Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 336 pages
John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.Listen, I'm going to be honest here. I was really excited about this book. Like I practically begged to be on this tour so I could read this book. Then I started the book and it was slow. Before you start questioning if you want to read this book just hold on one second. This isn't the beginning of a negative review, I'm just being honest. I actually really enjoyed this book. I've been super busy and the more I thought about it, I probably shouldn't have signed up for this tour with how close it was to my brothers wedding (I never knew how much work it was to be a part of the wedding, even when it's not yours). But I did and I wasn't able to finish this book before today and it was partially due to the fact that I've been super busy and also with the fact that the beginning was a little slow. We're being introduced to these characters, the situation and this special thing that John "Smoke" Conlan can do. I find myself VERY character driven in any book I read. The plot, the story - it all takes a step aside for the characters, in my eyes. I wasn't connecting with John and it made it hard. However, that changed.
But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.
Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.
Once he met "Pink" on the outside, things started to turn around for me. Things started to change for John and I think it just made him more interesting to me. Things started going to hell in a hand basket, if you will and I was right there with him, trying to figure out what was going on and honestly, who was behind it. You sit there thinking you might have it figured out but then another shoe drops and it has you questioning everything. You never stop second guessing who you think is the mysterious murderer is. I bet most people won't get it right. It's always fascinating with books like this because then you start going back, in your mind, over the books and the little clues that were left along the way and wonder how you didn't pick up on it. I love books like this because if you go back and re-read it again, it'll be like reading a completely different book, because you'll know the outcome. You'll see everything differently and that's fascinating. How many books can you read a second time and feel like you've read it for the first time again? There aren't many and I have no doubt this will be one of those books. So hats off to Elle for pulling that off.
The concept of this book is fascinating; the lives of all the inmates of the Y are fascinating. Each have a different story and each of them play an important role in this book. No matter how small, they all have their stamp on this story and how it turns out. There's a lot of things woven in to this one story; it took a lot of work and a lot of building up. Or at least, I imagine it did; I can't really say for sure since I didn't read the book.
Do you know whose book I thought of as soon as I finished reading this book? Hysteria by Megan Miranda which is ironic since these two lovely ladies are really good friends. But her book had me feeling the same way afterward (and I have actually read that twice and it was like reading a different book each time). So, if you liked that book, I highly recommend checking this out. I'm not one that really compares books but I had to here because it brought me back to the time I finish Hysteria for the first time.
Thank you so much to Disney for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Hannah from the Irish Banana Review for allowing me to be a part of this tour.
ABOUT ELLE COSIMANO:Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
3 finished copies of HOLDING SMOKE by Elle Cosimano (US Only)
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