Sunday, August 5, 2012

Authors are Rockstars Blog Tour: Ann Redisch Stampler Review, Deleted Scene + Giveaway

I'm so excited to be participating in the first Authors are Rockstars Blog Tour, hosted by Fiktshun & Two Chicks On Books. I'm even more excited to be hosting AUTHOR ROCKSTAR EXTRAORDINAIRE, ANN REDISCH STAMPLER!!!

Why is Stampler a Rockstar?
She writes contemporary YA that, while adults are sure to enjoy, teens can all relate to. She's not afraid to sway away from the happily-ever-after endings, and keep her stories realistic. And she manages to do all this and write amazing and thought-provoking stories. How does she do it? 
Contact Ann:

where it began by  Ann Redisch Stampler
Now Available!!!  Purchase
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased finish copy
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Sometimes the end is just the beginning.

Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving—and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash.

As Gabby describes her transformation from Invisible Girl to Trendy Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why has Gabby been left to take the fall?

As she peels back the layers of her life, Gabby begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex... and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
My Thoughts:
I think every teen should read this book, especially girls.

While the cover of this book is gorgeous, the story inside is dark and emotional- Just goes to show you, don't judge a book by its cover, which happens to be one the many strong themes portrayed through Stampler's debut. 

Gabby is a complex heroine. She's lost, her parents aren't real authority figures (her mother being concerned only with appearances and social ranking). So she never feels truly loved at home, enter Billy Nash. High school golden boy, and everything Gabby and her mom have dreamed of. But, once again, appearances can be deceiving. 

While not all readers may agree with her decisions and actions, many will sympathize with Gabby's insecurities. Struggling to find your identity while surviving high school, I think many of us know this. The important thing to remember is your independence. Gabby let a boy define her whole life, and it almost ruined it. You're not beautiful because somebody says you are- YOU have to believe you are. That's the moral I took from this debut.

where it began opens up with Gabby waking up in a wreck and can't remember the last few hours of her life. Even her name is complicated, this sets up a great mystery, that readers will enjoy solving. As well, Stampler does a great job of writing Gabby's first person/present tense narration, which in turn, keeps the pacing of the book relevant and exciting.

Definitely pick up this contemporary YA debut! 

And be sure to add her next book, Afterparty, to your to-read list.
Releases: May 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Here's a little treat from Stampler herself, a deleted scene from where it began. Enjoy!

When I write novels, I tend to write way too much and then trim.  Or more accurately, given the amount of prose that have to go, hack.

            And one of the things I realize I do before paring back to the bones --looking at what I’ve hacked from both Where It Began and the new novel, Afterparty --  is to create entirely unrealistic scenes that make characters who have suffered supremely, unrealistically happy.  Such as giving them international art prizes for which they never even applied. 

            Even though my books have strong elements of parody, I try to keep the character’s emotional and internal experiences real.  I shy away from bright, blinding epiphanies after which the character is suddenly transformed, from unrealistic change, and from the attainment of anything vaguely resembling perfection.  And handing Gabby perfect bliss through artistic recognition definitely falls into that category of things.  Not to mention, it takes the recurring issue of Gabby’s life being determined by things that other people want and actions other people take, way too far over the top.

            And yet, I still want to give her the prize.

            For those of you who have read Where It Began, this deleted scene takes place just after the scene in which Gabby and Lisa are barricaded in the school lavatory, where Gabby is removing her make-up and facing some hard truths.

            For those of you who haven’t read the book, Lisa is one of Gabby’s two best friends, and Miss Cornish and Mr. Rosen are her art teachers, both of whom play a significant, positive role in Gabby’s life.  Mr. Piersol is her school’s headmaster, who is not at all fond of her. (In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I will leave out what he’s done to her up to this point.)

            Note that in the final version of Where It Began, the prose are in the present tense, and that Mr. Rosen’s accent is not such a distracting, big deal.  

