Friday, June 14, 2013

**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Strong Enough ~ Ellen Harger**

Hey y'all! I'm so thrilled to be a stop on the blog tour for Ellen Harger's Strong Enough. My stop includes my review and a giveaway. To see all the stops along the tour, click here. This tour is presented by Vade Mecum Blog Tours.


STRONG ENOUGH (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
Publication date: February 25th, 2013
Publisher: Ellen Harger
Author: Ellen Harger (blog | Twitter | Goodreads)

Starting over is hard. 

And sometimes, you have to burn a few bridges to do it.

Whitney Brown is average--average intelligence, average height, average weight--but she wants to be someone new. To kick-start her rebirth, she wears formal mourning, a black veil and vintage dress, to a wedding in her hometown, Woods Cross, a community that treasures family values. Is it an attack on marriage or has she just gone bonkers?

Emboldened but lacking a plan, she forces her foot in the door of a radio station in Sundown. A small metropolis of nearly 150,000, Sundown is a notch of urban flair along the Midwest's Bible Belt.

Getting in proves to be the easy part and the anonymity of being a DJ suits her well. But off air (and in person), Whitney must stand up to Sadi, an angry feminist and the bane of her college years while an old friendship with her former roommate, Leah, devolves around a guy. 

It's 2002 and the Midwest radio scene is changing. Just as Whitney hits her groove, the radio station undergoes its own identity crisis. But what rocks Whitney to her core is the moment the condom breaks. Her abstinence only background leaves her embarrassed and facing a difficult choice.

My Review

Strong Enough is a powerful novel. It's a story of self-discovery, of growing up, of changing perceptions and expectations. And it's poignantly told. It was amazing!

I feel Strong Enough is actually the story of three women. These women knew each other in college and now find themselves, once again, living in the same town. Whitney, the main focus, left her small home town, after a rather defiant act, in an attempt to be adventurous in building a new life of her choosing. She's now a DJ at a local radio station and is steadily moving toward building the life she's dreamed of. 

Sadi, the second of the primary characters, is the cousin to Whitney's college roommate. She is fiercely independent, sarcastic, witty, and I adored her character. She hasn't always been nice to Whitney based on perceived flaws. But now she realizes that perhaps people can change.

Leah, the last of the central characters, is wealthy, successful, beautiful, and a selfish bitch. Needless to say, I didn't care for her character but she is an integral part of the story.

What I loved about Strong Enough -- well, I relished being able to watch these characters fight through their issues. There are trust issues, body image issues, self-doubt issues, etc., and these issues are so relatable. They're something we all experience. And their journeys are traveled through music. Each chapter title is a song - either real or fictional - including artist and album. The titles are very apt to the characters situations and, in my opinion, music and life are so intertwined. I think this was cleverly done. I also enjoyed that the fictional town in Strong Enough is based on Springfield, Missouri. I'm familiar with Springfield, as my brother attended college there. I'm also quite fond of the supporting cast of characters. Meredith is incredible, as is Marc. And Whitney's boss, Jerry is so real. All the side characters were extremely well developed. 

Ms. Harger really has a way with words. And y'all know I love words. Her use of language to describe everything from the weather to the emotional roller-coaster one would endure while making a life changing decision is exceptional. I could feel as though I was walking down the street with Sadi, sitting in the DJ booth with Whitney, feeling the icy cold of the wind. I fell in love with these characters and the downtown they inhabit. I was completely invested in them and how their choices would affect their lives. I adore Strong Enough and highly recommend it.

**I received an ecopy of this book as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.


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About Ellen
Ellen Harger was born at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. As a military brat, she moved often during her childhood--something she never resented and continued as an adult. The constant starting over influenced her first published novel, "Strong Enough." 

At 14, her family settled in Missouri as civilians, permitting Ellen to attend one high school. She stayed in the Midwest to attend a small liberal arts college, studying creative writing and art. After 11 years, she moved to Boston. While there, she continued to study creative writing in Cambridge. Ever willing to explore new places, she moved next to the San Francisco Bay area. After 11 years away, and loving the symmetry, she returned to the Midwest to finish "Strong Enough." She has published a poem, "Guidelines," and released her novel as an e-book.

1 comment:

  1. I love stories where the MC really gets to know him or herself! Coming of age is great to read about, and the fact that you gave it 5 stars - yup - on to my TBR it goes!

    Thanks so much for having an international giveaway :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews


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