10/07/2013

Blog Tour Stop: The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin


Today I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for Chantel Guertin's novel, The Rule of Thirds. Thanks very much to Hayley from Booking it With Hayley G. for organizing and including me! I have lots of fun stuff in this post, including a review of the book, a guest post from Chantel, and a giveaway!

First, a bit about the book:
The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin.

Page Count: 196.
Published: October 1, 2013.
Published by: ECW Press.
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher at BEA.

Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend/supermodel-in-training Dace long ago mapped out their life plan: Pippa will be the noted fashion photographer, and Dace the cover girl. But ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa—and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is Vantage Point, the statewide photography competition, in three short weeks, but her mandatory volunteering placement lands her at St. Christopher’s Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. With humor and pluck, she navigates her new role as a candy striper (watch out for Code Yellows), her changing relationship with her best friend (goodbye, Honesty Pact), and—perhaps most stressful of all—her new love interests (yes, love interests plural). Will Pippa make it to Vantage Point without having a panic attack? Will either one of the guys prove less sketchy than her last boyfriend? Can she and Dace figure out a way to dream big and be best friends? One thing is certain: real life is a lot more complicated than a photograph.

My Review:

The Rule of Thirds follows our rather charming protagonist, Philadelphia "Pippa" Greene as she follows her passion, tries to navigate her changing relationship with her best friend, and gets to know some cute boys along the way. It is an honest and occasionally quirky story that was really great to read.

Pippa herself is a unique young woman with a very fun and relatable inner voice that makes her an excellent narrator. She has her own harmless little oddities as well as more serious anxiety and grief-related struggles that make her the complex main character readers constantly search for in novels. She is smart and creative, and as I am someone who loves and appreciates photography, Pippa's dedication to the craft is wonderful to explore. I loved seeing her ideas come through in her work and watching inspiration strike. It's really very encouraging to see someone's passion sweep them up so completely and for them to actually accomplish something with it. It's inspiration woven into a story about a real, down-to-earth, best-friend-worthy main character.

One of the other major aspects of the story is Pippa's changing friendship with her bff, Dace. Dace, an aspiring model, is also a very quirky character. In that way, she and Pippa mesh very well. They have a plan for their lives: Dace will model and Pippa will be the fashion photographer, and they will become famous and successful. However, as they each grow, their situations change and that dream doesn't seem quite as close as it once did. Pippa starts gravitating towards more landscape/object photography over fashion, but doesn't want to admit it to Dace and be the one to kill the dream. It becomes evident that Dace is also hiding something from Pippa, and their once close friendship starts to crack. Watching this play out and seeing Pippa struggle with desperately trying to keep them together while also yearning for the guilt-free freedom to take her own path makes for a very compelling - and relevant - story.

Guertin uses a bit of a different take on the love triangle for Pippa. It's a more mature triangle that's less about her being in love with two boys and having to choose and more about seeing two boys and learning who she clicks with. It's a less overly dramatic and much more realistic, refreshing approach to the "trope" that is the love triangle, and I really enjoyed it. I also liked that as Pippa (and I) got to know each of the boys, Ben and Dylan, I grew to love one of them and was firmly on one team from then on. (Of course, I was also happy when my instincts turned out to be right in the way things played out). I thought both boys were rather well developed, though one certainly remains more mysterious than the other.

The Rule of Thirds is much more than just a story about a girl getting to know boys, though. It is a story about a girl who loves her passion and her best friend, and learns how to grow and change along with them. It is a great example of an important transitional period in a young adult's life and how much it can really affect one. A very enjoyable read.
4 stars.

Chantel's Guest Post:
Since I loved the aspect of Pippa's photography and how that played into the story, I asked Chantel for her opinion on:
Why are our hobbies and passions (like photography) so important to have?

