has been getting into trouble for some time now. She starts her first day back to school after winter break and promptly gets expelled before making it through her third period history class. She has been told that she only had one last chance before she was out of there, so she takes it upon herself to bypass the trip to the principal's office and just leaves the school instead, flipping off said history teacher on her way out. I have to tell you right now, I love Ellie's spunk. It is really what made the whole book for me, and I could not get enough of the ridiculous things she could make up and say. It made parts that could have been dull incredible interesting, and I applaud Zahni for that. 
Throughout the book, the reader gets to see Ellie go on an exciting, spontaneous adventure, meeting new people and using whatever made up name she thinks up at the time. You see, she has been breaking rules for awhile, that much is obvious. Coming from a broken home obviously has a pretty serious impact on her life, and it makes it understandable why she acts the way that she does. Her mother does not care to be a parent, and does not seem to worry too much when her sixteen-year-old daughter decides to take off on her own with her car. Parent of the year right there, folks! 
Romance is not a big factor in this book, which is something that I really did appreciate. While there was Brett, who is completely in love with Ellie, she does not love him in return and even admits (often) that she treats him like crap. In the end he ends up with someone else, though it is clear that he will always have his heart on Ellie. I love that Zahni created a character who says she is incapable of love, and then stick with that instead of making her suddenly change her mind. That is not something that you see in YA books, especially when it comes to contemporaries. I love how Zahni decided to break the mold, and I am glad that she did.
My favorite part of the novel was some of the other characters that were brought into the story; mostly people that Ellie met while she was traveling, but stayed in contact with even as she returned home. They all gave her good advice as she traveled, and it all seemed to come together to help her figure out who she wanted to be and what she needed to do. Her best friend, Hilary, was definitely my favorite character behind Ellie, though. She was just as witty, though she was a caring figure that Ellie did not get from anyone else, including her mother. They had both had difficult lives, and they seemed to fit together so well. This is certainly one of those books where the characters made the whole thing, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. 
 Rating: 4.0/5.0 
About the Author: 
Aurora Zahni is a former rebel who’s trying to bring a little bit of Judy Blume and Sylvia Plath to the Twilight Generation. Over the years she7092273 has given half-assed / full throttle contributions to numerous zines and blogs, written a web movie and done significantly well in countless competitive eating events.
When she was in the 8th grade she was on the local evening news. A dead body was being lifted out of the water at a marina by the Meadowlands and you could clearly see her standing in the background watching, looking a bit excited for the camera. Looking back it may have been the highlight of her entire childhood.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7092273.Aurora_Zahni
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoraurorazahni
Website: http://aurorazahni.beaucoupllc.com/


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