Monday, November 4, 2019

Benevolent Review Tour

A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

I flashed him a sympathetic smile. “What are you thinking?”

“I have never understood why humans are so moved by music,” he muttered as his eyes searched mine.

“Music is the closest thing that we have to magic,” I confided in a reverent whisper, “because it has the power to anchor us to a moment in time.”

His half-smile conveyed a heartwarming mix of curiosity and affection. “How so?”

I felt my face flush a shade darker as I grinned at him. “When we hear a song from our past, it conjures up all the old sensations that we felt when we first heard it.”

He eyed me with a perplexed frown as he took a step toward me. “How can a combination of man-made instruments and human vocal chords wield that sort of power?”

“I can’t explain it with words,” I whispered, “It’s something that you just have to feel.”

He stood there staring at me with that puzzled expression on his face as I stepped closer and carefully inserted the earpiece in my hand into his left ear, so the music connected the two of us, just as surely as the cord connected the earbuds in our ears. “Maybe you’d understand what I mean if you danced to the music.”

“I don’t dance,” he muttered as he watched me begin to sway to the beat.

I smiled at him as I took his hands in mine and moved his arms in time with the music, like a puppeteer pulling a life-sized marionette’s strings. “Anyone can dance. You just have to let go and let the music guide your movements.”

A skeptical frown spread across his face as he watched me, but he let me direct his movements nonetheless. He was stiff and awkward at first but as the music grew louder, he seemed to find the rhythm. “These words are nonsense,” he muttered.

“Shhh,” I whispered, “Don’t think. Just feel.”

He was a remarkably fast learner, but I suppose being on earth since the dawn of time had given him plenty of opportunities to watch humans dance. Once he started to feel the music, he moved with all the grace that you’d imagine an angel would.

“Hey Jude” gradually faded away until there was nothing but silence in our twin earpieces.

We stopped moving and stood there staring at each other while we waited for the next song to guide our movements.

My Review:
4 stars

As a fan of Supernatural, I was both excited and wary to read this book. As someone who has seen the power of the Supernatural fandom, I was excited by yet I was also a little wary because a book like this could go two ways; it could be an amazing read or a cringy, preachy read. I’m happy to say, this book was worth the read.

This was a moving, heart wrenching, thought-provoking read that took me to highs and lows along with Abigail. Her journey through life and loss, told as a series of flashbacks showing how fandom went beyond just being about the show and became so much more was unique and fun to read. While having the entire novel be a series of flashbacks was an interesting choice, it helped temper the emotional overload and worked with the overall message of the story. Even the ending, which I knew was coming because of the plot structure, had an unexpected, yet beautiful, twist that had me bawling my eyes out.

The only complaints I had with the book was that at times, it was a tad awkward (Abigail’s first reaction to Castiel appearing for example) and that at times, I had trouble connecting with Abigail’s mindset. For example, when I look back on being bullied, I look at it differently than I did at the time, due to age and life experience. This influences how I look back on those memories, and I imagine someone reliving their life while on their deathbed would do something similar, offer both an introspective of how they felt at the time while looking at it through the lens of age/time. However, this wasn’t present at times, which struck me as odd and pulled me out of the story.

Overall though, I greatly enjoyed the read and highly recommend this book for any Supernatural fans, particularly if you love Castiel. And while this book is heavily tied to the fandom, I think anyone looking for a moving, thought-provoking read would enjoy reading it, whether you’re a fan of the show or not.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers' Favorite international book awards. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer's Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons--who are both taller than her--and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he's the family bodyguard.


Buy Links:
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  1. I really enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading the book.

  2. Thanks for the chance! Looks good!