Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Author Spotlight: Now is Everything by Amy Giles + Interview

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM

Amy Giles is an award-winning copywriter and young adult author. She lives on an Island that is Long with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog.

Title: Now is Everything
Genre: YA Contemporary + Abuse
Author: Amy Giles
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: November 7th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

Now is Everything by Amy Giles is the story of Hadley and her impossible situation to please her father while protecting her sister. She is in a very abusive home with her father being the abuser. Hadley has to perform adequately at lacross to appease her father and she also has to get in to a certain college or all hell will break lose.

Hadley is a very complex character. But, if you really think about it, she isn't. She is pretty much a poster child for living in an abusive situation. She wants to protect her little sister and try to keep the peace. Then enters Charlie. Hadley isn't allowed to date. EVER. So once Charlie is added to the mix things get a little wreckless and ugly and Hadley starts using him as her sort of safe haven. She doesn't seem to realize exactly what this will cost her. But it does cost her. Greatly.

There were other characters in the book, Hadley's best friends, her mother, sister, grandmother and some school teachers. Everything felt or knew there was something wrong but with how perfect Hadley had taught herself to act no one really questioned anything. This was a case where daddies money was used to keep people quiet. During the book, her father abuses her mother a lot, treats her horribly and doesn't even come home from work half the time. The whole town knows about his extracurricular activities it seems, just not about the abuse. Her mother puts up with this because she would rather be abused and rich than happy and poor.

At the end of the book we find out something that really made me question a lot of things. What was her fathers life like when he was a child? Are his parents dead or does he just not have a relationship with them? He was a control freak, that much was obvious, but what lead him to be this way. You could tell that he sometimes didn't like what he did. If the end result would have been different, if he would have lived, would he have changed? No, I don't think he would have but I also think her mother would have kept letting everything continue to go the way it has been. I feel like Hadley had no true way out of this. At least not a way that would end with her still being in her sisters life.

I really love and appreciate how the author went about writing this book. She made certain aspects very clear, like the CPS situation. No one's situation is black and white so please don't pretend to know things or think you are doing good or helping. You have to understand what could be lost. If I had called CPS I would have lost my mother, brother and sister. I could have been thrown into another abusive situation at the hands of people I don't know. There are so many things to take into consideration when trying to help. If the person hasn't reached out for  help on their own then there is ALWAYS a deeper reasoning. Yes, a lot of times a child truly does just need to be saved but sometimes that is not the case. I don't know what I would have done without my mother and siblings. 

In the end, this book made me cry. The ending was bittersweet and I don't think Hadley is going to have a very easy road ahead of her. I hope she will at least learn to let people love her. She does deserve to be loved and she needs to stop pushing people away. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1) How does it feel knowing your baby is out in the world right now?
WEIRD! I’ve had two years to prepare for this, yet I feel completely unprepared! The first year or so felt like this was all happening to Amy Giles in a parallel universe. It’s just now starting to feel like it’s really happening to me. But I’m so excited that the book will now be in readers’ hands.

2) What was your inspiration behind Now Is Everything?
A few years ago, a small plane crashed. Everyone on board died, except this one little girl. She was about seven. She had to crawl out of the wreckage, leaving her family behind, and walk for miles to find a house. I thought about that little girl for a long time, about the hell she went through to survive. And then I thought, what if? What if she was older? What if surviving a plane crash was the least of her problems?

3) Please tell us 5 random facts about yourself:
1) I used to work for HarperCollins many years ago (in the college textbook division. Completely different, but still!). When the offer from Harper came in to publish Now Is Everything, it felt like a homecoming.

2) Like Hadley in Now Is Everything, I love disaster movies. It’s all about the special effects for me. The cheesier the better!

3) The worst job I ever had was when I was in college, mopping floors in a dining hall. I was written up for mopping around a slice of bacon three days in the row.

4) Both of my parents are from Greece. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a documentary, for real. I’ve been to the Acropolis no less than 5 times and the Grand Canyon 0 times. This was a bone of contention for me as a kid. I desperately wanted to go on “American” vacations, but we always went to Greece to visit our relatives. Now, I wish someone would send me on an all-expense-paid trip to Greece!

5) Reality TV and any kind of live programming stresses me out. I had to leave the room during the Cirque Du Soleil performance at the Oscars.

4) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write because you love it. Because you have to. And read, read, read!!!

5) Are you currently working on any new books?
My next book, That Night, is coming out in the Fall of 2018!


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