30 April 2012
Saving You Saving Me by Kailin Gow [Blog Tour: Book Review and Author Interview]
Saving You Saving Me
by Kailin Gow
Release Date: April 16, 2012
Publisher: EDGE Books
Source: Review Copy
Genre: Contemporary YA/New Adult Romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Sam never thought she would fall for the one mysterious guy she has been speaking to over the phone for months, the boy the counselors called Daggers. She wasn’t supposed to talk to him outside of their sessions. But as she began to peel the layers of Daggers and learn who he is, the one boy she is supposed to be saving, might just be the one who is saving her.
As a fan of contemporaries and Kailin Gow alike, I was thrilled when I received a review copy of this book, and Saving You Saving Me did not disappoint. I think above being a romance, this book is about trust, trusting that special person in your life enough to let go of all that baggage we bring with us into relationships. Sam is a high school student who just turned 18, top of her class, and doing anything she can to get a scholarship to the college of her dreams. She is also a pastor’s daughter and a very caring individual who struggles with always having to do what people think she should do, so as not to disappoint her very strict father. As part of her counselor’s plan to improve her chances of getting into Stanford, Sam begins to volunteer at a teen helpline where she is to give advice to troubled anonymous callers.
Circumstances bring Sam and Collins McGregor, a 24 year old entrepreneur who built a fortune out of nothing, together. The chemistry between them is undeniable from the moment they meet. Collins becomes smitten with Sam and does anything he can to get her to go out with him, in spite of their age difference. As their friendship grows and a romance develops, Sam finds out some disturbing things about Collins that she is not sure she can live with, but because of how much she cares for him, she might be willing to try. Meanwhile, she starts talking to an anonymous caller at the teen hotline who calls himself “Daggers”. Daggers and Collins are very much alike in that they both have deep dark secrets that are crippling their love lives, and Sam starts to develop feelings for him in spite of also having feelings for Collins.
There were moments while reading the book that I became frustrated and literally yelled “come on! It’s so obvious!” at the book, but I’d like to think it’s because I got so invested in the story. I found that I identified quite a bit with Sam, in that I was also a Psych major in college and was always preoccupied with proving my achievements to my father. I felt for her as she suffered through her father’s indifference and her mother’s alcoholism, not to mention the mess she was in romantically. I also loved the character of Derek, Sam’s co-volunteer at the teen hotline, who also had romantic feelings for Sam. I want a friend like that too.
I enjoyed this book and I found that I was able to get through it very quickly. The story is compelling and will warm your heart. It tackles very real issues for teens nowadays (such as weight, self-esteem, cutting, depression) and through Sam’s advice on the phone, you get to read some very good advice on how to handle it. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series which I believe will be called Finding You Finding Me. 4-stars.
Kailin Gow is the author of over 100 books, with the majority of them for young adults. Her most popular series are: The Frost Series, PULSE Series, Desire Series, Wicked Woods, Steampunk Scarlett Novels, and more. A full-time author, she is also a producer, having worked in radio, television, and film. She grew up in Southern California, lived in Texas and England, and had traveled extensively around the world.
Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
I’m constantly inspired by everything around me. People I meet or have met before, my own experiences, people in the news, events, historical figures, classic literature, mythology, local stories, locations like a ghost town or a building (some of my friends think I have a sixth sense, too lol) where I can get a sense of the past by being at a location, travel, art, paintings, photos, case studies, just about anything.
For Saving You Saving Me, the characters were inspired by people I knew, my own experience as a peer counselor and as a facilitator during college, my experience as an intern for the Public Defender’s at juvenile court, my experience as a volunteer at battered women’s shelters and as a social coordinator for the OC Mental Health Association. Collins McGregor was a compilation of famous and/or influential people I know or have heard of in my business and professional circles. His relationship with Samantha was based loosely on one of my friend’s relationships. The way Samantha looks, how serious she is, and how she is a natural beauty is based on an actual actress friend of mine who is considered one of the world’s prettiest people, according to People’s Magazine and Maxim.
Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
I listen to music, and sometimes I literally hole myself in a hotel room and write until the book is finished. There are also times when I’m writing with my laptop on my lap in the car on a road trip. Those are the times I’m writing fast, and being in a moving car helps drive my adrenaline.
What has been the most challenging part with your first contemporary novel?
I’ve written chick lit before for my Fashion Fables series, but writing something like Saving You Saving Me has been challenging because of the real life issues presented. It’s not like fantasy where I can develop a completely new world. Saving You Saving Me is based on some real experiences from people I know, and takes place where I went to college. Writing about personal experiences in a fiction can be too close to home, especially with the psychological aspects of the novel, so having to go into that can be emotional. When I write, I get into my characters’ mindset by taking the approach actors take when getting into character. This can be emotional, especially when you need to get into the heart of the character and dig deep down.
What books have most influenced your life?
The Bible, Lord of the Rings, Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, anything by Stephen King, anything by C.S. Lewis, anything by Jane Austen, anything by Shakespeare. I’m really into reading plays as well like Stoppard.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Attend plays, film festivals, direct films, travel, try new foods, learn new things, meet people, play with my daughter, and shop.
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Kailin Gow is such a dedicated author. It's wonderful to see her branch out with SYSM and still stay true to the style of her novels.
Love the review and interview JJ!
I love Kailin Gow's writing…I've yet to hear of this one before, but her writing has never ceased to amaze me. Naturally, I'm sold on this, too. Brilliant review 🙂
I really like the sound of this one. Falling for one of your callers although I'm thinking it is the same guy? The rich and successful 24 year old? lol Really curious about all the disturbing things about Collins?! Thanks for the review and interview. I can't believe she has written over 100 books! Impressive
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