            Here’s the scene:

            When we got to Miss Cornish’s art room, Mr. Rosen was sitting there with a highly discombobulated-looking Mr. Piersol and Miss Cornish standing over him, all gazing at a piece of paper as if it were God’s grocery list.  My natural tendency was to think: Now what?  And feel ever so slightly more doomed than I usually felt because Mr. Piersol was in the room. But by now Lisa was hopping around like a crazed bunny rabbit and I got the sense that whatever this was about, it was more than slightly good. 
            Lisa whispered, “You are not going to believe this!  This is so amazing!  You’re going to die!”  Holding my arm in a death grip to prove it.
            “What?  Tell me what.”
            “Gartenberg,” she whispered.
            Hearing this, Mr. Rosen and Miss Cornish looked up grinning like happy fools and Mr. Piersol looked as if he’d swallowed tainted meat and was smiling despite a strong need to projectile vomit.
            Mr. Rosen said, “Sooo-prize!” and stared at me through his little round glasses.  The novel sight of him smiling while looking at me and not just peering at my work through those little round glasses or yelling at me about eating gold fish was more than slightly unnerving.  He waved the paper in front of me as if it were a flag he was about to plant on the moon.  “Gartenberg!” he said.
            “It’s a prize,” Lisa whispered.  Coming from a family that made big flow charts of top 50 universtities with a list of every possible honor, award, and extracurricular activity that could help someone get into all these places, Lisa could rattle off the top prizes for anything like an idiot savant who knows everybody’s batting average going back to 1923. 
            I said something approximating, “Huh?”
            “This is a very big deal,” she hissed into my ear.  “You’re an Art Goddess.”
            Miss Cornish handed me the letter. 
I didn’t win the actual prize, it turned out, which was going to some seventy-five year old artist in Japan for his “body of work,” which had this little ironic word play thing going on because the Gartenberg pamphlet had a picture of his iconic work and apparently the old guy had a thing for bodies, elongated marble corpses arranged in heaps to look like mounds of seasonal fruits and ripe vegetables.  I was the honorable mention in the youth division, along with some Swiss kid named Hans. But to Cornish and Rosen and apparently everybody else on earth, this was still hot.
            “How did I win this?”
            “I have sent them color photographs of your pots and of your mandatory still life,” Mr. Rosen said, very proud of himself.  “One bowl, one fruit, one object of choice from list.”
            “No way!” I said.
            “Way!” said Mr. Rosen.  Only it was more like “Vay!”
            Miss Cornish, who was now looking somewhat distressed in the midst of all this good cheer, said, “Um, Werner, did Gabby know about this at all?”
            “Sooo-prise,” he said, pleased as a turkey sitting in front of enough grain to eat itself to death.
            “But Werner,” she said.  “How did she fill out the application and the Gartenberg statement of purpose when she made the finals if she didn’t know about it?  Gabby has a lot to say for herself.  She has a lot of feelings and pure raw emotion to express.”
            Kill me now.
            “Let her express with paint,” said Mr. Rosen.  “I quote her.  Very blunt.  They like this in American candidates.  Not so much in European.”
            Lisa, it turned out, had nothing on Miss Cornish in the eye-rolling department.  “OK,” she said.  “OK, Werner.  What reason did she give for wanting to create?”
            “’Everything else sucks,’” Mr. Werner said proudly, only it was more like “zucks.”
            “Jesus Christ, Mr. Rosen!” I said.  “Sorry Lisa.  I never said that to you!  I’m not a complete ditz who would say that in front of a teacher, are you kidding me?”
            “You said to Lisa,” Mr. Rosen said.
            “You did!” said Lisa, hopping around, “You said, ‘Why the hell not paint the damned still life?  Everything else sucks.’”
            “I just make you say, ‘Why not?” Mr. Rosen shrugged, just like a goofy little kid, all proud of himself for having pretended to be me for long enough for me to enter the contest with little Swiss Hans, who probably filled out his own application and was yodeling a pretty happy tune right about now.
            I probably should be yodeling a pretty happy tune right about now, too.
            Then it hit me: I was an Art Goddess. 
I won something for my art and it was really a big deal. 
Mr. Piersol was speechless.  No doubt we were both thinking of me marching across the stage on Awards Day in front of the parents and the entire student body and how embarrassed he was going to be because, as thrilled as he pretended he was to embrace a reformed screw-up like me and, probably, he shouldn’t suspend me under the circumstances, not suspending me was somehow different from having to stick out his arm and give me a prize for doing something that was actually worthwhile, and how this absolutely miserable look on his face would be the cherry on my happiness. 
I was absolutely happy.
Thank you so much for this treat Ann! But wait she still has more for you - A GIVEAWAY AND IT'S INTERNATIONAL!
Good Luck to all!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see all the other awesome Rockstars and Groupies touring this month go here.

