Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"An Unstill Life" by Kate Larkindale

REVIEW and EXCERPT
An Unstill Life
by Kate Larkindale

An Unstill Life by Kate Larkindale

This review opportunity for An Unstill Life by Kate Larkindale is brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours.


Description
When your whole world is falling apart, what are the chances you’ll find love in the most unexpected of places?
Livvie feels like she’s losing everything: her two best friends have abandoned her for their boyfriends, her mother continues to ignore her, while her sister, Jules, is sick again and getting worse by the day. Add in the request Jules has made of her and Livvie feels like she’s losing her mind, too.
Her only escape is in the art room, where she discovers not only a refuge from her life, but also a kindred soul in Bianca, the school "freak". Livvie’s always felt invisible, at school and at home, but with Bianca, she finally feels like someone sees the real Livvie. As the relationship deepens and it comes time to take the romance public, will Livvie be able to take that step?
Livvie’s about to find out if she has what it takes to make the tough decisions and stand up for herself - for the first time in her life.


Excerpt
I lolled against Bianca, aware of her distinctive raspberry scent enveloping me. My laughter caught in my throat, and I had trouble breathing through it. I looked up at her, watching the way the streetlights played across her features. With her head thrown back, her throat was long and white, and I was overcome with a sudden desire to touch it.
I didn’t say a word, but she seemed to hear my thoughts. Her laughter quieted, and she turned to look at me, her eyes glittering in the sodium glow. For a long time we stood there, eyes locked, the warm breeze wafting across our skin.
Bianca bent her head, and her lips settled upon mine. They were warm and soft, slippery with lipstick. I shivered and pressed my own lips hungrily against hers. Her mouth opened a little, and I followed, admitting her inquisitive tongue. It tickled mine, darting in and out, waltzing across my taste buds. The flavor of wine, exotic and sour at the same time, flooded my mouth.
My heart beat a rapid tattoo through my chest. This was wrong. I should not be doing this. But I remained mesmerized, nerves I’d never noticed before singing songs of ecstasy along my spine. 
Kissing Jesse had been nothing like this.
She pulled away, slowly, as if surfacing from a dive. She licked her lips, smiling in satisfaction. Her lipstick, smeared now, blurred her mouth into something unrecognizable. I ran my tongue across my lips and tasted her there, spikes of electricity igniting in my belly. This was better than I could have imagined.
“Wow…” she breathed. “You’re good.”
“Am I?” I reached for her again, wanting nothing but her mouth on mine once more.
“Yeah, you are.” She pushed me against the wall, and I lost myself in her kisses.
Time held no meaning. It could have been seconds or forever before I drew back. Nothing so good could be wrong, yet my stomach writhed with guilt. “I…I should get home.” My voice was unsteady.
Bianca glanced up at the star-speckled sky and nodded. “Yeah. Me too.”
It felt completely natural when, as we walked toward the bus stop two blocks away, she slipped her hand into mine.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
"I cannot rate this book highly enough ... The honesty in Livvie's voice as she tells her story is refreshing. Her world is believable, relatable, breath-taking, and inspiring. I had to take a couple of 'cry breaks'" while reading. An Unstill Life is a must-read." ~ Jessica Lucci
"A beautifully written and poignant story dealing with more than one controversial issue, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a contemporary issue-driven read." ~ Xan
"An Unstill Life is breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally riveting. I was so impressed and cannot wait to read more books by this stellar author!" ~ Laura

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Livvie is a fifteen-year-old girl with synesthesia (she tastes colors and sees sounds), who lives in the shadows of her friends and her older sister Jules, whose leukemia has just returned with a vengeance. Livvie feels invisible to her friends, the boys at school, and even her mother. Why is it, then, that Bianca, the strange Goth girl in her art class, is the only one who seems to see her? What starts out as bonding over their still life projects, slowly evolves into something more. As Livvie's school life and family life become more and more unbearable, Livvie has to find comfort somewhere. But not everyone is pleased with Livvie's new-found happiness. Will Livvie find the strength to stand up for herself for once in her life?
This book packs a lot of issues into one small package. I found Livvie's uncertainty about her sexuality a bit hard to comprehend, until I realized she is only fifteen. Her bad experiences with boys seem to push her toward Bianca, with only one minor reference to a possible attraction to females. It's sad to see how Livvie's mother treats her throughout the book, but the explanation for her behavior is a bit too convenient and not really substantiated by her actions. Livvie's relationship with her sister Jules is the best part of the book. I also love the descriptions of how Livvie perceives sounds as colors, especially the sounds of people's voices; they add such a wonderful nuance, I could almost see them myself. The images with stay with you for a long time after you finish reading.
A poignant story of family, friendship, loss, and first love.
Warnings: LGBT themes, underage drinking, sex scenes (not graphic), assisted suicide, mental health issues, terminal illness.

About the Author
Having spent a lifetime travelling the globe, Kate Larkindale is currently residing in Wellington, New Zealand. A marketing executive, film reviewer and mother, she’s surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn’t sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out near the espresso machine.
Her short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Everyday Fiction, Death Rattle, Drastic Measures, Cutlass & Musket, and Residential Aliens, among others.
She has written eight contemporary YA novels, five of which other people are allowed to see. She has also written one very bad historical romance which will likely never see the light of day. She is currently ghostwriting an autobiography while waiting to see which of her many YA novel ideas gels to the point it might become a new book.

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