Release Day Event & Review: Interim by S. Walden

April 14, 2015 Adrienne's Reviews, Giveaways, New Release, Release Day, Reviews, Teaser 0 ★★★★★

This book may be unsuitable for readers under 17 years of age due to sexual content, drug and alcohol use, suicide, and/or violence.
Release Day Event & Review:  Interim by S. Waldenfive-stars
Interim by S. Walden
on April 14, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 366
ASIN: B00UB2UOQM
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~A lot can change in the space between devising a plan and carrying it out. That space is called the Interim.~
High school seniors Jeremy Stahl and Regan Walters aren’t friends. Not even close. He’s a picked-on, picked-apart loser outcast. She’s a cool kid running with the popular crowd. It’s unlikely they’d ever speak to one another. Too bad he’s madly in love with her. But what does it matter, anyway? He’s got no time for love. Only revenge.
Meticulously detailed in the pages of his battered red notebook is his master plan: April 14, 9:30 A.M., two guns, eighty rounds of ammo, backup knives, eleven victims. He’s finally ready to answer every single taunt, jeer, and flying fist—unwarranted abuse that’s spanned six years of his lonely life. He’s justified. He’s ready. But he never readied himself for her.
Regan finds his journal. She reads it, and when he discovers her intrusion, he has to switch tactics. She’s a liability now.
Better fix that.
(WARNING: This is a New Adult standalone that contains graphic language and violence, including gun violence. If school shootings are an especially sensitive subject for you, then I urge you to refrain from reading this book.)

Release Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Genre: YA/NA Crossover Suspense/Psychological Thriller

Adrienne's Review v2

We start with a clean slate.  It’s everyone else who fucks us up.

When I heard that S. Walden was writing a book that would involve a potential school shooting, well…I was worried.  My thoughts were rampant too.  As a mother I was appalled.  As a reader I was intrigued.  As a blogger I was worried for her.  As a former teenager that was bullied in high school…I was nervous, scared, and just a teeny bit interested to see where it would go.  But after I calmed down and let the synopsis sit for a while.  I thought who better to write THIS story than S. Walden?

I’ve started and stopped this review several times.  I’ve been scratching my head, and even resorted to cornering my teenage daughter and adult son, in order to gain some clarity about this review.  At first I wanted to write something really beautiful for the author.  Her writing is superb and I’ve been a huge fan way before I was a blogger.  Then I thought I should write a review that discussed what’s in the book and maybe try to “convince” you to read it.  That’s what a review is for after all right?

After talking to my kids, especially my son, I realized that I can’t convince you to read something if you’ve already seen the synopsis and decided it’s not for you or that it’s not cool to write about school shootings.  I do understand there are some things that are triggers for people.  I personally won’t watch anything about 9-11.  I can’t handle it.  So I stay away.  So I get it. Maybe you think it’s a school violence wrapped in a romance therefore glorifying the act.  Which it’s not.  S. Walden does an outstanding job of letting you see every single side, all the angles.  The pros and cons, the discussions about mercy, revenge, justification, kindness, the hopes for forgiveness.  None of it is easy, nor is it sugarcoated.

I could hear her high-pitched giggle float across the field, and I wanted to trap it in my hands.  Take it home.  Listen to it when I felt lonely.

Can I just say that S. Walden wrote a very well thought out story about a troubled kid who had issues at home and at school and sought revenge in the most heinous way possible?  Is that enough for you to read this story?  What if I said he was justified?  That would imply he had a good or legitimate reason.  But is violence ever the answer?  That just opens a whole new can of worms.  Maybe the author makes a good argument for justifying violence.  Maybe our propensity for sympathizing with the victim is all you need.

Can I say that each and every character in this book will have you feeling something?  We all want to connect to a story in some way.  No one wants it to be the bad guy right?  There’s someone for everyone in Interim.  I was actually surprised to find a lot of myself in Regan’s mom.  Not just because she’s a mom either.  But her personality and the way she interacts with Regan is very very similar how I see myself.  My kids may disagree lol.  But there were other characters that spoke to me as well.  Jeremy’s father and his employer, Roy, both combined reminded me of my dad.  Boy did that take me back into my childhood.  Making me feel all out of sorts.  But that’s what I love about her writing, it’s real.  I truly believe that everyone will experience Interim differently.  Connecting in many different ways to the story and the characters.

