Blog Tour & Giveaway: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

Welcome to Adventures in Reading. Today, I am participating in a blog tour for Positively Beautiful. Generally I don’t do blog tours anymore unless I either read the book and adored it or I haven’t read it, but am very excited for it. Positively Beautiful fell into the former category.
Book Information:
Book Title: Positively Beautiful
Author: Wendy Mills
Published Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis:
Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma – and the love story that springs from it

Erin’s life is taken up with her best friend, Trina, her crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had a knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer and even worse, the cancer is linked to a rare gene mutation. The chances that Erin has inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to get tested and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?

As Erin grapples with the terrible dilemma, her life spirals downward, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. She also finds solace in Ashley, a girl she meets in an online support group. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair—but ultimately, to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty and love.

My Thoughts:
I actually posted a review last month and I’ll link to it here, but what I really wanted to talk about was Erin’s relationship with her mom. It’s such an important part of the book and it was my favorite part of the book. I don’t see a lot of positive mother-daughter relationships in YA, so I was happy that Mills chose to write a positive mother-daughter relationship. I related a lot to Erin’s relationship with her mom because I have always been very close with my own mom. Watching Erin deal with her mom’s illness was absolutely heartbreaking and I kept thinking about how I would have reacted if I was in her position with my mom. It was a beautiful book that made me so thankful that my mom is in decent health. I just couldn’t imagine going through what they went through.
Author Biography:
WENDY MILLS was born in Virginia and spent several years in North Carolina, but now lives with her family on the tropical island of Bokeelia, off the south-west coast of Florida where she spends her time writing and dodging hurricanes. She has published adult mysteries with Poisoned Pen Press, and Positively Beautiful is her first young adult novel.  Visit her online at http://www.wendymillsbooks.com or on Twitter @WendyMillsBooks.

This is a US only giveaway for 1 hardcover of POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL by Wendy Mills. Entrants must be 13 years or older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL Blog Tour Schedule
March 2nd àJenuine Cupcakes
March 3rd àYA Bibliophile
March 4th àBook Revels
March 5th à  The Hardcover Lover
March 6th àBookiemoji
March 9th àDana Square
March 10th àLovin Los Libros
March 11th àThe Book Belles
March 12th àAdventures in Reading
March 13th àWho Ru Blog

Review: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

Book Title: Positively Beautiful
Author: Wendy Mills
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Published Date: March 3rd, 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma – and the love story that springs from it. 

16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?

As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.

Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair – but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

 Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Bloomsbury Children’s in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
If something is pitched to me as YA Jodi Picoult & Lurlene McDaniel, chances are really, really high that I’ll fall in love with the book, cradle the book in my arms and cry violently in the end. I initially credited Bloomsbury with the pitch, but then realized it was Goodreads that had said this. Well done Goodreads, well done.

This book was utterly beautiful, gorgeous, heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. I read it one night when I couldn’t fall asleep and I did not put it down until I had finished it (sometime after 3:30am) It’s a rare book that can keep me up almost all night, but this one did just that and it was done beautifully. 

I spent a big chunk of the book wanting to hug Erin. She was going through so much and the thought of me ever having to go through it with my own mother, was something I never wanted to think about. Like Erin and her mom, my own mother and I are extremely close and I couldn’t imagine having to watch my mom go through chemo. I’d like to think I’d be as strong as Erin was, but I don’t know.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the flying bits. I was worried I’d be bored, but I wasn’t. I understood Erin’s longing to share something with her dad. I understood her mother’s reluctance given the circumstances, but Erin needed something that she shared with her deceased father. I’ve always wished I shared something with my father. Maybe I do, I doubt I’ll ever find out. I was happy to see Erin embracing this part of her father, and Stew was great. He was a crotchety old man, but he cared about Erin in a non-creepy, almost fatherly way.

I wasn’t all that fond of Michael, so I was hoping it wouldn’t go anywhere. Michael was not who Erin needed. She needed someone solid, kind and generous. Like Jason. I didn’t expect to like Jason much, but he grew on me slowly but surely. They made more sense together than Michael and Erin ever did.

I was of two minds when she flew off to meet her friend: I understood that she needed to get away from everything that was going on. Erin really did need a break from having to see her mom so sick from the treatments. Yet, I knew I could never have done what she did. Not if my mom was that sick. I could never leave her alone to deal with this no matter how scared I was. I was pretty peeved at Erin for making her mom worry during this time. Her mom should have been focused on her own health, and instead, Erin was acting like a six year old who ran away instead of dealing with things, which of course upset her mom.

The strongest part of the book was Erin’s relationship with her mom. It was wonderful to see a teenager get along so well with their mom. The last 50 or so pages pretty much shattered every single feeling I’ve ever had. I actually took pictures of myself after I finished the book. I don’t think a book has ever made me cry as much as this one did.

I loved this book, and I am giving it 5 stars. It is beautiful, it features a strong mother/daughter dynamic and it will break your heart into a thousand teeny tiny pieces. I cannot wait to get a finished copy of this beautiful book. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is not scared off by a “cancer book”