Happy Reading!!!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about WHERE IT BEGAN. They were awesome as is this deleted scene!

    I love this stop on the tour! :) And thanks for the link for the author's next book. Adding it right now!

    Also, thank you so much for participating on the tour and sharing your love for this amazing rockstar author! We love having you as part of this event.

  2. Great post, I havent read those books yet but its a new author to add to my list so thanks :) Every author is a rock star!! There are WAY too many to name. (Entered as Natalie Cleary)

  3. This is my favorite blog tour ever! I love reading about all the authors, they're all really like rockstars for me! I can't wait to read 'Where it Began'!It sounds like a perfect summer read!

  4. What a fantastic post! I haven't read her book yet, but I'll definitely have to check it out!

    As for authors who are my rockstars, wow, there are just so, so many - Stephen King, James Patterson, Rachel Vincent, Alexander Gordon Smith, Leah Clifford, Scott Tracey - to only name a few. ;)

  5. A lot are: Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Andrea Cremer, Becca Fitzpatrick. :D

  6. There are so many! Rick Riordan, Susan Dennard, Kristin Cashore, Cassandra Clare, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Julie Kagawa, Aprilynne Pike, the list goes on!

  7. Oh my, this author is a real rock star!
    But mine is still Cassie Clare and Jeri Smith-Ready, they're awesome!

  8. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    They're ALL rockstars!
    Both of Ann REdisch Stampler's books sound incredibly good!

    Thanks so much:)

  9. My rockstar authors include Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Ally Carter, Meg Cabot, and Veronica Ruth.

  10. My author rock star is Cassie Clare or Jennifer L Armentrout. URGH! There are just too many to choose from.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  11. There are too many rockstart authors for me to choose!

  12. Hi Hayley,
    Thank you so much for hosting me on the Authors Are Rockstars blog tour! When I see all the other writers who are participating, I'm blown away by the scope of this tour, and by the amazing people who are participating. I love the YA blog world! I can't thank you enough for posting my deleted chapter, and for your lovely review. I'm so glad you liked Where It Began!
    All the best,

    1. Thanks Ann! It was my pleasure, can't wait for Afterparty! :)

  13. I would have to say that mine at the moment would have to be Kelley Armstrong, I have not read anything of hers that I did not love!

  14. My author rockstar has to be Colleen Houck. I love her books sooo much.

  15. Thank you for the int giveaway!
    My author rockstar (right now) is Julianne Donaldson.

  16. Mine is definitely Roald Dhal, if only he was still here. *sigh*

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  17. All authors are rock stars!! :) Mine? I don't have just one, but Simone Elkeles is one of them!

  18. Yes, all authors are rock stars that is a truth universally acknowledged! For me they all rock! But my true rock star is Nora Roberts! :D (Ileana-Rafflecopter)

  19. Ultimate Rock Star, Richelle Mead :D

    Rafflecopter name is Cynthia)

  20. I love Jessica Spotswood, Jackie Morse Kessler, Suzanne Young, and definitely Kiersten White. - Emilia

  21. There are too many to be name here (hehe) but I'll pick the most. Probably it will be Melina Marchetta, Richelle Mead, Cassandra Clare and many more! Thanks for the review of "Where it Began". 'After Party' looks interesting, I think 2013 is way too long to wait (hehe) <3

  22. Shannon Hale would have to be my favorite "rockstar" but all authors are pretty awesome