Over the spring, I was given the amazing chance to be a beta reader for a new YA Christian novel. The book, Purple Moon, is now out and everyone should definitely go get it, because it was incredible.
So I now get the chance to be a stop on the Release Tour!
Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.
Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?
“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little princess named Selena.” (Prologue)
I absolutely loved Purple Moon! There truly aren’t enough books written for Christian teens.
This novel is the story of Selena Taylor who has been struggling in life for years. It started when her mom and Selena stopping living with Selena’s dad. But this summer, Selena has to stay at her bratty cousin’s house for the summer while her mom is in rehab. Selena might be completely depressed about the thought of staying with her relatives for the summer, but she initially tries to make the best of the situation. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for Selena to be swept back into the party routine and ignore her problems. The boy next door won’t let her completely forget though. Austin remembers Selena from when they were little and played together. He becomes her friend again and gently tries to witness to this girl who is so lost and determined to avoid God.
Selena’s journey is such a realistic one. She has been through almost all the bad things one can go through. Boyfriend issues, friend problems, drinking, smoking, a disappointing mom, an absent father, etc. She is legitimately messed-up. But God can take even the most beaten, confused, and sad people and turn them into peaceful, joyful, and loving people. I connected to Selena throughout the whole story. Every time she made another mistake or pushed away someone who just wanted to help her, I felt so sad and desperate for her to turn her life around. Whenever she did make good choices, I was so, so happy for her.
Sometimes I feel like Christians are presented as either hypocrites or perfect, and Austin was neither. He made mistakes in his friendship with Selena and he owned up to them. But I admired that he just kept being there for her and forgiving her when she was a complete jerk to him. I quite like him.
The pacing and storyline were excellent. It did not wrap up too quickly and perfectly, like some books. The story was realistic in the timing and in the ending. Also, the ending was not all “la-di-da, everything is perfect.” There were some nice moments of certain mean side characters coming around and becoming better people, but not a completely unrealistic redeeming of all the not-so-nice characters.
If I had to say something I didn’t like so much, it would be that Selena literally had every problem in the book (pun not intended). I felt she had an excessive number of hardships that were almost overwhelming. But that also added to the beautiful ending of moving past all of these troubles that had weighed her down.
Also, the supporting characters were SO amazing!! Audrey, Brooke, Cole, Hayden, Lexie, Selena’s mom, Hilarie, and even the not so wonderful characters were all so fleshed out and entertaining! I especially loved Audrey and Brooke. I could totally read another book about them.
Bottom line: I loved it. It is a fantastically written and inspiring book, and I look forward to more books from Tessa Emily Hall.
Content Warning: Nothing.
Now for the guest post!
Austin’s Diary Entry
The previous fact or fiction was TRUE.
In celebration of yesterday being the release day for PURPLE MOON, I’ve decided to give you all a peak into one of the main characters, Austin’s, diary. He wrote this entry at some point during PURPLE MOON. If you can guess at which point of the story that Austin wrote this—and email your answer to me at christiswrite [at] gmail [dot] com—you will receive 10 extra entries for the “Purple Moon” Prize Pack. However, I will need your answer by October 25th.
(Click the image to make it larger, or simply read the entry underneath if you’d rather.)
I’m beating myself up right now. Why in the world did I say that to Selena? I can’t explain how terrible I feel. She only lives next door, but I don’t even have the courage to go over there and apologize. I wish she understood the reason I feel so protective of her, and jealous of him, is because of how much she means to me. Regardless of what I told her, she’s nothing like other girls. That’s what I regret saying the most. I know it’s not true. It’s funny, how sometimes I judge people based on their behavior, but with Selena…with Selena, all I can see is her heart, and how beautiful she is. I wasn’t playing around when I told her I’ve known there was something about her, ever since we were young. Now she’s probably going to be so upset with me, and I feel horrible about it.
But the weirdest thing is—as much as I want to go over there and apologize to her right now, I’d rather not talk to her for a while. I think maybe is hold just back off and give her space. That’s what she told me to do anyway, right? In the meantime, I don’t care how long it takes, I’m going to pray my heart out for that girl. I’m going to pray until she somehow opens her eyes and sees how absolutely incredible God’s love is, how unending and beautiful his grace is. Guess that’s all I can do at this point: pray for the girl I haven’t been able to get out of my mind all summer.
Fact or Fiction?:
Guess this fact or fiction, and be sure to stop by the next blog tour stop to see if you guessed correctly! (You’ll also receive one extra entry for the “Purple Moon” Prize Pack if you send me your guess.)
You can win a copy of this book!
Purple Moon” Prize Pack!
Two people will receive the below prizes-- a Rafflecopter giveaway
Definitely go check out the other stops on the tour!
“Purple Moon” Blog Tour Stops:
Wednesday, September 18th: Purple Moon Blog Tour Launch: The Story Behind the Story: Christ is Write
Thursday, September 19th: 5 Facts about Purple Moon: Kim Vandel
Friday, September 20th: Character Sketches + Character Cast Contest: Who YA Reading?
Monday, September 23rd: Behind the Scenes: Why I Chose Lake Lure: Words to Dreams
Tuesday, September 24th: Release Day! Selena’s Diary Entry + Creative Photo Contest: Writing for Young Adults
Wednesday, September 25th: Austin’s Diary Entry: Amy’s Book Blog
Thursday, September 26th: Q & A: Notebook Sisters
Friday, September 27th: Purple Moon Playlist: Ashley Carr
Monday, September 30th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Wooden Swings: Heather Brice
Tuesday, October 1st: Dealing With Anxiety—The Spiritual IV: The Destiny of One
Wednesday, October 2nd: Q & A: Saved by Grace
Thursday, October 3rd: Behind the Scenes: Name Meanings: Labor Not In Vain
Friday, October 4th: Is It Okay To Be An Introvert?: Alex Inks It
Monday, October 7th: Story Behind the Cover Art: Candy Apple Books
Tuesday, October 8th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Cherishing the Sunrise: Author Casey Bond
Wednesday, October 9th: Q & A: Writing While the Rice Boils
Thursday, October 10th: Behind the Scenes: Christian Human Videos: Writing in Wonderland
Friday, October 11th: Teenage Substance Abuse: Emily Rachelle
Monday, October 14th: Behind the Scenes: Lake Lure Academy of the Arts: Worthy 2 Read
Tuesday, October 15th: My Middle & High School Experience: Hello Highlights
Wednesday, October 16th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Meatless Turkey Sandwich: Diane Estrella
Thursday, October 17th: Body Image Laurel’s Leaves
Friday, October 18th: Behind the Scenes: Brewer’s Coffee: A Splash of Ink
Monday, October 21st: Purple Moon Excerpt: Farkle at the Park: A Slightly Nerdy Bookworm
Tuesday, October 22nd: Teenage Dating: Tell The World
Wednesday, October 23rd: Q & A: The YA Book Stack
Thursday, October 24th: How Much of My Personal Life Did I Put Into “Purple Moon”?: Read For Your Future
Friday, October 25th: Fairy tales & Happy Endings + Contest Winners!: Inspiring Daring
And finally, check out the fabulous author!
Tessa Emily Hall is a 19-year-old author of Purple Moon, her YA Christian fiction novel to be published September 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, a column writer for Whole Magazine, a contributing writer for More To Be, as well as the PR for God of Moses Entertainment. Other than writing, Tessa enjoys acting, music, Starbucks, and her Teacup Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.
Thank you, Tessa, for letting me read your book and hype it up for you!