Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Fifteen by Jen Estes

It's been ages since I've hosted a YA book tour - so let's change that today! I'm happy to be hosting a stop on Jen Estes' Fifteen tour. This science fiction - YA - urban fantasy story will be released on January 15, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press.

The Book

Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution - fifteen years from now - where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.

For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams -now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels - who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.

Fifteen will be available on January 15, 2015!

Amazon | Goodreads

My Review

Fifteen starts out a little slowly - Ash is trying to resist falling asleep for as long as possible so she can put off the inevitable nightmare. I picked the book up three times and read the first page or so, up to the start of the dream, before abandoning it. And then one day, I knew I had to honour my commitment to review Fifteen so I made myself keep going, keep reading through that first dream. And holy crow, it's a doozy!

Fifteen has a surprising intensity to it. There's nothing superficial about Ash's dreams - they are bleak and bloody, and very high stakes. The pressure is on as Ash realizes she can - and must - change the future. Her present, as a teenager, is as mundane as we might expect. As a teenager, she's coping with a bratty, self-centered foster sister, a best friend that she's feeling rather possessive of as he becomes increasingly interested in said foster sister, as well as simpler things like high school classes. 

I liked Ash - she's rather no-nonsense though she's distracted by future, pretty boy Cooper. I appreciated that she quickly realized she needed to learn everything she could about the future. Ash is a young woman on a mission, and she focuses on that.

Some of the twists and turns of Fifteen felt a little obvious, but that was okay for me. I was still very entertained by the back and forth. What actually irked me most was Nadette and how weirdly accepting Ash's mom was of all of Nadette's ridiculous demands. I could understand that so quickly on the heels of losing her own parents, that Nadette might be... difficult. But her inability to really recognize her new circumstances drove me nuts. Not really a negative of the book itself - Nadette was consistent in this regard, and I could see how a person might be that amazingly self-involved. 

One thing I really appreciated is that Fifteen is a complete story. While it's the first book in a series, this book resists the trend of ending on a cliffhanger or failing to answer my biggest questions. In fact, I could be satisfied with Fifteen as a solo book, though there's lots of space for more story. And I will definitely be back for book two.

The Bottom Line:

Commit to reading the first chapter, and I guarantee you will be hooked on Fifteen (if you like science fiction/time travel and/or YA stories!). I enjoyed reading this one, and I look forward to finding out what happens next!

4.5 stars
For fans of young adult, time travel, legends, urban fantasy.

About the Author

Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries). 

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between staring at corn or reading books. 

Corn husks just didn’t have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club, and so a bookworm was born. 

Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four books in the mystery genre, Jen finally gave in to the literary demands of her inner teenager with her YA debut, FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries) with Curiosity Quills.  Jen lives in Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo.

She is an active member of the National Writers Union. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good book. You can find Jen on the web at www.jenestes.com, on Tumblr as AuthorJenEstes and tweeting under @jenestesdotcom

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