Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Tour for Shatterproof by K.K. Weil (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Readers who like being drawn into emotionally intense storylines will find just that with Shatterproof by K.K. Weil.  Keep reading for a glimpse of this tale of abuse and its far-reaching affects, along with my impressions of it.  You can learn even more about this book through the author's commentary on tackling serious issues while entertaining and by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this book make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $20 bookstore GC too!

Thank you so much for having me today. Yours is a topic very near and dear to me.
I tend to write about sensitive issues. I find that they give me a deeper connection to my work and add a lot of meat to my stories. But handling them can be tricky. Especially when I’m expressing a character’s opinions, not my own.
Much of my new novel, Shatterproof, revolves around domestic violence. Half of the story is told from Griffin’s point of view. Griffin grew up watching his mother suffer at the hands of his father, yet she always refuses to leave. Griffin is tormented by his mother’decisions. He hates his father, which he is okay with. But what he can’t stand are his conflicted feelings toward his mother. He loves her and wants to take care of her, while resenting her for staying at the same time.
It was very important to me that I portrayed this subject the right way. I did a lot of research before I started the book, about the long-term effects of witnessing violence in the home, and how that carries into adulthood for these children. Since the book is written from Griffin’s perspective, it had to reflect his feelings toward both parents. I wanted to make sure it was clear that his opinions about his mother’s decisions were his and not mine. But I didn’t want to tone down his anger out of fear that it sounded like I, as the author, was bestowing any judgment. It was imperative that I gave his voice as much power and validation as possible.
I decided to have my heroine, Frankie, do some of the work for me. For example, during one crucial scene, Frankie questions whether Griffin is being objective about something between his parents. While not discrediting Griffin, it does bring attention to the fact that there are different points of view. It also makes us question whether Griffin is entirely reliable as a narrator, or if he’s so close to the situation he might be missing something, like why his mother chooses to stay.
It was a fine line. One that I worked long and hard on. Even after the book was finished, my execution made me nervous. Only after hearing feedback from some early readers and reviewers was my mind set somewhat at ease.
I was also faced with how to handle a sensitive topic in my first book, At This Stage. In that book, my hero, Jackson, has a brother with a disability. Jackson adores his brother, Danny, and judges people by how they treat him. It was crucial to me that I portrayed Danny exactly the way Jackson views him – as an amazing person – while still being clear about his challenges. Again, I did research and again, I was nervous about the way I handled the topic. After having a few people read the book in its early stages, I questioned them about the storyline. Their assurances that I handled the matter well put me only slightly at ease.
Something keeps pulling me toward these topics. My current work in progress deals with homelessness and mental illness. Subjects that also need to be handled with care. But I won’t shy away from them. If I did, I’d be writing out of fear and not love, and nothing good can come from that. I think I once read that if your writing doesn’t make you afraid or uncomfortable, you’re not doing it right. With that in mind, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, writing about things that matter to me, and keeping my fingers crossed along the way.

Griffin Stone knows the stats. Sons of abusers become abusers. This is his single fear.
After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?
Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.
Until he meets Frankie Moore.
Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.
Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.

EXCERPT:

"Do you remember all the things people say?” Frankie asks with a lazy grin.
“Only certain people.” I smile back. I stroke her long hair. It’s wild against my skin, with unpredictable waves. Just like Frankie. My hands never tire of feeling every single surface and texture of her.
She rests her head back on my bare chest and begins tracing each of my tattoos. “I can’t believe you do this for all those women.” Her fingers follow the lines of a cherry blossom on my ribcage. “Do you have any idea how incredible you are?"
I don’t answer. She sighs.
“You don’t, do you?” She stops midtrace. “Can I see mine?"
I laugh at how blatant she is about it, when I specifically told her she was only part of the inspiration for the moon. I give her my back. A single fingernail follows the lines of the moon and the sky around it. I suppress a shudder. How does just one of her nails have such a blistering effect on my body? Then the same nail traces the tattoo parallel to hers. A faded sketch of a small, mustached man rescuing a child from drowning.
“I never noticed this one before. Is it for someone or is it just something you liked?” she asks.
“It’s for someone. It’s for Roth."
She finds the symbolism right away. “It’s very powerful.” Her voice flutters in my ear. “It’s in the same exact spot as mine, on the other shoulder blade. You never struck me as the kind of guy who needs symmetry,” she jokes.
“They’re there for a reason."
“What significance are shoulder blades?"
I chuckle. “They’re not on my shoulder blades, Frankie. They’re on my lungs. Mr. Rothman taught me how to breathe years ago. You’re the reason I keep doing it.”

