Today, Alicia K. Leppert stops by with her soon to be released novel Emerald City.
One city of 600,000 people.
One broken girl.
One mysterious boy.
One fateful night,
Two worlds collide.
Seattle, Washington. The sprawling, industrious city set in a blanket of pine. I have never known a day that wasn’t spent inside this concrete jungle. It’s my home, and for that I love it. But it’s also the setting for the tragedy called my life, and so I loathe it.
I live alone in a cold, empty studio apartment. The tiny square room closely resembles a cell. That’s my life: solitary confinement.
Here, in this desolate place that perfectly reflects my soul, my story begins.
It's a little bit difficult to review the book without giving away too much of the story, and I don't want to do that. I want readers of the book to discover the secrets as they read rather than from my review, so I'm going to try to give as thorough a review as possible without filling it with spoilers.
Emerald City is the story of Olivia, who lost her mother in the most tragic way a young girl possibly can. She wraps herself in her misery, isolated from humanity, barely existing from day to day. In a moment of desperation, she attempts to end her life. When she wakes, she is in the hospital, having been rescued by Jude, who claims to have seen her from his apartment across from hers. Soon, Jude is part of her life and as she heals, she falls for him. But Jude isn't what he seems. Jude and Olivia can never be together unless he's willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Olivia is a strong character. Though it seems she's weak in the beginning, it doesn't take long to discover that beneath her pain is someone who has a strong will to survive, no matter what is thrown her way. I admired that very much about her. Jude is painted in an enigmatic light so that you're not exactly sure what he is, though I had a pretty good idea early on. My knowing (or thinking I knew) what he is didn't take away from their journey or from understanding the impossibility of their situation. I still enjoyed the journey.
This is definitely Olivia and Jude's story. There aren't a lot of secondary characters, and those that are there aren't given much definition. However, I didn't find that to be a distraction for me. I was more concerned with Olivia's growth and their story together than any secondary characters, so, again, it wasn't a big deal to me.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, clean YA romance with some intrigue and a bit of... I was going to say paranormalcy, but I don't know if that's right. It has some mystery, maybe a slight bit of a gothic feel, contemporary with touches of paranormal. Kind of hard, I guess, to really pinpoint this book, and that's okay with me. I kind of like books that I can't quite label. My only complaint would be the ending was a little abrupt and didn't answer the Big Question that needs to be answered for Jude, but I guess I can live with that. :o)
There are some adult themes (suicide, for example) but they are dealt with realistically and without anything preachy, or graphic content that would be inappropriate for a teen. Emerald City shows a grittier side of life that is unfortunately some people's reality. Jude is charming, and Olivia is admirable. A definite recommend from me.
Below are links to more info about Alicia, the tour, and where you can get your hands on your own copy of Emerald City.
Pre-order Emerald City on Amazon
Emerald City on Facebook
Alicia on Twitter
Emerald City on Goodreads
Alicia's publisher, Cedar Fort (who also happens to be my publisher for Geek Girl) can be found at the following links:
Cedar Fort Blog