Thursday, March 1, 2018

Blog Tour: This Tiny Perfect World - Lauren Gibaldi


















This Tiny Perfect World
Lauren Gibaldi
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers how wide the world really is during one transformative summer. Perfect for fans of Susane Colasanti and Sarah Dessen.

Penny loves her small-town Florida life, and she has her future mapped out. She’s going to community college after graduation to stay close to home and her best friend, Faye. She’ll take over the family diner that her dad has been managing since her mother died. And one day, she’ll marry her high school sweetheart, Logan.

But when she unexpectedly lands a scholarship to a prestigious summer theater camp, she is thrust into a world of competition and self-doubt. And suddenly, her future gets a little hazy. As she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that maybe the life everyone (including her) expects her to lead is not the one she was meant to have.

From the acclaimed author of The Night We Said Yes and Autofocus.
REVIEW

Penny was perfectly content with her life. She loved her hometown and spending time with her bestie and her boyfriend. Her future was predetermined, and she was ok with that. However, after Penny was accepted into a competitive acting camp, her little world began to grow, and she started to see that there were a lot of different opportunities out there, and that she may want to explore them.
I'm a girl from small-town Florida - we stay here. 
This Tiny Perfect World was a very thoughtful and honest look at one girl's struggle and doubt about her future. I think many people will be able to relate to this story on some level, because so many young people (and older people too) reach a point in their lives, where they are faced with some exciting and scary choices, and will have to determine what they want from life.

Penny always thought she wanted to stay in her hometown, inherit her mother's diner, and marry her childhood sweetheart, but her summer in a new environment really opened her eyes. She began questioning what she wanted and what she thought was possible. Gibaldi did an incredible job conveying Penny's struggle to the reader. I felt her fear of losing the things she knew and loved, but also her excitement for the things she could have.

Gibaldi assembled a fine cast of characters to accompany Penny on her journey. I thought her theatre friends, Sam and Chase, were great windows into her new possibilities. I found them fun, likable, and felt that they pushed Penny in all the right ways. Her best friend, Faye, was always there for her, and I really appreciated the way she supported Penny. I have to say, Dad was a stand out, and he and Penny shared some really special moments on-page. His love for his daughter was crystal clear, and he did what any good parent would do. He tried to advise and guide his daughter, but allowed her to make her own choices.

There was a lot of fun built into this book. I had lived in Florida for several years, and visited central Florida often, so I was a fan of the setting. The trips to downtown Orlando, as well as our days at camp, created a nice backdrop for the story to unfold in. I even had fun while Faye and Logan were babysitting.

Although this book had an fairly wide open ending, I was ok with it. The ending seemed appropriate for this story. Penny was still figuring things out. She was 17, and her ending didn't happen yet, therefore, it made sense that the book left room for her to continue growing and searching for her happily ever after. Although the ending was not all tied up, we do get some idea of where Penny stood on certain aspects of her past and future life, and I really was pleased with the direction Gibaldi went with that.
Finished? No. Partway there, yes, but not finished. Never finished. When you're finished, you have nothing left to learn.
Overall: A very real and believable story of one small-town girl's struggle with the life she knows and what surprises await her outside of the home she knows and loves.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

MEET THE CHARACTERS

I talked about the characters a bunch in my review, and now Lauren Gibaldi will properly introduce them to you.

Hello! Here’s a look at my main characters:

  • Penny: Girl who has it all planned out. She’s going to graduate high school, work at her parent’s restaurant, which she’ll one day take over, and stay with her boyfriend, Logan. This life is all she knows, and she’s happy with it. But she also loves theatre and this little voice inside her is wondering if there’s a bigger, more exciting life out there for her. Faye: Penny’s no-nonsense best friend. She’s tough and brash and speaks her mind. But she has a serious weak spot for Penny, and as well as all the kids she babysits. She has a heart of gold wrapped in barbed wire. 
  • Sam: Penny’s theatre friend. She’s got a large personality, and serious skills. She’s the opposite of Penny, in that she sees herself pushing for her dreams. She wants to go and make it on Broadway. And, sure, there may be roadblocks in the way, but she’s ready to take them all. She’s a bit insecure about some things, but she also knows she’s got the skills behind her talk. 
  • Logan: Penny’s good ol’ boyfriend. A baseball player, a sweet older brother, and a protective boyfriend. He’s a great guy, and Penny knows it. 
  • Chase: A friend from theatre camp. Whereas Sam hopes to make it on Broadway, Chase knows he will. He’s cocky, but also talented. He gets on Penny’s nerves pretty much all the time, but he pushes her to become a better actress, and admit to herself what she wants. 
And those are my characters! Hope you enjoyed meeting them!

