Friday, March 25, 2016

#MMBBR #Giveaway The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald @SMooreFitz @HolidayHouseBks

With Oscar as my friend, mused Meg, everything made sense. 

Fourteen-year-old Oscar Dunleavy is missing, presumed dead. His bike was found at sea, out past the end of the pier, and everyone in town seems to have accepted this as a teenage tragedy. But Oscar s best friend Meg knows he isn t dead. Oscar is an optimistic and kind boy who bakes the world s best apple tarts; he would never kill himself, and Meg is going to prove it. 
Through interwoven narratives, the reader learns what really happened to Oscar: bullying, broken hearts and the revelation of a dark secret. Meg must confront the painful truth of Oscar s past six months, along with the possibility that he might really be gone.

This story of friendship and first love reminds us to keep hope in our hearts, even when it seems that all hope is lost.

                       Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (follow her on Twitter here)
Publisher:  Holiday House
              $16.95 (also available as an e-book)

I cannot stop thinking about this book! It is one of the BEST books I have EVER read! If you love John Green, this book will blow your mind.  I am sitting here trying to review it and I am afraid my review will not capture the way this book moved me, changed me and both broke my heart and put it back together all at the same time!!!!  I have told so many people about this book because I feel like it is an important read...for kids and parents to read together and then discuss.

This book is a coming of age story, a story about first love, first heart break, unyielding friendship, finding hope among despair and grief, about believing in yourself and moving past the hard times, so you can live all the great times.

I have never filled a book with more sticky notes than this book! So many beautiful sentences, paragraphs capturing life lessons, heartbreak, first love, fear, the loss of innocence and then finding hope when all seems lost... Seriously swooning still!

Here are only a few of my favorite passages:

"I mean," continued Andy, "there's this one moment as you're growing up when the world suddenly feels more or less pointless- when the terribleness of reality lands on you, like something falling form the sky."  (pg. 6)

I wanted to say lots of things to him too.  Things that had gradually become clearer just before I was supposed to leave.  But sometimes the things you want to say are exactly the things that somehow you are least able to. (pg. 22)

He wasn't just my friend.  He was a kind of magic. (pg. 25)

"But it's not an ordinary apple tart.  It's the apple tart of hope.  After you've taken a bite, the whole world will look almost completely different.  Things will start to change and by the time you've had a whole slice you'll realize that everything is going to be okay." (pg. 34)

These are only a few of my favorites.  My book is covered in sticky notes.  So make your you have a pack ready when you read this book!!  


Q&A with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is an Irish academic and novelist. Her first novel, Back to Blackbrick was published in 2013, adapted for the stage by Patch of Blue Theatre Company and showed in Edinburgh and London in 2015. Her second novel, The Apple Tart of Hope was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Prize, has been translated into twelve languages, and is currently being released to American readers by Holiday House publishers in New York. Her third novel A Very Good Chance is due out in September.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. One of the great things about writing is that inspiration comes from everywhere. Not a day goes by without providing a moment or a feeling or a sight or a sound that I feel like capturing and pinning down into a story.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Those rare and unexpected moments when the words seem to flow out of their own accord.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. The uncertainty and self-doubt that sometimes accompanies the solitude of the writing process.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I like to think that in another life I might have been an actor.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Post nubis, lux.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. That’s like trying to choose your favorite child. I love all of them! But if you forced me today to select one, I think it might be A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I often used to fantasise that there were great similarities between me and Jo March from Little Women.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. There’s a boy called Cosmo in my first novel, Back to Blackbrick. I think I may be a little bit like him.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Oh please, please let me go to Longbourn for a weekend with the Bennetts.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. My absolute favourite season is and always has been Spring. And my favourite month is February when hints of brightness and warmth start to whisper to me after the long winter.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)? 

A. I feel so lucky that my publishers asked Leo Nickolls to do the artwork for my book covers. All of them are quirky and colorful and beautifully presented. The cover for The Apple Tart of Hope depicts the pier in the small harbor in a place called Dalkey which is the village in Ireland where I grew up.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I accidentally tucked my skirt into my tights on the evening of the launch of my first novel a real live Bridget Jones momentthankfully my then publicist the very wonderful Nina Douglas noticed, and rescued me from public mortification.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my new novel, which is going to be called A Very Good Chance. It’s about a boy from Ireland’s travelling community and a girl who he makes friends with; I also hope it is about bravery and courage in the face of sadness and fear.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Yes, thanks so much for checking in and keep reading books! Books are brilliant. In a world that often feels fragmented and senseless we all need stories to help us find meaning and hope.

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