Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Finding Hope by Beth Fred

Title: Finding Hope
Author: Beth Fred
Release date: September 1st, 2014
Source: IFB Book Tours

Summary from Goodreads:
When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna's garage, she's not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she's failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.

The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a "sand nigger" and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn't told his family about her, she's heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they've worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee's previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection . And to do that he’ll have to catch a crook…

Buy it now on Amazon

About the Author:
Beth Fred is a full time ELF keeper and part time author/blogger/writing instructor. She's represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Beth likes her tea hot, her romance sweet, and her guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs (at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of her favorite things. Bet you can't guess where she's from ;)
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Four and a half stars.

Wow. This little book is jam-packed full of feelings and drama. I'm having to compose my thoughts so that this review isn't just a rambling mess.

When I came across this title up for review, I was intrigued. I haven't read many books that feature Iraqi characters, let alone when you mix in a soldier with PTSD. And romance on top of that? I couldn't say no. And I have to say, I'm very glad I didn't.

First, we have the characters. Kailee is a high school aged girl who is trying to figure out her place. She used to be the queen bee, until her boyfriend broke it off with her and her best friend is taking her place as the school's leader. She's angry and hurt. She, like a lot of girls her age, makes bad decisions based off of her emotions and she struggles with self-esteem issues. Not to mention her brother, the ex-soldier with PTSD, an absent mother, and a father who doesn't care. I think she's a relatable girl all in all. And then there's Abrahem, the older brother of the girl she hates. They meet based off of hatred but they soon grow inseparable. I loved watching their relationship grow and even through the rocky parts (and believe me, there's rocky parts aplenty) I wanted them to be together. Although at some parts I was frustrated beyond measure at Abrahem's actions, I found him sweet and hard not to like. I see why Kailee fell for him.

This book addresses some pretty hard topics including racism, suicide, PTSD, and cyberbullying. I thought that the important issues were written out in a respectable manner, and the fact that the story was written in dual POV made it that much stronger to connect with this book. Not only was I able to see why Kailee did/said the things she did, I was able to see what life was like from the perspective of an Iraqi man who fled terrorism in his home country to come to the States. That is not a lens I have ever read through before, and it gave great insight as far as racial issues and culture. The best example of this was shown in the way that Abrahem's mother behaves, and how greatly her ideals clash with that of "modern" America.

The plot itself was full of so much drama, but I mean that in a great way. Just when I thought I had something figured out, Beth Fred would add another level of twists and information so that I was thrown back at square one. Between the forbidden romance, the criminal charges, a runaway arranged bride and some bar fights to name a few examples, there was never a dull moment in this book, and I devoured it in one sitting.

That is actually the only thing I didn't like so much about this book. It felt almost too fast at times, and I felt like some things needed to be focused on or talked about for a longer period of time. This wasn't enough to put me off from the story too much, but it was definitely something of which I took note.

I'd recommend this to mature YA readers looking for a more diverse read. This is apparently the second book featuring these characters, and I will absolutely be reading that one as well. As mentioned earlier, be warned that this book does contain suicide, war, racial problems, bullying, and harassment.

Thank you to IFB Tours for my copy in exchange for my honest review.


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  1. Thanks so much for this review!

  2. This book sounds so good, I'm really intrigued by the Iraqi POV. Anything military always catches my eye, and add a forbidden romance in the mix, I'll definitely be hooked. This is an awesome review, and thanks so much for hosting this giveaway.