I love you.  I hate you.  The pendulum swung.  Love. Hate. Good. Evil. Right. Wrong. Victim. Vigilante. Sanity. Slipping.

Can I say that you’ll feel very uncomfortable, scared even, but that it’s okay, it will be okay?  Can I say that things happen in this book that aren’t okay? Because S. Walden brings your emotions forward and directly connects them to the actions in this book?  Isn’t this why we read?  To escape our reality, to unwind after a crazy day, to learn, to feel, to laugh or cry, to challenge us in some way.  I like books that make me question what I’ve read, what I think about myself.  I like to pick apart the characters and try to figure out what it is about them that makes them do what they do.  Why did the author choose those paths or that particular plot.  Did they use those specific words on purpose?  Is there a deeper meaning to what I’ve just read?  I read for a number of different reasons on different days.  Maybe you’re that way too.  Fiction is fiction for a reason, it’s imaginary.

Unlike some of S. Walden’s other books, Interim is not controversial.  Controversy implies there are two opposing sides to an argument or disagreement.  No one will argue that school violence is okay, ever.  Interim is a slap in the face.  It’s going to make you acknowledge what we already know but either choose to ignore or are afraid to face.  And It’s not going anywhere until we make it.  This author writes fiction in a very real way.  She’s not the one who’s afraid to take chances.  That’s all on us.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

 Purchase Links v2
 
 
Excerpt v2
His heart plummeted when their eyes met that morning. And then the anger bubbled up in his chest almost immediately. The things she must know! He knew she read it. A girl would have read it. Fucking girls. It was written all over her guilty face, her deer-in-headlights eyes. Her body language. He saw the imperceptible tightening of his words against her chest—her biceps flexing as she secured his notebook to her body. Like she owned it. Like she owned him.
The hell you do, he thought.
 Playlist v2
Letter to the Reader:
Dear Reader,
Not many authors will discourage you from reading their work. After all, the goal of our stories is to grow our readership, not diminish it. I’m well aware of that, but when I first became inspired with Jeremy’s story, I knew I would have to go about promoting it in an entirely different way—something far removed from my past marketing campaigns. I knew I would have to hide the book, stamp disclaimers all over it, plant seeds of doubt in your minds, decline requests for advanced reviews—in essence, all the things an author SHOULD NOT do when marketing her book. That’s why it took me so long to write the damn thing—over a year of worrying, second-guessing, flip-flopping, arguing. Jeremy sat waiting patiently, and I stared back at him wondering just how much he would destroy my career.
Then I remembered that his story is exactly the type of controversial social issue I enjoy tackling. I knew I had to write it because I could. I could be sensitive to the subject matter without being PC. I could leave my political and moral opinions out of it. I could make it a human story, not a gun story. I could do all these things if I worked very hard—if I was diligent and faithful to my characters and their experiences. Once I realized these things, I stopped fretting and just started writing, careful to keep all the details private and sacred. That’s how writing should be: private and sacred.
Now Jeremy’s story is no longer private, but I hope you will find it sacred. I hope you will throw off your preconceptions and bury your social and political views, your moral judgments. It’s too easy to go into a story like this already angry, especially if you or someone you love has experienced gun violence. I urge you to think long and hard before starting Interim if you are especially sensitive to the topic of school shootings. There are extremely violent, descriptive scenes, and I do not wish for my book to be a trigger for you.
I am well aware of the social debate a book like this may provoke. I did not write it for debate. I did not write it to make a statement about guns, gun control, gun access, Constitutional rights, etc. I am not interested in comparing my story to the horrific school shootings that have taken place in the United States. I have no motive other than to tell a story about an abused boy who felt he deserved justice. What you take away from the novel is entirely up to you.
Love, Summer

 

 Giveaway v2
Click on the image to enter the giveaway on Facebook!

About S. Walden

S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about it.

She loves to hear from her fans! Got a question about a book? A concern you need to voice? Let her know at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com.

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