Monday, July 1, 2013

[Blog Tour] Review, Guest Post & Giveaway - Glass Hearts (Hearts #2) by Lisa De Jong

Today we are excited to have Lisa De Jong visit us for the blog tour for her 
latest book, Glass Hearts.  This is an amazing New Adult series - one of my favorites 
this year - so please continue reading for a guest post by Lisa, a review and a giveaway!

This is a very interesting question and one I’ve thought about a lot while writing and reading.  I think the key to following up a good book with a sequel that is just as good is to have a plan to write one before you even begin the first book. If you tie up all the loose ends in the first book, there’s really nothing to keep the reader coming back for book two and I think you run the risk of having a whole book unnecessary drama or filler. You need to outline the whole story line and decide if it’s something best told in one book or multiple books. 

When I started outlining Plastic Hearts, I knew its focus would primarily be on Alex and her family issues but I realized that Dane was a complex character also and I wanted to tackle his issues at some point.  I decided to face Alex’s problems head on in Plastic Hearts with a little bit of background on Dane.  In Glass Hearts, they are moving on to a new phase in their relationship without Alex’s parents holding her down but just when they think everything’s good, Dane’s past starts to give them trouble.

And I’m not going to lie…writing a sequel is much harder than writing the first book.  I was worried that Glass Hearts would be flat or it wouldn’t be as good as Plastic Hearts but in the end, I really liked the storyline created by Dane’s issues more than Alex’s.  

I think author’s set the bar for themselves with their first book and my goal is to continue to get better and better with each book I write. I hope I did that with Glass Hearts!

Sequel to Plastic Hearts... Can a relationship survive on love alone? Is love truly enough?  Dane and Alex’s relationship has never been easy, but now they have a fresh start without the pressures  of Alex’s family. Together they try to move forward while continuing to struggle with a past that they can’t seem to escape.  Sometimes no matter how hard we try to make things work, love isn’t enough.  Sometimes even after a broken heart is mended, cracks remain, and the same doubts and insecurities that once yanked us apart seep in.  Can true love hold Dane and Alex together or will their hearts completely shatter like glass?

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Sometimes, when an author tries to write a sequel to a great book, it doesn't work out so well.  It suffers from a used story line or under developed characters or basic ennui.  This is not one of those books.  Glass Hearts is simply one of my favorite sequels of any New Adult book that I've read in the last year or so.  The story, the characters and the writing style of Lisa De Jong all pull me in and make me beg for more.

Glass Hearts continues right where Plastic Hearts ends.  Although back in one another's lives, Dane and Alex have a long way to go in trusting and believing in one another.  This book explores whether or not love really is enough.  If Plastic Hearts was Alex's story, then Glass Hearts definitely belongs to the super sexy Dane.

Having already dealt with Alex's personal issues in Plastic Hearts, we learn that Alex really did a number on Dane.  Dane has an extremely difficult past that was touched on in the previous book.  In Glass Hearts, De Jong delves into Dane's past and we see how Dane came to be the person that he is.  We see the genesis of his trust and anger issues.  We understand why he was once involved in illegal activities, and we understand why Dane feels that he needs to be the caretaker in the lives of those he loves.  

Alex grows a lot in this book.  She is fully aware of what she gave up for Dane, and knows that she is better off for it.  Alex takes her new found freedom in stride, and we see her struggle with her new life.  However, once she makes the decision to be with Dane, it's something that she will stick with, through thick and thin.  Gone are the days of Alex running away, or shutting Dane out.  Alex is ready and willing to fight for Dane.  She is ready to take on Dane's family, his personal issues and his jealousy.  For Alex, Dane is the person who completely changed her life, and she refuses to let him go.

Dane deals with various personal matters in this book.  Dane's mother and his brother, Nolan, get more page time in this sequel.  Dane's mother is racked with guilt - guilt from past occurrences that she cannot deal with.  Nolan is a hot mess.  He's been on a downward spiral for some time now, and Dane does everything in his power to help him out, even though Nolan isn't capable of appreciating it.  There are many past grievances that Alex helps Dane deal with in this book, and time after time, Alex shows up to support Dane through his most difficult moments.

We meet a bar owner named Reid in this book that I bet we will see a lot more of down the line.  Although it  was obvious to me just who Reid is, I liked his part in this book.  While he caused drama for Alex and Dane, Reid is a mysterious and brooding character that I can't wait to read more about.  We get glimpses of Jade, Alex's best friend, too.  Again, although it is clear what it going on with her health, De Jong sets Jade's book up beautifully.  I love all of the characters in the Hearts-verse and can't wait to read more about them.

I don't know what it is about this series.  The characters, the plot and the writing style of De Jong all work together to create one of my most favorite New Adult series.  De Jong writes beautifully, creating characters with depth and emotion, yet are also believeable and relateable.  This is definitely an amazing sequel to Plastic Hearts and I can't wait to read more from this up and coming author.

Lisa De Jong is a wife, mother and full-time number cruncher who lives in the Midwest. Her writing journey involved insane amounts of coffee and many nights of very little sleep but she wouldn't change
a thing. She also enjoys reading, football and music.

Author Links: Goodreads book link  | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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