Today I am joining the blog tour for Till It Stops Beating by Hannah R Goodman.
Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman’s senior year begins with the good (the reemergence of The One That Got Away), the bad (a cancer diagnosis, not hers, but it might as well be) and the WTF (an anxiety attack that renders her writhing on the floor like an upside down crab).
Adding to her spiraling anxiety is Senior Project, in the form of I’ve Decided To Write A Book about The Other One That Got Away (And Crushed My Heart). Compounding it all is applying to college and keeping up with her friends. The ever mounting stress eventually rips her tight grip on all that she holds dear.
Her break down 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 she must risk everything in order to really live.
Till It Stops Beating is the type of book I wish had been around when I was thinking about heading off to university. I found Maddie’s fear of leaving behind the familiarity of school, friends and family entirely relatable, and feel this would be a good book for anyone who has doubts about going to university to read. No one ever speaks about the anxiety that this huge step causes for some people, but this book would definitely have made me feel less alone in my thoughts and doubts.
I loved the characters of Peter and Susan – everyone needs friends like this pair in their lives to stand by their side through thick and thin, to make them laugh when things get too much. I am pretty lucky and have my own versions of Peter and Susan to lean on when I need them.
Because of the themes in this book, I perhaps wouldn’t recommend it to younger teenagers, but certainly for those approaching the end of their school life, and going through the same experiences and emotions that Maddie faces, I feel it would be a enjoyable read. It might sound strange to call a book with such difficult themes enjoyable, but they are handled in such a way as to never feel too heavy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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, the last was released in 2009 and all were self-published. This time around, indie publisher Black Rose Writing released her novel Till It Stops Beating this summer.
Hannah’s first YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling, was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Recent, previous projects include Sucker Literary, which features emerging YA authors and All The Way YA, a group blog of writers telling the real deal about writing and publishing YA fiction.
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.
Many thanks to Hannah, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and for providing me with my copy of the book. Don’t forget to check out the other blogs taking part in the tour.