Book Review, Coming of Age, Death, Mental Illness, R & R Book Tours, YA Fiction

Till It Stops Beating (The Maddie Chronicles #4) by Hannah R. Goodman

Welcome to my blog stop on the fabulous mega blitz tour by R&R Book Tours for four outstanding YA books with GIVEAWAYS.  Up first is my review on Hannah R. Goodman’s Till It Stops Beating.  There are more excerpts and giveaways for three other books below.  Good luck and I hope you enjoy my review!

Version 3Till It Stops Beating (The Maddie Chronicles #4) by Hannah R. Goodman

Publication Date: July 5th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary

Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman has always coped with anxiety by immersing herself into the latest self-help book. Then her grandmother is diagnosed with cancer, and she spirals so far downward that she almost risks losing everything she holds dear.

From applying to college to solving the mystery of why she detests jelly doughnuts to writing a novel for her senior project and reconnecting with an old flame (or two), the ever-mounting stress leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only in the back of a convertible with pop music blasting, that she discovers what she needs in order to really live.

If your heart has ever hurt from beating widely, whether from anxiety or love, this book is the one to read.

MY REVIEW

Peter filled me in. You’re going all loopy-nut job on us? You know what? It’s about time. I mean you friggin’ intellectualize yourself into feeling fine.

Can she come to grips with her life and stop worrying about others?

Maddie is getting ready to graduate high school.  Her parents are pressuring her to send in her applications for college, her beloved grandmother is very ill, her former boyfriend (“That Who We Aren’t Supposed to Speak Of”)  has been sent to military school due to drugs, her friends are encouraging her to date someone else so she dates two guys at the same time, and she is having panic attacks her two shrinks (yes, two) say is due to separation anxiety.

Disconnected. Everyone is moving on in their lives. But me.

This is book 4 in the Maddie Chronicles and can be read as a standalone. I chose this book because I had not read a young adult fiction novel for a while and was looking forward to reading about teenage angst, but I found that this novel had much more.  According to a National Institute of Mental Health report, one out of every five teenagers has a mental health disorder.  A staggering reality that is a very serious subject seen often in YA fiction today. Goodman covers peer pressure, family pressure and serious events in her life which result in a teenage girl coming of age and facing her challenges head-on.

Goodman’s characters are funny, flawed and true to life.  Told from Maddie’s point of view, the story centers around her relationships with family and friends. I often found myself feeling empathy for Maddie’s situations and I loved her friend Susan who is a strong character herself who I would like to read more about.  Also, after reading Maddie’s build-up of Justin, I was worried about being disappointed when she meets up with him again, but I was pleasantly surprised with how mature and supportive he was with Maddie.

A character-driven novel that takes a serious look at teenage mental illness, love, drug and alcohol abuse, sexuality, and cancer told with truth and humor as only teenagers do.  Highly recommend.

This book was provided as part of a virtual book tour with no expectation of a positive review given.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Often referred to as “the teenage whisperer”, Hannah R. Goodman’s twenty-year career working with teenagers includes the titles teacher, tutor, coach, and, more recently, mental health counselor. Hannah has written essays about mental health for various online publications. Her work has appeared on MindBodyGreen, OC87 Recovery Diaries, Zencare.co, and The Mighty. Though she has previously earned the title author with her first three books, those were all were self-published. This time around, publisher Black Rose Writing released her novel Till It Stops Beating in July, 2018. Literary Titan’s review praised Till It Stops Beating for “tackling a difficult issue like anxiety and making a story that was funny and sweet without making light of the issue.” Hannah is a member of ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors) as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing where she earned an MFA in Writing For Young People. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and black and white cat named Zoe.

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EXCERPT

“I need to be with Bubbie. I want to be there every day. When she is sick or tired. When she needs help.” I take breath. “I will stay and take care of Bubbie and go to school in January.”

“I don’t like this idea,” Mom says.

Dad sips his coffee instead of gulps. “I don’t know if the deferment is a good idea or not,” he says. “But staying in California for that long? I think it’s sweet to want to stay and care of Bubbie, but what else will you be doing?” He looks at my mom.

Then Mom explodes. “Stan, she is not deferring.” Finally, she looks at me. “You are not deferring. I’m calling Emerson tomorrow to straighten this out.”

This is so ridiculous. When are they going to get it? I stand up. “You know what? This is crazy. I’ve been losing sleep and getting all panicky again over this for the past few weeks and for what? For what reason? Fear of disappointing you? And now here I am full-blown disappointing you both and I did not fall apart or die. I am still here. And so are you guys.” I think of Susan’s opening lines to her speech. Welcome to the last day of childhood. “I’m an adult now, Mom. You guys have to let me make my decisions, without trying to guilt me into doing what you want.” And with that, I walk my adult self out of the living room, and they don’t follow.

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