Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow [Review+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the In Too Deep tour hosted by Xpresso Tours!
You can find the full tour schedule here.

In Too Deep
   by: Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received from Xpresso tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 338 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

My Review:
I don't even know where to start. This book was an emotional rollercoaster. For real. I say that about quite a few books- but this one. For the love of all that's holy... I have never wanted to scream at a main character as much as I did Gracie. If I weren't reading on my Nook, I might have thrown the book across the room in frustration. I say all this, and let me tell you. That's a GOOD thing. The fact that Michelle can ignite these feelings in me, means it was a good book. Yes, I was frustrated more than I was content. My heart ached more than it felt joy. And I wanted to beat people more than I did hug on them.
I will be honest. I saw UT Knoxville in the synopsis and got a little too excited. The fact that this primarily takes place at my alma mater made me quite happy because I could visualize the surroundings a bit better. Especially when Gracie and Jake are hanging out in Circle Park.
Like I said- emotional rollercoaster. The opening scene really sets the stage for how this is going to go. You knew right away that this would not be sunshine and kittens. This would be the story of a girl who is struggling to stay above water and not let herself be pulled down to depths she couldn't come back from.
I really liked that this book was incredibly realistic. I've known girls like Gracie, and as a friend, I have hated to stand by and watch it go down. However, one thing I have realized is that no matter what you say, or what advice you have to offer- it's going to fall on deaf ears. When you're in that situation, its so easy for other people to tell you what to do and what a big mistake you're making. But ultimately you are the only one who can change your situation and you'll learn from those mistakes you've made. I've also had a bit of Gracie in me, also. I believed that if I held on long enough, I could change a person. That he would want to change because of how much he claimed to love me. It ain't happening, chicas. Time and time again we see girls try to make a relationship work, claiming that he can change because he says he's going to. When are we going to realize that some guys will say anything to get what they want?
Noah is that guy. To be honest, there were several times I wondered if he was bi-polar or had multiple personality disorder. He is so up and down. One minute he's begging for Gracie's forgiveness for being a douche, and the next he's hurtful, cold, and indifferent to her. However, I understand Gracie's reluctance to cut all ties with Noah. She broke up with a great boyfriend to be with him. I consider him her first true love, and she gave him a lot of firsts. She had so many sweet, loving memories of him that it was very difficult for her to give up on who he used to be, especially when he would still show glimpses of that person.
Thank the good Lord above for Jake, Sam, and Stacy. Stacy is Gracie's roommate, and Jake and Sam are Noah's friends who live upstairs. They were such a huge support system for Gracie. They were the friends who could see how bad Noah was for her, yet they knew nothing they could say or do was going to get through to her. Yet, they never once abandoned her to deal alone. Jake did show her some tough love at times, but Gracie needed it.
Oh, Jake. I would not have survived this book with him. He is the light at the end of the tunnel, the calm in the eye of the storm, and the sun on a cloudy day. I loved his and Gracie's friendship. He was so genuine and constantly kept building her up after Noah had hammered her down into nothingness. He was always telling her how beautiful she was and that she deserved so much more. My heart is squeezing right now just thinking about him. I was seriously screaming at her to open her eyes and see the amazing guy right in front of her!
What is our obsession with the bad boys? Why do we always think we can fix them? Every book I read, if there's a love triangle- you can bet I'm rooting for the good guy.
Gracie's journey is a tough one in this book. She has to learn to place her faith in herself before she can someone else. However, as many times as she gets sucked back in, she really does want to break the cycle. But she is the only one who can do so and she is the one who has to fight for herself.
About Michelle:

Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters life on the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow.
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  1. YAY! So in love with your review! Thank you for hosting me as a stop on my blog tour for IN TOO DEEP! :)
    Jake squeezes my heart, too! <3
    I hope you will keep an eye out for the sequel! Thank you for the time you invested in Gracie!

    1. Thanks so much Michelle! I cannot wait for the sequel!

  2. Great review hon, I'm a little scared to read this, I may need you to hold my hand lol

    1. I will totally hold your hand through this one. LOL

  3. Awesome review! Obviously you know I feel the same way :-) I agree that I have never loved a book that frustrated me so much but I did with this one. It was the fact that it was so realistic and my heart beat erratically. I think I have a heart murmur because of this book. :-)

    1. :D LOL. There were so many times I thought I was going to go crazy!

  4. I love how raw and realistic this sounds! The reviews during the tour have convinced me I need to read this one! Glad you enjoyed it! I think I'll need to mentally prepare myself >.<

    1. Thanks so much for hosting the tour Giselle! It was definitely a very raw, emotional read. But so very worth it!

  5. Great review Jessica, love it. You are right what makes this so emotional is that we all know a Gracie and carry that real life frustration into this book. Love Jake too :-)

    1. Thanks Trish! Jake made this book for me. I wouldn't have lasted without him!


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