It’s definitely been tough for a lot of people lately, myself included. Books have been an escape for me and I am so glad I’ve had a chance to read even just a little bit more while I’ve been sick. Thank you so much to Xpresso Tours for hosting this blog tour and for having me on it. Click on the banner for more information and the rest of the schedule.
Sticks and Stones
by Dianne Beck
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: March 18, 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary
When fifteen-year-old Emily Greene wakes up to police banging on her door, she is shocked to see her mother arrested on drug charges.
Uprooted and in disbelief, Emily moves to a new town to stay with her grandmother, known as Crazy Carol for her outspoken faith and quirky behaviors. As if the arrest isn’t enough, kids at her new school immediately begin to stereotype and judge her based on the news they’ve heard about her mom.
Emily is sure her mother’s fiancé is to blame for the crime. He has conveniently disappeared since the day of the arrest. She’s determined to find him, and prove he’s at fault. But something awful happens, shaking her world yet again.
After this string of tragedies, Emily starts to question God, but is gently and consistently reminded by her grandmother, through stories she tells of all the sticks, leaves, and stones she collects, that God is her good and faithful parent.
Emily must learn that the words others say about her don’t matter, that her mom’s mistakes don’t define her, and she is always deeply loved by her heavenly father. If only she can learn to forgive herself.
Dianne Beck has spent the majority of her career teaching students ranging from Kindergarten through adult. No matter what age, her biggest goal is to encourage her students to be their own unique selves, to have confidence in who they are, and to follow their passions.
Dianne’s debut young adult novel, Sticks and Stones, was inspired by her years of teaching, where she saw so many students struggle with varying issues, and also experienced how an understanding ear and relevant literature could make a significant impact on their lives. She hopes young people as well as adults can find faith and strength, like her main character Emily does, even when things seem to be falling apart.
Dianne is motivated daily by her faith in God, her husband, and her four adult children. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, sipping coffee, browsing a bookstore, or pursuing a part-time faith and fitness ministry at http://www.ofcommonground.com.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Acorn Publishing for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I definitely felt really hurt for Emily and everything that she had to go through. With all of the trials and tribulations that she went through, and how it didn’t seem like she had anybody in her corner, it really made sense that she would question her faith and whether God was really helping her.
This book really has you as a reader – if you are someone that practices some sort of religion or just has faith in general – think about the times where you’ve questioned your own faith and makes you wonder what it was that made you find that faith again. I feel like this book really did that for me as well, and I had to take a break and think about some things that I really wasn’t sure I could get through. It also makes me wonder how hard it can be for those that haven’t been able to find that faith again.
I’m also glad that Emily had a best friend to be with her during this transition, especially because he was going through the same thing. Well, sort of. Emily’s best friend just so happened to be her mother’s fiance’s son. So while Jared’s dad wasn’t arrested for drugs like Emily’s mom, his dad still disappeared without a trace when things started to hit the fan.