Saturday, August 16, 2014

"BEING WEST IS BEST" was on Tour

My newest novel: Being West is Best has been on tour at a few blogs over the last 2 weeks. It is receiving some great reviews. I added the links to the blogs if you want to hop over and see for yourselves: :) 

While I’ve never picked up a book by Monique before I was glad I got to read this one. It is not the first book in the series but can most definitely be read as a stand alone. Ginnie and Tillie are best friends whose parents just got engaged but everything changes with the arrival of Tillies father. Emotionally this book touched me to my core. Every character in this book is scarred or hurt in some way by life, but they are all trying to overcome it in some way. At times I couldn’t get why the Adults couldn’t give in to something, or even how they responded to Ginnie or Tillie, but that’s just my experience in life. I never grew up like the two of them or their parents. That’s what the book brings to us in its Uniqueness. I read the entire book in a single day, couldn’t get myself to put it down.

I must say that the book Being West is Best by author Monique Bucheger pleasantly surprised me. I don’t typically read middle grade novels, but I found myself pulled into the story of love, hurt and learning to be a family. Being West is Best is book four in the series, and despite not having read the first three, I was able to jump right in and follow along.
Set on a farm, the story follows two twelve-year old girls who are best friends. Ginni and Tillie are excited to become step-sisters now that Ginni’s dad has proposed to Tilli’s mom. However their planned happily ever after is threatened when Tillie’s father shows up. He abused Tillie and her mom before leaving for six years. He says he’s changed and wants his family back.
I found myself flipping through pages as fast as my eyes would read. Unlike other novels I’ve read, I found I couldn’t skip ahead. When I tried to skip, I just had to go back and read what I missed.
The variety of characters in the story kept me involved as I learned more about their pasts, dreams, and fears. The author was great at showing there is more than one side of a story. While characters had to face abuse, the reactions to dealing with it varied. So many stories shy away from the subject of abuse, but it is something that children and adults unfortunately encounter. That being said, the story made me laugh and cheer, and while it had depressing subjects I feel uplifted.
I was satisfied by the story plot and ending. The characters drew me in, and the world was easy to understand (family farm in modern times). I want this book so that I can share it with others. I feel this novel is one that can be enjoyed by anyone who can read it. I highly recommend it for anyone twelve or older. Out of five stars I give it a five.

Andilyn said:

Being West is Best is a book full of classic 12-year-old drama and high family values while dealing with adult problems. It brought me right back to my uncertain, brace-faced youth and kept me locked in with delightful characters (Ginnie's long, lost aunt being my favorite), just enough plot twists, and a healthy serving of girl power. It took me about a day-and-a-half to read it (sticking to after kids went to bed and nursing the baby for reading time), but the story and lessons still stick with me, even having read it a month ago.

LDS Paz said:

Anyway - Have ya'all heard of the book series called the Ginnie West series by Monique Bucheger?  This book, Being West is Best, is the 4th in the series.  If you like series reading, you might want to start at the beginning, there are bits that mention things that have happened, and when that happens you feel a little lost, but otherwise, it's a great read on it's own.

The story is well written, and takes you into the minds of two 12 year olds with emotions and drama that give you a clear view of how they feel and the emotional turmoil of preteens, and what they're in for.  The subject matter is a little adult, in that it deals with parental abuse, just a heads up - but it deals with it in a steady and firm hand, no gratuitous scenes of bloody faces, etc.  You get to know Ginnie and her best friend Tillie and like them.  You come to like her large family and appreciate the safety and sturdiness of her uncles.

And horses.  I would have loved this book when I was 12 -- I was way into horses back then.  I wanted one for my own, but hey, I lived in the city and there wasn't any way I was getting one, so I read everything about them I could.  This series would have been tops on my list.  ;)

Anyway - if you've got readers, they'll want this book.  It's got adventure, fighting, friendship, romance (sort of), no pirates, but hey - it's a West-ern...lol.  Give it a look!  (I know, I sound like I'm promoting Princess Bride, right?)

This is definitely one of the best middle grades books I have ever read, not to mention that it reflects real issues and could be a perfect source for a Literary Focus Unit, hint hint to all the teachers out there. I'd say it is appropriate for 5th and 6th graders. What makes it even better is that there are 5 books. Four published so far, so you could read the whole series in class instead of boring text books. I HIGHLY recommend this series.

In my opinion, Being West is Best is good crossover book for kids who are getting a little too mature for some of the Middle-Grade books on the market, but aren't quite ready to handle the sometimes more mature themes of Young Adult books. Being West is Best tackled a theme that can be a little tough for some sensitive younger readers to handle...child abuse and the repercussions it can have on family life and friends.

 This book is a great book for tweens to read. There are both male and female main characters in 7th grade, so all kids would enjoy this book. There are some mature themes in this book dealing with child abuse, so reading this book together with your child/children could lead to some good discussions. The author does a good job of presenting this storyline for the young reader.

I also like the characters in this series of Ginnie West and her adventures. There is always some witty dialogue to be found. This book will be especially loved by your tween that loves horses and the country.

Amazon customer: I was very pleased with this book. It allowed the reader to see the reality that middle grade kids face today without making it depressing or scary. There was tension and dealing with hard moments including facing fears, standing up for what is right, and learning to forgive. But there was also the joy and love of family. I thought Monique did a great job of allowing us to see the realities of facing fears and trials through the eyes of teenagers and allowing us to remember that no matter what the difficulties there is always someone to turn too. Plus I loved the upbeat attitude of the book and the idea of hope no matter what the kids face. I would easily recommend this to any teen or adult. I loved it and I'm 30 :)

Tristi Pinkston (Award winning author and editor): 

Realistic kids facing real-life issues ... that's what Monique Bucheger does best.

In this installment, Tillie must face the very real fact that sometimes people came back into our lives even when we don't want them to. Jasper, Tillie's absentee father, wants to be part of her life again, but she can't seem to make room for him in her heart. We see her come face-to-face with the realization that sometimes we don't remember things exactly how they happened, and sometimes, we need to give people a benefit of a doubt.

A great story to help kids realize that there are always two sides to the story.