Tag Archives: TLC Book Tours

Review, Tour & Giveaway: The Gypsy Moth Summer

The Gypsy Moth Summer

The Gypsy Moth Summer
By Julia Fierro
St. Martin’s Press, Hardcover, 9781250087515, June 6, 2017, 400pp.

The Short of It:

The inhabitants of Avalon island are trapped between the here and now and what the future holds for them during one of the worst moth infestations to ever hit the island.

The Rest of It:

The story starts off innocent enough. Jules and Leslie return to the island of Avalon with dreams of restoring her family home, known by all the locals as The Castle. While living in the cottage guest house, Jules is at first unsure of the move. Is this island ready to accept an interracial marriage, no questions asked? Jules is willing to find out when he discovers the beautiful gardens attached to The Castle.

Also on the island is Maddie and her rag-tag group of friends led by Bitsy, every bit as horrible as her name implies. Maddie is constantly measuring herself against her peers. Is she pretty enough? Smart enough? Cool enough? The pressure to fit in forces her to experiment even though in her head she knows it could end with disastrous results. But then Maddie meets Brooks, the son of Leslie and Jules. Brooks is like no other boy she’s met before but will their relationship be accepted by her friends? His family? Hers?

This is not the first time I’ve read a Fierro novel. Her first novel Cutting Teeth impressed me with its raw, brutal look at “adulting” before “adulting” was even a word. In The Gypsy Moth Summer, there is a lot of racial and class tension as these island inhabitants are thrown together while the destructive Gypsy moths devour trees to the point that their chomping can actually be heard.

This constant battle of life vs. death, creation vs. destruction, love vs. hate wears these characters down and the end result is a tightly wound novel full of dysfunction (my favorite thing). It’s not shiny and pretty to look at. It’s not sandy beaches and blue, blue water but it’s a little gritty and there’s heat between some of these characters which makes it a little racy at the same time. I loved how Fierro included facts about the Gypsy moth in the story and of course these life cycle inclusions could easily be compared to the island’s inhabitants as they go about their lives.

If you haven’t read a book by this author yet, DO give her a try. She has a knack for peeling back the layers and you know me, I love a little depth in my summer reads. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Julia Fierro

For more information on the author, click here.

TLC Book Tours


This giveaway is for one copy of The Gypsy Moth Summer and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher/tour coordinator. Only one entry per person. Giveaway closes on July 2, 2017 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.


Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review & Tour: Searching for John Hughes

Searching for John Hughes

Searching for John Hughes
By Jason Diamond
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062424839, November 29, 2016, 304 pp.

The Short of It:

Anyone growing up in the 80s is going to find this book to be a real treat but even if you didn’t grow up during the best decade ever, you’ll still find something to like.

The Rest of It:

When I was asked to do this tour and began to casually chat about the book, I was surprised by how many people I ran into who had absolutely no idea who John Hughes was. Really? My first reaction? What is wrong with you?

In 1984, the movie Sixteen Candles came out. I was a sophomore in high school. In my junior year, The Breakfast Club came out.  In my senior year, my most tumultuous year by far, Pretty in Pink debuted. ALL of these movies shaped me as a human being. So much so, that I introduced them to my kids as soon as they were old enough to understand all that teen angst. John Hughes wrote many movies and he directed some of them too but what he did best was really nail the teen experience.

Enter Jason Diamond. His infatuation with Hughes goes beyond my love of the man, in that he followed his work well into the 90s and filled notebook upon notebook with bits of knowledge about him. Searching for John Hughes IS about Diamond’s quest to write a book about Hughes but it’s about so much more.

Diamond’s childhood was troubled. Although he lived very close to some of the iconic Chicago movie locations seen in some of the films I mentioned, he dealt with physical abuse at his father’s hand, a mother who struggled to be the kind of mother she really wanted to be, and Diamond’s continued struggle to find himself.

As a teen, pretty much abandoned by his mother, he’s forced to move from couch to couch, living off the kindness of friends. School, often a challenge, provided some brief moments of clarity. Especially when one of his favorite teachers turns him on to good literature and gives him a place to stay.

This memoir has highs and lows, both good and bad. Diamond struggled with drugs and alcohol but his survival instinct always seemed to kick in when he needed it to. Moving from job to job, he began to think about writing as a career and that is when he decided to write a biography on the man himself, Hughes. A biography that never happened.

What struck me about this memoir is that Diamond is a really interesting guy on his own. His challenging childhood, his ability to always pull himself up by his bootstraps, was impressive and there was a lot that I could relate to. As much as I love Hughes, and as much as I enjoyed reading about Hughes, I almost wanted to read more about Diamond.

As some of you know, my mother passed away on November 15th. This was the first book I read after her passing and it gave me all the feels. It’s like I jumped into a time machine and went back to my senior year. Hughes knew so much about being young and wanting more. Like Andie in Pretty in Pink,  I came from the wrong side of the tracks and struggled through my high school years. I had a Duckie and a Blane and even a Steff. How could Hughes have known this? That was his appeal. Everyone viewing these movies can find someone to relate to. Rich, poor, popular or not. If you haven’t seen his movies, I implore you to do so.

Then? Read this book. It’s filled with lots of movie facts but Diamond also takes us to some of the iconic filming locations in and around the Chicago suburbs. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jason Diamond
Author: Jason Diamond
Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Links: Website, Instagram, and Twitter

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains purchase and author links.