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Stephanie Blackburn lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her two cats, Bug and Beans. She has a borderline unhealthy relationship with good quality chocolate and double-stuffed oreos and her favorite method of procrastination (especially during editing) is baking.
on Jan. 31, 2014 :
I don't read stories with ghosts in them. Not at all. Not ever! So, when Stephanie Blackburn contacted me for a possible review of I Want to Hold Your Hand the first question I had after reading the summary was, "Is Penny a ghost?" She assured me that there was nothing in the story that would scare me and that it's more of a contemporary story than a paranormal fiction. And she was right: after I got over my initial discomfort about Penny's ghost-like status, I ended up really enjoying I Want to Hold Your Hand.
I liked that Penny is such a driven person: she's a gifted athlete (she rides horses), and spends all of her free time training for her horse competitions. One night on the way home from practice, Penny and her mom are in a wreck. She wakes up the next day, but no one can see or hear her (except for her sister's cat and her horse, Henry). Penny thinks she's dead and that she's a ghost. She ends up on a private school campus, and meets Will. The best thing about Will in the beginning is simply that he can see and hear Penny. Then the two become friends, and while they end up having feelings for each other, their relationship is an impossibility due to the fact that they can't touch.
What I loved about this story is how Blackburn resolves the conflict. I totally didn't see the ending coming, and I loved the surprise and the way she wrapped things up. I loved that Penny changed throughout the story and by the end of the book, she was a different person---both literally and figuratively.
I Want to Hold Your Hand read like a contemporary YA fiction with a twist. I really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend this book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Nov. 10, 2013 :
I bought this book before a recent trip and started reading while waiting to board the plane. I was impressed by how quickly I got into the book and extremely disappointed when I had to shut my Nook down at take off. Right from the start Ms. Blackburn has you questioning what is going on and weaves together the two perspectives in an seamless way. It only gets better as the plot grows and you get to know the characters more intricately. It's makes you think about true love, soulmates and what one will go through to be the one they belong with. I kept reading every second I had and only put it down when I was literally forced to. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good read that keeps you guessing. Can't wait for her next novel!
(reviewed long after purchase)