Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Still At Your Door by Emma Eden Ramos Blog Tour + Review

Still at Your Door: A Fictional Memoir by Emma Eden Ramos
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Publisher: Writers AMuse Me Publishing

Published: February 22nd, 2014
 Sabrina “Bri” Gibbons has only a few short minutes to pack her things and help her sisters pack theirs before running with their mother to the bus that will whisk them away from Butler, Pennsylvania, an abusive relationship, and a secret that none of them wish to acknowledge. She was not prepared, though, for her mother to drop them on the streets of New York with the promise that she would be right back. Haunted by the sight of her mother running back to the cab, Bri, with Missy and Grace in tow, settles in with their grandparents. Thoughts of her present and her future collide with memories of her past, her dead father, and her mother’s bizarre episodes. She watches her sisters struggle with school and acceptance, all the while knowing the lack of any sense of security will make it impossible for them to carry on as ‘normal’ children. She finally lets her guard down enough to allow someone else in and sees a faint glimmer that her dreams might be attainable. Disaster strikes again, this time targeting her sister. Is it possible for Bri to find that balance between her dreams and her family’s realities?

Review: I am not someone that reads a lot of memoirs. While last year I went through a bit of a phase where I liked to read non fiction, it did not last too long, and most of them were about educational things that would help me improve things at work, or just add addition things to what I was doing in my classroom. I think I have only read a couple of memoirs total, actually, which might be kind of sad. Still, I liked the idea of this book being a memoir, but a fictional one. I am a fiction lover through and through, and I really love how this one had a combination of the two. Of course, it focused on a lot of real life things, things that some people deal with every day, and that did make it a bit hard for me to read. I guess it hits close to home because a lot of my students at work at dealing with some similar things, and I can see how rough it is on a young person. 
At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to three sisters, Sabrina, Missy, and Grace. It is clear that the girls are already used to rough situations. Sabrina and Missy have lost their biological father, and Grace's father is not a good guy at all. The story starts in a very expressive, beautifully written way in which Bri and Missy are at an ocean, and Missy is expressing how she believes life would be much easier in the water. I loved the imagery of it all. Then they are back to the future, where their mother is waking them up and taking them on a trip to see their grandparents in New York City. Little do they know that their mother intends to leave them there and return home to Pennsylvania. 
From that point forward, the girls struggle through a lot of things. They did not go to school regularly before the move, so poor eight-year-old Grace does not even know how to read when they begin attending school in New York. Missy ends up dealing with the wrong crowd after enjoying the feeling of being accepted, and has to deal with the ordeal of sexual assault and abuse at the age of fifteen by a peer at school. Despite all of the negative, Sabrina seems to finally figure out who she is. She decides to join the theater crowd where she meets some great people, along with Cameron (eeep). 
This book is a wonderful view of how difficult life can be, and how people can rise through some of the darkest of times. It was so easy to read, so easy to fall into the situation and to feel for the characters as they struggled so much. The book does not necessarily have a happy ending, but I believe that goes well with the idea of it being a fictional memoir. Life is not always full of happily ever afters, and sometimes we have to take the hand that is dealt to us and find a way to move on. 
Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Author:
Emma Eden Ramos is a writer and student from New York City. Her middle grade novella, The Realm of the Lost, was recently published by MuseItUp Publishing. Her short stories have appeared in Stories for Children Magazine, The Storyteller Tymes, BlazeVOX Journal, and other journals. Ramos’ novelette, Where the Children Play, is included in Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for LGBT Teens, edited by Eric Nguyen. Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems (Heavy Hands Ink, 2011), Ramos’ first poetry chapbook, was shortlisted for the 2011 Independent Literary Award in Poetry. Emma studies psychology at Marymount Manhattan College. When she isn’t writing or studying, Emma can usually be found drinking green tea and reading on her kindle.
Twitter: emmaedenramos

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Thanks for being on the Still at Your Door blog tour, Tiffany!



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