BUY AT AMAZON here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

It's a rare book that has you thinking about it long after the final page was turned, but Shatterproof is just such a book.  From its compelling characters to its unique viewpoint and intense emotions it all combines to make a unique book that pulls you in with each word on the page.

Griffin's family life is one of domestic abuse that has left him feeling helpless and doomed to repeat the cycle.  It's also left him conflicted regarding his feelings towards his mother and her putting up with the abuse.  Griffin's determined to be a better man and to work off his anger over his family he delves into his artistic side with sculpting while volunteering at a woman's shelter.  All these acts keep his rage buried so he won't lash out and can be seen as atonement for his father's behavior.  If he can't save his mother he'll at least save other women.  In trying to keep his emotions under control he's also hardened his heart with short-term flings and one-night stands.  Meeting the free-spirited Frankie though has him feeling things he's never felt before, bringing out an Alpha side that scares him but brings her ever closer.  All his doubts and fears culminate in a romantic yet rocky journey to HEA that puts characters and readers through the emotional wringer.  Throughout the story Griffin was a character whose feelings were palpable and who drew you to him as he struggled with notions of legacy and nature versus nurture.  I ached when he ached and his frustrations were mine.  Being with Frankie might've made him fearful but it also made him feel freer than he ever had before and it left me rooting for them.


Frankie's past has left its mark on her too but no matter how many times she was knocked down she always got back up.  She's a strong-willed woman, though a bit flighty at times, who makes you want to smile.  She always tries to see the best of things which is exactly was Griffin needs as he sees only the mark of violence in himself.  While his passion for her has him pulling back, it has her embracing him even harder in a relationship that has her accepting him unconditionally and wholeheartedly.


This story had a good flow that quickly immersed you in its narrative.  The characters were compelling with a serious issue dealt with in a sensitive and thought-provoking manner.  Griffin was a sympathetic character whose future kept me on the edge of my seat as he strove to be as unlike his father as possible.  Frankie too was likable but seemed almost too nice which had me worrying over her future as well.  Their romance was sweet and sensual and of great support to each other in a world of fears and uncertainties.  On a whole this story gave a unique viewpoint to abuse as it didn't focus on the abused, it dealt more with the fallout and emotional impact on the next generation.  This made for a memorable read that will keep readers talking long after the conclusion and me recommending this author for her careful handling of a tough issue.

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.
**********GIVEAWAY**********

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20 comments:

  1. What three things do you think of the most each day?

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    1. I suppose my children, my husband and my current work in progress.

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  2. Thank you for having me today! I'm thrilled to be here. And thanks so much for the beautiful review :)

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    1. Thank YOU for being here and for crafting such an emotionally engaging story! What's up next for you?

      The Scarf Princess

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    2. My work in progress is about a young woman who owns a small crepe shop, which she uses to help the homeless. When a stranger comes into her shop and starts writing her songs on napkins, she's not sure what to make of him. The more she gets to know him, the more she wonders if he's not exactly what he seems. There are also a lot of family dynamics that come into play, which I'm finding is a common theme with my writing.

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  3. What a terrific review! and I so enjoyed the excerpt. Best of luck, K.K.

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    1. Thanks so much, Barbara. Glad you liked it :)

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  4. Great review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I can't wait to check this one out myself :)

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  5. Nice review. :) I'd like to read it, the blurb makes it sound like a great read.

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    1. Thank you so much, Serena! I'd love if you had the chance. Happy New Year!

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  6. The book sounds fascinating. It'd be a nice change to read a book that is more emotionally developed than some of the novels I normally read. Have added it to my 'to read' list for 2016! Happy New Year :).

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    1. Thank you so much, Helen! I really appreciate it. Happy New Year to you, too!

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