Friday, 4 October 2013

Blog Tour - Who We Are by Shanora Williams






“I thought I had gone through something much worse. I thought the abuse and pain from my mom and step-dad was bad, but this? This heartache? This pain? This depression? This gut-wrenching, heartbreaking moment? This knotted up feeling in my gut, the tightness in my throat, the ache in my chest? It was slowly but surely killing me.”

Eight months.

That’s how long it’s been since Eliza last saw Gage and they both feel as if they don’t deserve one another’s forgiveness. He screwed up. She walked away without looking back. They’ll try and make up all the time they’ve lost with one another, that is until they’re facing the choices of either going their separate ways, or hanging on and fighting for dear life.

The fights will be endless. They heartache will be real. The demons will return, and they won’t back down without a fight.

There are some who will do anything to keep true love apart, and those same people will dig deep into their demonic ways until Eliza and Gage are literally no more.

Can Eliza and Gage overcome it all? Will they be able to face the true demons that are seeking to destroy them? Or will they just forget about everything they’ve worked so hard for and go their separate ways?

Sometimes you have to go through struggles in order to reach an ultimate point of peace… but will their struggle be worth it?









Ahh finally Gage Grendel is back! No worries ladies the ego inflated jerk only rears his ugly head very briefly. Thankfully Gage got that out of his system in the first half of Who He Is, instead this second installment picks up right where the last book left off. After Ellie walks away shattering Gage’s heart, she must face the music (literally she goes to their concert to visit her dad) and she is introduced to Fire Nine’s new song “We Don’t Give A Fuck!” I have to say this man definitely has a way of putting his emotions into his songs as is blatantly clear in the song:

 
“It was bad to let you in, he sang. It was hard to get over you. I was stupid to be with you. You hurt me when I never did anything to you. I’ll scream ‘fuck you’ to the rooftops. I’ll let everyone know I’m not…I’m not in love with you. Fuck you. Fuck us. Like the band always says…WE DON'T GIVE A  FUCK!”
 
I’d buy this song on iTunes, it’s a powerful and catchy anthem for a bad break-up, yet all lies. Understandably so, Gage’s emotions are still so raw and the hurt, anger and bitterness he has toward Ellie for leaving him is still there. However, you can tell this display of a**holely is him lashing out because he is very much still in love with her.  As many of you can guess, this first encounter is not successful. These two go their separate ways but the connection does not fade. As time passes, neither are able to bury their feelings.
I give props to Ellie as she is no longer the unconfident, vulnerable girl from the first book. She has a refined independence about her, which she uses to focus and accomplish success in Art School. A major headway for her career is the internship she lands in New York at Arts Global. All of us know the feeling of first day jitters. Well poor Ellie doesn’t just have butterflies from preparing for her first day, she has the pleasure of being thrown on a rollercoaster that has her thrown back and jerked around when she discovers new boss Franklin McGuire is one of the graphic designers of FireNine. But wait, that is just the cake, the icing is Gage gave her the recommendation for the internship and here is the candy toppings - he is there to welcome her to her internship.
I couldn’t help but giggle like a school girl, of course Gage is involved. While I felt for Ellie, I was also elated with Gage’s actions, clearly he is trying and willing to work things out with Ellie and this man is on a mission.
 
“I can’t fight it. It’s so fucking hard to stay away from you, Eliza. You wanna know what I thought about today?......I thought about taking you in my arms and if I had to, dropping on my knees again and begging you to just accept me—to just take me and…love me.”
 
Yup that declaration would have sold me too but even if I were on the fence these next words lined, hooked, and sunk me:
 
“I have to feel you again. I want you to feel me. I want to show you how much I’ve missed you. Words aren’t enough.”
 
Exactly like I am always saying, “Actions speak louder than words” or in this case actions are more satisfying ;) Reunion—check, connection stronger than ever—check *squeal* okay are you happy? I know I am. ROADBLOCK (imagine the annoying back-up truck sounds) here comes the drama and complications; all can be summed up into one name—Penelope.
Grr I have never seen myself getting into a quote “girl fight” but heck this girl (yes girl she lacks the maturity to be deemed a woman and definitely lacks the class to be a lady) makes me want to sign up for some MMA classes and full out TKO a biotch. I mean what human being blackmails a man using his recovered drug addict sister who found the strength to overcome one obstacle only to be hit with lung cancer; truly unfortunate for Kristina and devastating for Gage, a man who values family over everything else. Also, as much as I hate to admit it I wanted to slap Gage around too. Whereas Ellie grew stronger, I felt rather than showcasing his vulnerability Gage took it a step deeper, more so depressed and weak. I wanted more fight from him. As quick as he fought to get Ellie back, it sizzles and we as readers are heart broken right alongside Ellie.
 
“I thought the abuse and pain from my mom and stepdad was bad, but this? This heartache? This pain? This depression? This knotted-up feeling in my gut, the tightness in my throat, the ache in my chest?...With each step I took away from that tunnel, I died on the inside. My heart shriveled up and obliterated into ashes.”
 
Whew talk about grasping all the emotions of a heart break, Shanora Williams expresses such elaborate, relatable descriptions that cause the reader to reflect on past experiences and helps reader emphasize with Ellie. Reading about Ellie’s friendships with Monica and Kelsey, it encouraged me to seek out my real life equivalents and hug them. Because Ellie’s statement describes the comforting manner true friends are capable of when she says:
 
“Kelsey and Monica were like two Band-Aids on my worst scars. With them around, I felt better.”
 
Ms. Williams does a spectacular job developing and strengthening the supporting cast. Although I was jealous of Ellie because I wanted Kelsey to be my bff (she is corky, she is your personal E! News anchor, and always has your back) I was more ecstatic for her to have formed that connection with Kelsey, to finally have a friend to lean on.
Kelsey, Roy, and Montana all help to light the fire under Ellie’s ass and prompt her to fight for her man. Even though Ellie did not go to Gage’s apartment with intention to literally fight physically, she intended to talk to Kristina to get through to her in hopes of snowballing a revelation in Gage. But that is all thrown out the window when Ellie comes face to face with Penelope. The way Ellie handles herself had me cheering like a proud mama on a sideline of a soccer match. You go girl!
 
“If I had to accept assault charges, I would. I didn’t care. She was the one who ruined us, so I wanted to ruin her.”
 
Once again, Ms. Williams has succeeded in strapping me in a rollercoaster unable to escape. My emotions were all over the place and no matter what I couldn’t escape the heartache; I just wanted to know when I’d be let off to find solace. I did feel the ending was slightly rushed nonetheless solace for me came in the form of another perfectly emotion filled song by the Gage Grendel called Single Doves:

“We’ve been through it all.
I’m not leaving no more.
We’ve been hurt and all,
But I’m not leaving no more.
This is my statement,
I’m here to stay.
This is my heart,
I’m here to stay.”

I was surprised at the turn of events over the course of the book which made me love the ending even more. I am a sucker for HEA so thank you Ms. Williams for giving me a lollipop to shut me up! Fingers crossed that Roy and Montana get their own stories.

 ~ Review by Tori





Shanora Williams was born and raised in Matthews, North Carolina. She's the author of the New Adult series, OBTAINED and the Best Selling New Adult novel, Hard to Resist. Her upcoming mature New-Adult/Adult novel, Who He Is, will be released in July of 2013.

When she's not writing, she's happily reading or watching cartoons like the big kid she is. She has a wonderful family that you will hear her brag and talk about all of the time. Whenever she just wants to get away from the words for a while, she'll spend some time with her loved ones, eat gummy bears, or drown in Coca-Cola and anything else caffeinated.

 


 
 
 




 


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