Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dear Life by Meghan Quinn Blog Tour

Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life's greatest challenges.

The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons...and prove their existence.

With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey.

Dear Life,

Please be kind.

Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Hollyn, Daisy, Jace, and Carter meet when they attend a local program called Dear Life, which is designed to help them through their hard times.

Hollyn and Jace are both dealing with grief. We begin with Hollyn whose story is my nightmare. Jace's story tore my heart apart. His struggles had me crying so hard but then again, so did everyone else's.

Daisy is the positive, bright spark of the group. Eager to experience life and all it has to offer. Carter is drawn to Daisy's honesty and naivety, but he is a bad boy and nothing like Daisy. Carter himself feels short changed by life and is becoming bitter and negative as he sees his dreams slip away.

The story is told from the point of view of each of our characters. It is always clear whose point of view we are reading and the way the story is written allows us to get into their minds and hearts. At the end of each meeting of the Dear Life program the attendees have to write a letter to life. I loved reading their letters, but I confess Carter's succinct words were my favourite.

Getting past their issues so they can live their dreams and happily ever afters is a difficult journey for our heroes and as a reader, I was all in on their emotional journey and I was easily able to lose myself in their world.

Dear Life is absolutely superb, amazing, brilliant – I can't come up with enough good words. I feel like I've already read the best book of the year and we still have 51 weeks to go. Ms. Quinn has set the bar exceptionally high with Dear Life. It is a must read.

I am so glad I waited until the weekend to read Dear Life. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to hold the tears back had I read it at work, and I would have lost sleep had I started it after work because I couldn’t put it down. While Meghan Quinn has developed quite the reputation for her romantic comedies, it was easy to see within those books that she could (and did) tackle serious issues. Even knowing that, I still was not prepared for the emotional toll Dear Life took on me as I watched this group of four learn to trust themselves and one another, even when it hurt.

Death. Desertion. Servitude. Solitude. These are the things that bring Hollyn, Jace, Carter, and Daisy to the Dear Life program as they’re each on a precipice and have to figure out how to face the world before them. A world that is changing with or without them. The idea is that by embracing their past and letting it go, that they can move forward, past their current state of stagnation, and that together, they will support one another to overcome the fears that are holding them back… even if that fear is the fear of a new way of life. Because this is a romance, it shouldn’t be a surprise that in a group of two men and two women, couples emerge outside of their weekly group sessions – as well as friendships as they become one another’s support system in varying degrees. Quinn does a wonderful job of mixing the sessions with the characters’ daily lives so that the reader gets a sense of the person and sees what it is that they’re struggling with. Because the book is presented from each characters’ point of view, we’re not only privy to the events that affect them, but their thoughts as well, giving us further insight into each one of them. For me, the most telling passages were the letters they each wrote – well, maybe not Carter’s (lol) – because as the program progressed, they got better at telling “Life” what they were facing and how it made them feel. Not surprisingly, it was the final set of letters that touched my heart the most, particularly the very last one and it made me bawl my eyes out even as I smiled.

What I loved is how the author coupled the characters. In one, Quinn paired two people whose losses are nothing alike, yet their losses give them an ability to understand one another in a way that many people wouldn’t. In the other couple, they’re night and day, complete opposites in the jaded bad boy and the wide-eyed innocent. Yet both couples are believable and are written in such a way that I was cheering for them both. I wanted them to succeed, even when the odds were stacked against them, even when I was begging them to stop pushing the other too hard, even when I was praying they would push the other person harder, even when I wanted to smack one of them for being obstinate, even when I wanted to push them off their precipice and make them act, make them conquer their fear, make them face life, and make them claim the piece of happiness that was in their reach. Dear Life is a beautiful book that struck a chord deep inside of me and it is one that I know I will read again, repeatedly. Thank you, Meghan Quinn, for sharing such a beautiful story with the world.

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Connect with Meghan

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dear Life by Meghan Quinn to read and review for this tour.

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