Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blog Tour: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Today as part of the blog tour for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris I have a review for the book as well as interview with Rachel and a giveaway. So without a further ado...


Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website:
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
Review:

I've been dying to read this one for what seems like years now. It sounded incredible, and I always love seeing how authors tie time travel into their books, especially when it contains such a fun background as the one My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century had. So basically, I knew it was the one for me, and as it turns out, I was exactly right. Not only was My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century a funny and original book but it contained incredible main characters and an ending that had me dying for the next one!

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century tells the story of Cat Crawford, a girl who wants nothing but an escape from the coming days of her life. It was bad enough when Cat's father first brought home her future step-mother but now that she's planning Cat an expensive as well as televised Super Sweet Sixteen party, Cat is simply furious. Cat's never been one to really enjoy social events, especially ones were she is the center of attention. Therefore, when she ends up being shipped off back in time to the sixteenth century, she's beyond happy. No party? Can't get better than that! But this trip is going to turn out to be much more than a little vacation...Cat's going to fall in love and make amazing friends and most importantly, evolve as a person...but for better or worse? You'll just have to read to find out!

Okay, there was so much I LOVED about this one...I don't even know where to begin, but I'll guess I'll start with the characters. I was a little bit hesitant about Cat at first to tell the truth...I could see why she wouldn't want a big party, but at the same, I wanted to shake her on the shoulders and be like "it's only a party and you're stepmom is just doing it because she wants to make you happy." Thankfully, Cat really evolved throughout the book and began to see this. What I always enjoyed about Cat, though, was her sense of humor as well as her undying loyalty to her friends. In the book, she makes such a change in the lives of Alessandra and Lorenzo and I just loved seeing it all evolve. Talking about Lorenzo and Alessandra, they were two of my favorite characters as well. Alessandra was so sweet and naive in the best kind of way, and Lorenzo was swoon worthy to say the least...I always loved when he made an entrance.

The plot in this was also a ton of fun! For one, I just adored the setting and the different fun Rachel was able to bring out because of it. The people Cat meet (especially one center artist) and the different social challenges she faced were always interesting and kept the book flying! I also enjoyed how Rachel developed the relationship between Lorenzo and Cat...it moved at a steady pace, one that really allowed them to be viewed as a realistic couple and a great one at that.

Lastly, I just loved Rachel's writing! She did such an amazing job for a debut author...one that has left me DYING to see what she writes next. Though, I have to say that ending was simply evil...I can't believe I have to wait so long to read the next one!

In all, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a charmingly sweet and romantic novel that I can't suggest highly enough...trust me, you have to read this one!

Grade: A+

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (Amazon/ BN/ Goodreads) will be released September 18, 2012!

Source: Publisher- thanks Entangled!



