Monday, 13 January 2014

Blog Tour: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins (Review + Giveaway)

Displaying sabrina elkins.jpgI am a former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Daily Newsand other newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to this I worked in advertising, writing ad copy for corporate travel accounts and major motion pictures. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to an executive chef and a food & beverage director at a Four Seasons hotel. I also spent some time working as a prep cook for Spago in Beverly Hills.

I received my Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. While in graduate school, I had the privilege of studying fiction writing under renowned author Hubert Selby, Jr., and comedy writing under famed comedian Shelley Berman. I am a past participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshop.

Raised in the woods of Vermont, I now live in the greater Los Angeles area with my husband and three children. STIR ME UP is my first novel.

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Title: Stir Me Up
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Released: October 1st 2013
Pages: 268 (eBook)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated…

I know what you're thinking - Nina, if you know you don't get on with the New Adult genre, then why on earth do you keep signing up for NA blog tours? Well, I guess the answer is that I hope to find out what the masses seem to love with this kind of book, since despite the fact I'm almost at the age NA books are targeted at, I just don't seem to get it. However, Stir Me Up has changed my opinion of this genre - yes, we still see typical NA features throughout the novel, but for once it held the depth I have come to look for in good reads.

Cami is starting her senior year of high school, and suddenly her future seems far too big and far too close. Wanting to pursue a career in catering but being pushed to fill out university applications by her father, Cami is at a loss as to what to do. So imagine her surprise when another variable is thrown into the works: Julian, Cami's stepmother's nephew and ex-war veteran is coming to stay with them to recover from an amputation after he was hit by two bombs in Afghanistan. At first Julian is nothin more than a nuisance to Cami, and she tries her best to avoid him. However, as the two begin to get used to each other's company, Cami begins to realise that maybe Julian holds the answers to some of her problems.

Cami is such a likeable character. NA characters are typically very gorgeous, perfect at everything, wanted by everyone, and just downright irritating. Cami, whilst not the exact opposite, definitely has the characteristics of a realistic human being. Yeah, she's pretty and the reader knows this - but it's not thrown in our faces every other page as if it is all that matters. Actually, I loved how despite the romantic elements within the book, a lot of it is Cami concentrating on cookery and making something of herself - all too often as soon as the love interest turns up, the rest of the plot is lost to the romance. I like my plot and characters to be more than their love life.

Continuing on with the theme of love...dayum, these NA males are going to be the death of me. Hotness and swoons, hotness and swoons everywhere! I'd like to pack one up and put him in my pocket - preferably Julian? He's the typical grumpy and badass love interest that commonly feature in NA novels, but in Stir Me Up I actually found him - wait for it - bearable, nay, enjoyable! (Okay I'll never use the word 'nay' again, I feel liked I just skipped out of Twelfth Night) The point is, Elkins gets her characterisation spot on. The characters are fully developed, each with a backstory and a reasonable degree of depth, and they even turn out to be pretty nice. Who would have thought it possible, hey?

The plot wasn't flawless, but again, it was definitely enjoyable. I was actually surprised that I didn't get bored during the cookery scenes (let's just say that I really can't cook, okay?) Whether you are a talented chef or don't even know how to reheat a pizza, Elkins makes the language and activities available and accessible to you.

Overall, I really liked Stir Me Up. I've seen a few bad reviews about it, a few DNFs that made me nervous - but honestly? It's really good, one of the best New Adult novels that I have read to date, and I'd really recommend it if you want an easy, romantic read with a little bit of depth and a gorgeous love interest!
Rating: 4/5

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  1. This has gone straight on my TBR. I'm so glad it changed your perception of NA. As with every genre there's a lot of chaff, but every so often you come across an awesome read.

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