GIVEAWAY

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BOOK LINKS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Gibaldi is a public librarian who’s been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller, and circus aerialist (seriously). She has a BA in Literature and Master’s in Library and Information Studies. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and daughter. Her books include THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, AUTOFOCUS, and the forthcoming THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD.




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Are you a fan of theatre?
Let us know in the comments!

36 comments:

  1. I love that -- that she's unfinished and that she has so much more to learn -- that is scuh an important message to get out there, because at 17 you are choosing so much at university and it can be sooo insanely pressured/.

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    1. And it's ok to be unfinished at 17, because you have so much more life to live. I think that is a good message for young people, especially with the amount of pressure that is heaped upon them.

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  2. I can do totally relate to it his character. This one was on ash tbr. I think I need to add it too. Nice review

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    1. It's a very sweet and quiet story, but also very thoughtful.

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  3. I excited for this one. I really liked her last book and this seems like something I would get behind too. Glad to hear you liked the ending even though left open. Great review!

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    1. This is very much in the style of Autofocus. It is character driven and it really focuses on Penny trying to figure out what she really wants. I thought Gibaldi did a great job bringing us into her head and helping us understand her inner conflict.

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    1. This cover really is one of my faves from this year. Absolutely beautiful.

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  5. I've been eyeing this book. That cover just grabs be every time. Also, these kinds of stories are totally for me. Great review!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Reader

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    1. If you like character driven stories, you may enjoy this one. Penny was dealing with a lot of feelings and was so conflicted and I cared. So, I would say Gibaldi did a good job.

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  6. This feels like a very relatable book and the characters go through so much of what most people question at some point in their lives.

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    1. Young or old, I think everybody finds themselves at some big crossroad, where they have to make one of those head or heart decisions. I think that is the connection I found to the story.

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  7. I like these types of books because they make you think. IT sounds like it is a great read for teens getting ready to take those first steps into adulthood.

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    1. It definitely forced some reflection and would probably impact a young reader even more.

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  8. This book has such a beautiful cover. This sounds like such an amazing read with relatable characters.

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    1. The cover is epic, and the designer deserves a round of applause. I absolutely love this cover. I think one could find something in all the the characters to connect with. The dad even goes on a little self discovery journey, which enhanced Penny's storyline.

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  9. I live with a 17 year old girl and this book sounds about right. My daughter has had a plan for a while and I am now seeing her question if that is really what she wants. I like the idea of the open ending with this one.

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    1. It's such a tough age, because they are faced with some of the biggest decisions they had yet to make, which may have a big impact on their future. It think that is one of the big draws of this book.

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  10. This sounds like a lovely little book! And that cover! It's a beauty. :)

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  11. I like that the ending was left open. It makes so much sense... at 17 your life is just beginning! I adore the cover, too! Adding it to Goodreads now.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Exactly! I am normally ranty about that, but it made sense for this story. And yeah, cover-love.

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  12. Sounds great! I love that it explores that conflict between wanting more and going out into the world, and staying where maybe you're comfortable. And her theater friends and dad sound like a wonderful part of the story too.

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    1. Right. It's scary to want more and leave the familiarity of things you love. Worrying about losing those things forever, and I totally felt that when I read this story.

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  13. I love the tough choice idea in the book, especially since it is someone younger. Great review!

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  14. This sounds like a pretty solid coming of age type story. And relatable. At some point we’re faced with life choices - going with the expected, the status quo, or taking a chance on something new. Tough decisions - and often there’s no real right or wrong.

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    1. And that is exactly how the character felt. Definitely relatable and a very sweet story too

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  15. How lovely that there are both strong friendships AND a positive parent/child relationship in this book! I feel like it's still somewhat rare to see both in YA these days.

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    1. Relationships in books are so important to me, and I think it is vital in books geared towards young people. They need to see examples of healthy relationships too, so they can recognize that these types of relationships are acceptable and valid.

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  16. I really enjoy theatre novels. This one was so much fun to read and I loved that Florida setting as well! It must have been a wonderfully warm place to be in the winter. ;)

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    1. I thought Gibaldi did a great job with the theatre bits. I think it's always nice to indulge in a summer read during the winter.

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  17. So I was originally determined to read this book because I loved the sound of the synopsis and the cover. Then I read some iffy reviews and put it on the back burner, but now that I've read your review, I definitely want to give it a try. I can definitely see Penny's problems being relatable. You're right, so many people get to that point where they don't know what to do next. I also like the sound of the Florida setting. Great review!

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    1. If you have read other books by Gibaldi, it's in that same style. Her books are "quieter" and very character driven.

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  18. The cover to this book is absolutely stunning! I am not a huge fan of open endings - I like to know how things end for certain. But as you said, it seems to suit with the story. She's still so young and has a lot more choices ahead of her...

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    1. I will admit, the cover made me want to read this book. Open endings normally make me nuts, but it was sort of poetic for this book.

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