I also had the chance to ask Rachel a few questions...

~~~

1. What are the top three reasons why people should buy My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century the next time they see it online or in stores?

Because you’d be my favorite person ever?? He he, I guess you need something more concrete than that, huh? How about:

(1) There’s a hot Renaissance boy in it, who happens to be the perfect blend of arrogant and sweet, if I do say so myself. And I do (ha!)

(2) While all books transport you to another time or place, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century takes it up a notch. It takes you to the Renaissance, which is just made of awesome, and Italy…beyond gorgeous Italy. Who wouldn’t want to be transported there even for a little while?

AND

(3) To me, the best fiction makes you smile, laugh, worry for your beloved characters, and then swoon at the end. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century will make you do all the above….or so I dearly hope. (*grin*)

2. The main character in the book is Cat so can you tell us a little about her? Also, if you could offer her any advice, what would you say?

Cat Crawford is a daughter of Hollywood who loathes the spotlight. With a film director for a dad and a scandalous starlet for a birth mother, you’d think she’d be used to attention. But actually, it’s because of her family that she hates it so much. She thinks she has to be perfect in a crazy attempt to overcompensate for her birth mom’s many public failures, and in an attempt to meet the expectations others have of her because of who her father is. So this worry and perfection leads her to become a loner, always keeping people at a distance, and always needing to be in control of every situation.

Enter her going to the 16th century.

Cat can’t control anything there. She’s flailing to figure out the rules and making one humorous misstep after another. It takes being in a crazy world and entering situation after situation that she can’t control that Cat’s forced to deal with her issues, so-to-speak. She learns a lot about history, but she mostly learns a lot about herself.

If I could offer Cat any advice….without giving any spoilers away (he he)….it would be that life’s too short to be miserable and not to be who you really are. It took me years to accept who I am, goober/enthusiastic nerd and all, and now that I’m here, I wish I could go back to my teen self and tell her to just stop trying so hard to please everyone. It’s impossible.

3. In My Super Sixteenth Century, the reader encounters several other characters. Which was your favorite to write about?

I’ve started, erased, and started answering this question a bazillion times, all with different answers LOL.

My first instinct is to say Reyna, because come on. She’s an awesome gypsy who’s smart and cool and mysterious. Did I mention cool? That girl even kept me guessing.

But then there’s Alessandra, or Less as Cat calls her. She’s a lot like me actually, kinda sweet and innocent and fiercely loyal. And the bonus is that I just got finished writing the sequel, A Tale of Two Centuries, which is told from Less’s POV, so I got to live with her the longest now.

But I can’t leave out Lorenzo. Yum, yum, yummy Lorenzo. In Alessandra’s story, I had the straight up bad boy, but with Cat, I needed someone to keep her on her toes. Someone who’s both a player and a romantic. Someone that can get under her skin. Lorenzo was so fun to write….and it didn’t hurt that I based him on Alex Pettyfer, so I had to picture that gorgeous face the entire time I was drafting =)

4. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century obviously takes place during the sixteenth century. What inspired you to set it during that specific time period?

I’ve been obsessed with the Renaissance for years. It started in high school with Romeo and Juliet, then an awesome class I had senior year all about European History. Then in college, I went to Europe with my family, and while we were in Florence, I got to see a Renaissance themed festival on the streets. Totally a surprise, too, which just made it feel more magical.

So the interest has always been there. So when I decided I wanted to write a book about a modern-day girl going to the past, and wanted to lose myself in research (thus ruling out Regency since I know a lot about that time, thanks to my historical book obsessions), the 16th century came to me pretty quickly. Shortly after that, I saw the video for Taylor Swift’s Love Story while I was creating my story soundtrack, and it was just another sign that this was the direction I needed to go.

5. I’m sure you did a lot of research when it came to writing the book. Did you come upon any interesting tidbits along the way?

Hmm, I tried to shove every bit of coolness into the book, hoping it wouldn’t be too overwhelming (ha!). But seriously, having a twenty-first century girl dealing with these cool things was just too fun.

Okay, the most random thing….they didn’t really wear underwear at that point, at least not commonly. That just totally stayed with me for some reason, and I had even more fun with that tidbit when Alessandra comes to the future (*grin*). There are lots of other cool tidbits, but if I told you before everyone read it, it’d ruin the fun.

6. How did the title come to be? Was it always the one, or did it come later on in the process?

Always the title, from the moment I decided to write it. My husband is totally in this with me, reading drafts and bouncing ideas around, so I went to him the day I was trying to figure out what era to write about. He was on the treadmill, the television was on, and I was going over all the common periods in history that I could send Cat. Like I said, I kinda settled on the Renaissance pretty quick, and after I said it (I think we’d just seen a commercial for My Super Sweet Sixteen) he said, “How about My Super Sweet Sixteen Hundreds?” I thought about it and said, “Or, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.”

He still prefers his version…. I love mine =)

7. What has been your favorite part of being an official YA author so far?

Talking to readers who’ve read early copies and hearing them say they love my book. I’ve actually heard a few people say it’s one of their favorites of 2012—I mean, say what? I’m a book addict, and I read a ton, so knowing how much awesomeness came out this year….yeah that just blows my mind. But like, in the best way possible.

And the best part about talking to readers really is when those same readers start tweeting with me beyond talking about my book, just hanging out. I love that!

Also, getting to know the other authors has been amazing. At Entangled, we have a core group of us going through this debut thing together and it’s been amazing being able to share this with them. Those friendships and the ones with my fabulous critique partners mean everything to me.

8. What are three things readers would be surprised to know about you?

• I can play Mary Had A Little Lamb on the telephone. I’m telling ya peeps, I’m talented.
• In college, I interned at Entertainment Tonight and met a crazy amount of celebs…but the most memorable was probably when we had to interview Heidi Klum on the set of a Victoria’s Secret commercial and hung around her while she was in her underwear. (side note: that’s two references two underwear in one post…..)
• My husband went to school with Ian Somerhalder and I have young Ian’s elementary school yearbook pictures in my closet. And yes, he was cute then, too.

9. I see that there is a companion novel planned called Tale of Two Centuries. Can you tell us anything about it?

This was so fun to write! At the beginning of the story, Alessandra has a bit of a heartbreak, so she calls out for her own gypsy time travel adventure. The stars hear her plea and she winds up on Cat’s doorstep, 500 years in the future….surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and, to Less, extremely scandalous clothing.

What I love is how different this book was from Super Sweet, really keeping it fresh. Not only is it a flip-flop, a girl from the past sent here, but where Cat is more snarky funny, Less is more innocent funny. Readers get to see the world we live in through her innocent eyes, and it’s just hilarious. The best part was finding the perfect counter to proper Alessandra—Austin, a bad boy surfer who’s arrogant and sexy, allowing me to crank up the swoony, kissy scenes a bazillion notches. That balance between Alessandra’s innocence and the tension between her and Austin was just a blast. I’m really looking forward to this one being out in the world!!


Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! :)

To find out more about Rachel and her books visit her website, twitter, or facebook fan page.

To find out about past tour stops as well as future ones, check out Rachel's blog.

As part of the blog tour, Entangled Teen is hosting huge giveaway. Here's the official Rafflecopter form so if you'd like to enter be sure to fill it out! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

US only for the grand prize, but the extra swag pack is international.
The giveaway ends September 23rd and the winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

6 comments:

  1. OMG wow! What a lovely review and interview I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to read this amazing book I'm so hyped up about it now! :D

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  2. Awesome review. I agree that it was charmingly sweet. The interview was great too - I can't wait for the next book!

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  3. I love reading author interviews. This sounds like a fun fall read.

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  4. awesome review... and i am loving all her Interviews... :)

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  5. OMG!! Wow! I need those pictures of Ian Rachel....can you please send me?

    Great review and Interview! :D
    Can't wait to read the book.

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  6. Great review and great interview as well!!
    I'm desperately waiting for my copy of the book!!

    ReplyDelete

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