Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Giveaway in Anticipation of Beth Kephart's You Are My Only

I have mentioned Beth Kephart on this blog before, mainly to say that I love her blog (which you must visit) and her books (which you must read) but not much beyond that. Not because I haven't wanted to say more, only because I have tried to understand why I love her books and have found it very difficult.

The experience of reading her young adult books is deeply personal for me.

I know it's not enough to say that the 'why' can not be expressed. It can be. I just haven't tried until today.

When I read her books, I am in them. Truly inside of them. A very safe place to be. These main characters, these girls, I know them, even if their experiences are vastly different than my own.

They are girls who are searching, who are curious, who want to understand and know. They are girls who are on their way to becoming and no matter how old I get I am still that kind of girl, always searching for a better someone to be. I'm always aware of a kind of ache in Kephart's books. Like resting inside of a long sigh. And I know this ache. It is familiar to me.

Her latest book, You Are My Only (due out on October 25th and available for pre-order here) is also a book about a desperate search. Two quests, really. Emmy, a young mother, searching for her lost child. And Sophie, who begins to question her world, seeking the one thing she doesn't know to look for. All of it culminating to a discovery that left me with sweaty palms and a racing heart as I turned each page.

There is color and hope and life in this book. When I imagine it (and I always try to imagine how a book really, truly feels) I think of paint against canvas, technicolor film on a page, every image, feeling, and character bursting, so real and vivid and bright.

As I read, I was let in and out of each scene at just the right moments, enough to feel that I was there, but aware of something just out of reach. And that's the shadow. The contrast. A secret. It is also what keeps Emmy and Sophie restless and yearning. What keeps me reading Kephart's books and writing my own because I, too, am desperate to know what eludes these girls. Girls like me.

I consider a good book a gift. And the way I see it, Beth Kephart has given me many gifts: her blog (a wealth of inspiration, a treasure), her books, and her friendship. And we are all so lucky because she is an amazingly prolific writer, the gift that keeps on giving, if you will, with twelve books out there in the world, two more coming out soon, and more in progress than I would know what to do with. So, in anticipation of the release of You Are My Only (October 25th. I'll wait here for you to put it in your calendar), I want to give the gift of four of her young adult books to you.

All you have to do is comment on this post and I'll randomly draw a winner and you'll have a chance to win four of Beth Kephart's young adult books: Undercover, House of Dance, The Heart Is Not A Size, and Nothing But Ghosts.

So the rules:

Comment on this post before September 13th.
If you blog about this contest you get 2 extra entries: +2
If you tweet about this contest you get an extra entry: +1
If you follow my blog or you become a follower of my blog you get an extra entry: +1
You must add them up and put that in your comment because I don't do math.


  1. what the..... WHAT? Jeepers, girl. Jeepers. Wait a minute. I am sending you an email right now!!

  2. Sounds like a great book!
    +1 follower :)

  3. What a wonderful review. I am aching to read them already. Reading can be like that, if the book is well written and just right for theat particular reader. I love it when it happens. 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' did that for me. I don't know why, it just did.

  4. Melissa, I'm excited to find your blog because you've managed to say just whai I feel about Beth's writing but have never been able to exppress to my own satisfaction. You needn't enter me in the giveaway because I have all Beth's books and would rather a new reader have the joy of discovering her world, But thank you for this beautiful post...

  5. Oh, I would love to win this collection of books - LOVE Beth's writing! You rock! Thanks for the chance to win.

    caribousmom (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. This sounds like a great author. I'll definitely have to check these books out. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Sounds amazing... thank you, Sarno!

  8. Thank you for putting into words something I have such a very hard time doing - trying to explain why I love Beth's books so much. Great idea for a giveaway. No need to add me to the pool as I have all her books (except for this new one I am anxiously anticipating.) Hope someone wins who has yet to experience the joy that is getting lost in a Beth Kephart story.

  9. This book sounds so well written and intriguing. I must check it out. +1

  10. I'm a long time follower... (plus 5000) LOL!

    I'm going to tweet and post on fb...

    So I get a total of +2

    If I don't win I'll check her out on my own. I love how much you love her writing.

  11. How have I never read anything by this author??? These are my kinds of books! Thanks for the contest +1 for being a follower

  12. Thank you so much for this giveaway! I'd love to enter.


    +1 I follow you via GFC (infalliblyyours or Munnaza)

    +1 I tweeted this:

    = 3 entries

  13. I'm a little confused about how to add these.
    LOL- could I sound more pathetic?
    But I did tweet
    and I do follow

    So, +2
    or is it 3 because I commented?

    I need to get more sleep :S

  14. Do I get extra points for writing 9 (!) blog posts about Beth Kephart's memoir "Slant of Sun" including an extensive interview with her? I know for sure it qualifies me as a huge fan. I think I had better read her latest, since it sounds like a Coming of Age story, and that's one of my things. If you're interested in reading the essays, here's a link. Scroll down to find more links at the bottom. Interview with Memoir and YA Author Author Beth Kephart

    Best wishes,
    Jerry Waxler

  15. Thanks for the giveaway!!Please count me in!

    +1 I'm a GFC follower-Janhvi Jagtap

    +1 tweet-http://twitter.com/#!/justjanhvi/status/112753002091253760

    =3 entries

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  16. amazing review! I hope to win this so I can read it!


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