Blog Tour: A Life, Forward by Tracy Hewitt Meyer

Book Title: A Life, Forward (Book 2 in Rowan Slone series)
Publish Date: April 7th, 2014
Genre: NA
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis:
Her father is gone. Her mother is in jail. And Rowan Slone has left her dysfunctional, violent past behind. With college looming on the horizon, she has a new job that she loves, and a safe place to call home. She is close to achieving everything she ever wanted-a sense of family, a sense of purpose, and a sense of self.
But there are cracks in Rowan’s life that threaten to send her future crumbling to the ground. When her relationship begins to suffer, her father returns and her long-held secret is discovered, Rowan must find the courage to fight for the most important thing yet-herself.
Review:
When we first met Rowan Slone, she was dealing with a horrible home life that involved her abusive father, her drama-filled sister and her obese and depressed mom. Things had been like that since Rowan’s brother Aiden had died in his crib 7 years ago. Rowan carried the guilt with her wherever she went and when things got too bad, she dealt with the pain by cutting herself.
Now her father’s gone, her mother’s in jail and Rowan is living with her boyfriend’s family. But things aren’t so good in the romance department either. Mike is away at college and things seem to be drifting apart between them. Rowan misses him so much and it doesn’t seem like he misses her at all.
Now her father is coming back around. She doesn’t want him around her but when he drops a bombshell on her, Rowan starts to feel guilty for pushing him away. Now this is where I really wish there had been more development in this storyline. I thought that it was too rushed and things were resolved way too quickly. 
I had an issue with Rowan this time around. She was too dependent on Mike for happiness. Yes she had had a rough childhood and teenage years. She longed for approval and acceptance from her family that when she got together with Mike, she made him her whole world. Yes, Mike is to blame as well. He could have tried harder to keep their relationship afloat but he didn’t. I don’t know if he was really into her or if he just wanted to save someone.
Watching Rowan slowly figure out what she wanted in life and taking steps to make sure she achieved her goals was great. She clearly wants to make something of her life and she’s not willing to allow anyone or anything to stand in her way.
Loved Jess’ storyline as well. So glad that Rowan was by her side throughout everything that Jess went through. Jess needed someone on her side as she dealt with unexpected surprises. Rowan’s unfailing loyalty to her friend is wonderful to see. So often in YA books we have frienemies. Not in this book. Not with Jess & Rowan.
For the most part I did enjoy this book. I thought certain things were rushed and I wanted more on certain storylines and Rowan was a pain in the butt at times. She finally started to focus on her dreams again, which was a welcome reprieve from how she was in the beginning of the book. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed book 1 but I did enjoy it. I will be giving it 4 stars.
About the Author:
Tracy Hewitt Meyer is a multi-genre, multi-published author of new adult fiction as well as adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work, both of which feed her true passion-a love of writing. Born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, Tracy now lives in the mid-east with her family, a goldendoodle, and a bearded dragon.
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Review: A Life, Redefined by Tracy Hewitt Meyer

Book Title: A Life, Redefined
Author: Tracy Hewitt Meyer
Publish Date: June 21st, 2013
Published By: Cerulean Publishing
Genre: YA
Series: Book One in the Rowan Slone Novels)
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Seven years ago, an innocent act by Rowan Slone turned her life into a nightmare. Since the age of ten she’s lived with the burden of her baby brother’s death. Now she is seventeen and all she wants to do is graduate high school, go to college, and escape the loveless family she has endured all these years—the same family that holds her responsible for his death. But no one holds her responsible more than herself.
When long-time crush Mike Anderson invites her to the Prom, suddenly her future looks brighter. Rowan’s younger sister, Trina, however, is determined to ruin her new-found happiness, no matter the cost. And when Rowan discovers her mother’s long-held secret, she finds herself teetering on the edge of an abyss. Can Rowan find the strength to move toward the future or is she doomed to dwell in the past?

Disclaimer: I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Review:
I entered the Goodreads giveaway on a whim and was stoked when I found out that I had won. It was staring at me from my desk earlier so I looked at the page number and I guessed that I could finish it pretty quickly. I was right. It was a riveting, page turner that dealt with so many tough issues. Usually when a book tackles so many tough issues,the book ends up being subpar. Not this book.This book handled such tough issues as teenage pregnancy,rape,infanticide and depression, among other issues, well.
Rowan has been living with guilt for ten years. The book says that she is the one that punishes herself the hardest but I disagree. It was her father who punished her the hardest.She,along with her sister Trina and her mother are subjected to her father’s abuse constantly. It is no secret that things would be different if her baby brother had lived. 
Not only does her father abuse Rowan and Trina,he also emotionally abuses their mother. I got frustrated with their mother. She was so far deep in her depression that whenever her daughters were abused,she only put up a half-hearted effort to protect them.Not only that but Rowan’s mother carries with her a secret that will turn everything on its head. I cannot say that the twist was entirely unexpected but I was a bit shocked. 
Mike Anderson and Jess were good characters too. I wish we had seen just a pinch more of Jess but I did like her from what I did see. Mike had everything that Rowan didn’t have and I think that’s part of what drew Rowan to him in the first place.
This book is getting 4 stars from me. I really enjoyed it but it felt like some parts were just a teeny bit rushed.I think making the book longer would definitely have fixed the issue of certain rushed parts. If you are up for a quick page turner,give this one a try. I both cried and laughed during this book and to me,that’s the mark of an amazing book.