Friday, February 23, 2018

Blog Tour: I Stop Somewhere - T.E. Carter




















I Stop Somewhere
T.E. Carter
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn't need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But when the unthinkable happens, Ellie finds herself trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn't the first victim, and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.
REVIEW

I thought I had prepared myself for this book. Violence is always tough for me, but this one gutted me, while simultaneously touching my heart. The focus of this book was definitely assault and rape culture, but there were also many other themes associated with being female that were explored.
They targeted us because they thought we were weak. But even the weakest girl has power inside of her. She maybe just needs a little guidance to find it.  
Ellie had been the victim of endless abuse in middle school largely because she hit puberty before her peers. When circumstances forced her to attend a new high school, Ellie's goal was to blend in just enough, so as not to be targeted in that negative way any longer. She accomplished that mission, flying under the radar, until she caught the eye of a rich, popular older boy named Caleb.
The way it took something good, something beautiful, and slowly ruined it without her knowing. 
I saw a lot of "younger me" in Ellie, and therefore had massive amounts of empathy towards her. Between the bullying and her mother abandoning her, to her feelings of invisibility and loneliness, my heart ached and I wanted to reach out and hug her. Loneliness can drive people to make poor decisions, and Ellie just wanted to be wanted and wanted to fit in so badly, that she was willing to accept less than she deserved.
It's hard, when you're not a whole girl to begin with, to lose even more of yourself. 
The story was told so well. I really loved that it unfolded from Ellie's POV in a retrospective fashion, because as she related her tale to us, she also reflected on what transpired and the decisions she made. She also often contemplated "what makes a girl". Every time she started a "what makes a girl", my heart ached a little, because her musings were so sad. I don't necessarily disagree with the way Ellie felt based on her personal experience, but I am heartbroken that any girl has to feel this way.
It takes a lot of things to make a girl, but breaking her? It only takes a few pretty words and a crooked smile. 
This book was quite heavy. How could it not be! But, Carter did give us some lovely things in the way of a few characters. Ellie's dad was not perfect, but still wonderful. He was left to raise a toddler on his own. They didn't have much money, but when he could, dad would buy little things he thought a girl would like. I never doubted how much he loved Ellie, and most importantly, she knew he loved her too. Ellie's dog, Fred, was another gift Carter gave us. It just gave me some comfort to know that Ellie had someone in her corner.
I'd always imagined being wanted. Of someone loving me. Choosing me. 
This story was heartbreaking and powerful. T.E. Carter told it in an honest and beautiful way, and I think this book can definitely be used to start some important conversations.
These are all the things that make a girl -- and it starts with just that one piece to put her back together again. 
Overall: An incredible debut, which left made me angry, frustrated, but mostly sad about how young women are treated. Get the tissues out people! You're going to need them for this one.

**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.

GIVEAWAY

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BOOK LINKS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TE Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her pas-sion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her hus-band and their two cats.


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Are you a fan of heartbreaking books?
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20 comments:

  1. I love the quotes you highlighted! I feel like there's so many quotable scenes in this book. TE Carter has such a way with words for sure. Like you, I could see myself in Ellie as well, and I feel like her character will resonate with a lot of readers. I also loved Ellie's dad. I couldn't be mad at him for what had happened because at the end of the day, he had tried his best but knowing that broke my heart even more. Great review, Sam!

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    1. The teen years can be tough for some, and I know there a many people who felt or feel invisible. And I know! I had so many highlights in this book. It was hard to select which ones to use.

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  2. Wow this sounds like an intense read. I am reading a women’s fiction book right now that features a girl who was horribly bullied in high school. It is so sad and heartbreaking. I will put this one on my list. Lovely review, Sam.

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    1. There are so many topics that are so relevant in this book. It ìs heartbreaking, but also so thought provoking.

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  3. Great review! I've been looking forward to this one. :)

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    1. Be prepared. I was super emotional when I was reading this one.

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  4. Oh wow, thanks so much for the tissue warning. I just got approved for this ARC so I'm glad to know that going on, but also thrilled to hear what an incredible read it is.

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    1. It's about assault, so it's already tough, but Ellie's narration is so heartbreaking. It was painful, but a great read.

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  5. Oh wow, this sound like it such an emotional read but it sounds like Carte did an amazing job dealing with the very sensitive subject. I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for this one for sure. Wonderful review.

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    1. I do think Carter did a nice job with the subject matter, and she explored many different angles. Ultimately, the bad guys are the males who committed these crimes, but I like that the justice system was put on display in this one too, because it's a sad reality for many assault victims, that they are made to share the blame and they rarely find justice.

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  6. This sounds heavy. Still good - I would just have to be ready for it. Great review!

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    1. I think it's very emotional to read as a woman, especially if you were that invisible girl when you were younger. Yeah, I spread out my heavy reads, because my psyche just cannot take large doses of that.

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  7. Ugggg, I need this! lol I've been needing a book that would give me a good cry, and I think that I just found it. Great review! :)

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    1. I want to cry just thinking about it!

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  8. Gahhh this one sounds so heavy to read but I kind of want to though?? Lovely review!

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    1. It definitely wounded me, but it's the type of story that some people need to read.

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  9. I completely agree with your review. The author does an amazing job develop Ellie as a character and I just wanted to keep reading. Great review!

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    1. I know. She actually evolved over the course of the book as she reflected on the events, and I was pretty impressed by that.

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  10. I am in tears just reading your review! This book does sound like it is absolutely heart wrenching. I am sure that it is one that will be helpful and a wonderful resource to many.

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    1. This book is a total gut punch, but it was beautiful too, and I agree, can be a great resource and conversation starter.

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