Friday, March 9, 2012

A Place in This Life Tour Stop (Review and Interview)


For Natalie Miller, it’s just another family vacation. For someone else, it’s the opportunity he’s been waiting for.

With only a single peck from a guy named Frank, Natalie’s anything but experienced with boys. But when Todd pops out of the water, says hi, and tells Natalie he has leukemia, all of that changes.

She’s never had attention like this from a boy, let alone one who’s a real charmer with sex on the brain and the experience to match. Drawn to Todd like a magnet, Natalie gives him her friendship, her love, and her body. Even when she’s tempted by gorgeous, healthy schoolmate Alex, Natalie’s desire to love and care for Todd pushes her to see how far love can go in spite of the potential for death of the relationship — and death of the one she loves.

My Review:

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I came into this book and I was really surprised. I found I could not put this book down at all as I read it. Julie did an amazing job bringing this story to life.

It had to have been difficult to take on such a heavy topic as she does here. This is not a light contemporary read, Julie really took on the emotional issues and the difficulties of what it is like to care for someone who is dying. I found myself crying throughout the book quite a bit.

Julie did a great job showing the thoughts of Natalie. This book will resonate with teenagers very well, in the way that Julie writes Natalie (she shows she really understands what teenagers go through). I really enjoyed reading as Natalie dealt with the different issues of a teenage girl coming into her sexuality (it was very real!)

I definitely recommend this book, Julie writes with a lot of heart, and shows her readers that sometimes you really can't help you fall in love with.

Interview with Julie:

1. This story is such a heavy topic, what was your inspiration for it, and was it difficult to write?
When I was 14, I went on a boat trip with my parents to a local island off the California coast. This is where I met the real Todd. I swear, he really did pop out of the water and tell me he was sick. He was a strong, vibrant character. Very dominant and forward, just like he is in the book. As for writing the story, it was hard because I had to revisit the relationship, re-read what I'd originally written about it, and think about it all. During the course of my writing APITL, I found out that the real Todd had died in a children's hospital a year after we'd met. That left me unable to write for days.

The beginning of A Place In This Life is more or less factual. The middle and end parts were from the depths of my mind.

2. Which of the characters do you find you connect with the most yourself?
Nally, because parts of her are me. I understand her obsessing, her worry, her lack of confidence in herself and abilities. She was easy to write because of this.

3. Do you have a specific writing process (do you just write when something comes to mind or do you set aside time)?
Story ideas come from my experiences and those of people I know or have known. There is something that triggers a memory. I withdraw it from my memory bank and build a story around it. I never sit and plot - I'm what they call a "pantser."

I try in vain to set aside time. I used to write from 8-9 p.m. when my son was little and went to bed at 7! Now it's a struggle to find the time. Mostly, I write at night when I'm tired and my eyes are puffy!

4. Your favourite book of all time?
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The way she describes thing like sugar and flowers, the smell of things, the appreciation of hard work and her family - she is the writer who inspired me to think about being one.


  1. Thank you SO MUCH for reading my book and being a part of this blog tour! I hope you didn't go through too much Kleenex. :-)

    - Julie

  2. Great review and interview, I really can't wait to read this book :D



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