When I was growing up, my mom made me take piano lessons. I didn't mind the lessons as much as I hated practising every day. I would sit at the piano when my parents were out, reading a novel, and then, when I heard the garage door open, I'd hide the book in the piano bench and start playing. That'd last five minutes after they arrived home and then I'd stop, let out a huge sigh and pretend I'd just finished an hour of practise. This caught up with me the year I couldn't get through my piece in a competition -- lack of practise meant I hadn't memorized the piece. I was mortified. But it taught me an important lesson: that mostly everything in life, takes practise. This is come especially in handy with my writing. Whenever I'm stuck, I take a break, but then remind myself that the only way to become a better writer is to keep writing and keep my end goal in mind. 

Hobbies can also inspire us in ways we may never have imagined. Two years ago, just as I was finished writing the first draft of what would've been my third adult novel, my publisher went out of business. The book I was working on wouldn't come out, despite having a contract for it.  I was devastated. When I finally pulled myself together, I decided I wanted a creative outlet that was something other than writing, I bought myself a Canon Rebel DSLR camera as a birthday gift, and then took a photography course, then hired a photographer to teach me even more about using my camera. In doing so, I not only learned more about photography, but more about myself. And out of it, the idea for Pippa Greene, a 16-year-old girl who loved photography, was born. 

About the Author:
Chantel Guertin is an author, beauty expert and magazine editor. Her first novel (written as Chantel Simmons), Stuck in Downward Dog, came out in 2007, and was a Winnipeg Free Press bestseller, a Chatelaine Best Beach Book and Book of the Month, and a Vancouver Sun Editor’s Choice. Her second novel, Love Struck, came out in
2010, and was also a bestseller in Canada. Chantel is currently the Editor-at-Large of TheKit.ca, a monthly digital fashion & beauty magazine & weekly print feature in the Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette & Vancouver Sun, a beauty expert on The Marilyn Denis Show and faculty at Centennial College in the Book & Magazine publishing program, where she teaches magazine writing and editing courses.


Author Links:
GoodreadsAuthor WebsiteTwitter.

Purchase Links: 
AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboChapters/Indigo.

Giveaway:
ECW Press has generously offered up a finished copy of The Rule of Thirds to one lucky US or Canadian resident!

Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open US/Can ONLY.
~ No P.O. Boxes.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Chantel, Hayley, ECW Press and I are not responsible for lost or damaged packages.
No cheating! In this case, I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Chantel is also running a photo contest on Tumblr to complement the book's release. Go check it out here!

Follow the rest of the tour!

THE RULE OF THIRDS BLOG TOUR
October 1st – BOOKING IT WITH HAYLEY G – Tour Kick-off, Review + Guest Post
October 2nd – BOOK NERD CANADA – Review
October 3rd – THE BOOK LIFE - Review
October 4th – FICTIONATORS - Review
October 5th – NICOLE ABOUT TOWN – Review
October 6th – BOOK COVER JUSTICE – Review
October 7th – READ MY BREATH AWAY – Review + Guest Post
October 8th – CHAPTER BY CHAPTER – Spotlight + Guest Post
October 9th - SEEING NIGHT REVIEWS – Review
October 10th – MOOSUBI REVIEWS – Review
October 11th – BOOKSHIPPER – Spotlight + Author Interview
October 12th – NIGHTLY READING – Review
October 13rd – THE BOOK BELLES – Review + Top Ten List

10 comments:

  1. This book sounds amazing! Seriously. Thanks for the chance to win a copy and even if that doesn't happen you review has put this one on the top of my contemporary to read list!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! It really was a great book with an awesome MC :)

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    1. My pleasure! Thank you, Chantel! :)

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  3. Hobby... hm, I guess anything artistic really. Love scrapbooking and of course, writing! :)

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    1. Oh fun, I love scrapbooking too! It's one of few artistic things I'm not terrible at ;)

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  4. I used to be such an active postcard collector (sender and receiver). I'd love to find the time to get back in the game. I love getting mail :)

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    1. That's a great hobby! I love getting mail too, so I definitely see the appeal there :)

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  5. Sounds like a fun read. I seriously need to start reading more books like these instead getting stuck with my usual fantasy- thriller, dystopian theme.

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    1. It is fun to branch out sometimes, especially with great ones like this. I'm not always big on contemporary but I enjoyed this!

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I'd love to hear what you think!