Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review of the Novel Blaze of Glory

I used to be an avid reader. I would often buy a new book and read through the book in one sitting. I could never put a book down without finishing it, since I just had to know what happened in the end. I no longer have the time to read as much as I used too, unless I'm reading lunch menus, report cards and an occasional article. I truly have missed reading, as it was one of my favorite hobbies. So, I was excited when I was asked to review the book Blaze of Glory, as I thought it may be just the thing I needed to get back into reading regularly.

Synopsis: Blaze of Glory is told from the viewpoint of Tea, a 17-year-old girl who has a strong will and determination. Tea is also quite stubborn and even downright defiant, which occasionally lands her in trouble with her stepfather, who can be quite less than understanding. Tea is a passionate girl who has a deep understanding of horses, which shows in her ability to calm and train some of the wildest horses she encounters. Tea's love for horses shows through her accomplishments as a successful rider in jumper competitions. Those closest to Tea are Seth (her brother), a few close friends, and Jaden--her cousin by marriage. After a tragic accident, Tea is thrown into a deep depression that causes her life to spiral out of control. She finds happiness and love through a forbidden romance, at least one that her family would view as forbidden. What does Tea do? Make the choice to go with her heart or deny herself the love that she feel so intensely it causes her stomach to flip and heart to ache? 

About the Author: M. Garzon is a mom to two wonderful children and lives in St-Lazare, QC. She was once a professional horseback rider, who had to experience a career change after an injury left her unable to ride professionally. She went back to school and completed both a BSC and an MBA. She worked as a business consultant, until she decided to pursue being an author in an effort to save her sanity. She is currently working on the sequel to Blaze of Glory, which has been optioned to be a new TV series.

You can stay up-to-date with news and information about M. Garzon through her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

To purchase the book, please check out this link for stores that sell both the paperback and ebook versions.

My Review: My review could be quite simple, as I could simply state that I absolutely loved this book, but that would not do this book, the characters, nor it's author any justice. While I covered the basics of the story in my synopsis, the book is so much more than a typical romance novel or fiction book filled with teen drama and angst.

M. Garzon completely pulls you into the story, as she builds the characters and includes details and back stories that lets you visualize the characters in your mind. I was captivated by Tea's fiery spirit and deep love for animals, whom she will protect without any thought to her own safety. I loved her brother, Seth's, compassion and humor. Her friends were always there for her, no matter what. Jaden comes into the story as someone who may be taken as egotistical or snobby, but he is truly passionate and incredibly caring behind his standoffish attitude at times.

While the story shares information about horses and working on a farm, everything is explained well and seems to blend effortlessly throughout the story. I was left feeling as though I understood any type of technical explanation of horseback riding, so it wasn't overly technical or ambiguous.

The romance part of the story really drew me in. I do love animals, which is what I initially thought would be so appealing about this story, but I was quite taken by the development of a forbidden love. Tea comes to the realization that she has feelings for someone who is forbidden, then struggles with those feelings, and ultimately has to make a choice whether or not to act on those feelings. While all teenagers go through periods of so called "love," M. Garzon builds a romance that is based more on than just lust and on a deeper connection. It feels as though I was on a ride through the story, as I was able to build a connection to each on of the characters.

In the end, I felt a sense of sadness, as I usually do. I never like when a truly good books ends, as it essentially means I have reached the end of the story. The ending in-and-of-itself, was not sad, but it left other questions to be answered and other things I just want to know. I was happy to discover that M. Garzon is currently working on the sequel, and I would be thrilled to receive a copy of that for review. Even if I don't, I know I will buy it. I have the tendency to become completely engrossed in a good book, and I end up truly feeling a connection to the characters. If the book is written well and truly pulls me in, then I feel as as though I need to know more and I truly want to know more.  While I wouldn't be interested in the sequel for everything I ever read, this book is definitely one that I want to read the sequel too.

Overall, the book was well-written and truly pulled you into the story. I lost myself all day, and I could not finish reading until I had reached the end. The recommended age is 15 and older, which I agree with. The romance scenes are passionate, but not in an over-the-top romance novel way, which would be unsuitable for teens. I have heard this being book compared to Twilight a few times, which is a bit true and a bit false. There is no exotic or surreal allure of vampires, werewolves, and fights to the death, but there is forbidden love, abuse, loss, tragedy, and a compelling story that grips you and pulls you in. In the end, if a book can make me sit and not want to get up, even for a moment, before I reach the end--then it is definitely a top pick in my opinion.

You can purchase Blaze of Glory at Amazon for $15.99 for the paperback version or you can purchase Blaze of Glory for $5.99 for the Kindle edition.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are always my own. I received the kindle version of this book for free in order to facilitate this review. I was not monetarily compensated for this post. Some posts may be paid sponsored posts. These factors to not determine the type of review posted, and the reviews are always factual and based on my own opinions.Please visit my Disclosure Policy for more information.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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