Thursday, February 5, 2015

All of It by Kim Holden: Book Blitz w/ Excerpt & Review


Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all: a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel, and a plan to go to college after graduation. On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN--a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes and a mischievous smile who seems determined to win her heart. But there's something odd about Dimitri, leading Veronica to wonder if there's more to him than meets the eye. Before long, she finds herself in a whirlwind romance that seems too good to be true--until a series of devastating events leaves her questioning everything. It's not until she chooses to think with her heart instead of her mind that she can rise from the ashes to learn the truth of their connection.

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Dimitri’s face is peaceful and angelic as he rises to help me put my coat on. “Thanks for coming over tonight, Ronnie. You don’t know what it meant to me. I feel like this is the first time I’ve been able to breathe in months.” He lifts his hand, but hesitantly stops just short of brushing my cheek. He smiles and lowers it. “Can I walk you to your car?”

My heart is soaring and my palms are sweaty. “I’d like that.”

We walk slowly down the long driveway, our bodies so close that our arms brush against each other. I think back to the first day of school and smile; personal space is so overrated.

He opens the driver side door and stands behind it at a safe distance so as not to make the situation awkward. I throw my bag through onto the passenger seat and stand with one hand on the door and the other on the steering wheel. When I look up at him he’s staring down at me. His eyes glitter in the streetlight.

It’s at that moment that my life comes into focus, like flipping a switch. The entire world tilts back onto its axis. Call it an epiphany; the rare type of realization that changes your life absolutely. I need this man in my life. I need him like I need air and water. He is part of me—my past and my future. Since the day we met I’ve given my heart to him ... piece by piece. And it’s at this exact moment that I realize he has all of it. My heart is no longer mine; it belongs to him and always will.

I can’t help but smile.

He returns the smile—his beautiful smile. “What?” he asks softly.

“Thank you for being you, Dimitri.”

Not much escapes him and I know from the look in his eyes that he understands. He nods humbly. “You’re welcome.”

I duck down into the driver’s seat and look back up at him. “Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” I don’t know if it’s a question or a declaration, but it’s hopeful.

He winks. “You can count on it.”

Slowly he shuts the door and moves to the sidewalk. I wave and pull away, watching him in my rearview mirror as he begins to fade into the distance. He stands there glowing under the streetlight like an angelic statue. When I turn the corner, he’s gone.

Life is sometimes … an epiphany.

About the Author:

Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle (my husband built it for me), Facebook (I'm fairly certain it's an addiction at this point), iced coffee (hazelnut), and music (LOVE the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Haim, Teenage Bottlerocket, and 30 Seconds to Mars). I also love dreaming, which brings me to my next point. I have one bit of advice for anyone reading this ... follow your dreams. It's never too late. Get started today ... heck get started RIGHT NOW! I wanted to write a book 20 years ago. Instead I waited. And waited. I should've been writing. But I didn't. I don't do regrets, because the past is just that, the past. But let me tell you there's nothing in the world like achieving something you've dreamt about for years and years. So, get started. Make your dreams reality.
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Review by Michelle:

Having heard such incredible things about Kim Holden over the past few months, I jumped at the first chance I had to read her debut novel, All of It. The blurb was intriguing and honestly I was in the mood for a good gut-wrenching, heartbreaking read. I definitely got all of the emotion I was hoping for and then some. This unique story of everlasting love did not just have its tragic and distressing moments, but was exceptionally sweet and touching as well.

I really enjoyed the way in which this story was laid out. The beginning, Dimitri and Veronica's introduction, is cute and sweet, the chapter titles are interesting and attention grabbing, and the "Life is sometimes..." summation at the end of each chapter is clever and unforgettable.

Some curious behavior on the hero, Dimitri's, part right from the onset had me stumped and on the hook to find out what was being alluded to. Although it is on the easy side to eventually put the clues together as to what Dimitri has been hiding all along, we do not get an actual explanation until the last few pages of the story making for a bit of suspense waiting for the big reveal to happen. While I found the pacing of some components of the story to be a bit slow at times, the incredible revelation and overpowering emotion in the ending was a huge redeeming factor for me and really made every slower piece of this story worth it.

Veronica has a rough rode with some horrible and tragic circumstances that threatens her very existence. Her undeniable pain is palpable and heart wrenching. Just when you think things can't get worse for this poor girl, it does, and what could possibly be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back is actually just the wakeup call that she needs. This hard dose of reality coupled with Dimitri's faithful persistence and unyielding love inspires significant growth and perseverance in Veronica that is uplifting and a shining light in this story.

Life is sometimes...moving, surprising, heartening, depressing, baffling, amusing, imaginative, and memorable. All of It is all of these things and more. A nice debut and truly unique story. The way in which Kim Holden is able to convey such acute emotion makes me anxious to read more from this promising author.

Rating: 4 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Great Review Michelle!
    I haven't read this one, I read Bright Side which was also very emotional. Actually it was heart wrenching, and oh so beautiful. Two other girls on my blog also read and loved Bright Side, so I'm going to say it's a winner and recommend it. So I did put this one on my TBR based on how much I loved her other novel. All of It doesn't seem to be to be getting the rave reviews as her more recent novel but I curious about it anyway.