Winner announced here!
Well, it's here, another long-awaited Emily Giffin book! Waiting for an Emily Giffin book is like waiting for your very own birthday or for Christmas or for your summer vacation. It's just one of those things that as a reader, I anticipate now every year as something to be really excited about. And unlike birthdays, for me anyway, Emily's books do keep getting better year after year! Haha! (not that my birthdays are terrible, but getting older is not always the most fun thing to do. Getting a new Emily Giffin book however, is the most fun thing to do!).
I remember the first time I saw Something Borrowed in the store. It was the shiny pink and diamond embossed cover that got my attention, and then, like probably most of you, I was hooked with her endearing loveable characters, even difficult Darcy.
I followed Emily and since I lived in what was once her hometown, I was fortunate to get to meet her at some signings. The first time I met her at a reading, she was sharing stories about SoBo and SoBlue, but I noticed her third book up on the podium. When she asked if there were any questions in the audience (which back then, it was held at the library where her mother worked and there were about 20 of us in attendance!), I boldly asked her, "What does one have to do to get that copy of that book right there?" and I pointed to her ARC of Baby Proof.
She kind of smiled at me and said, "Email me and I'll send it to you."
She's just that cool of an author, and I emailed her and she sent me her original ARC of Baby Proof.
The next time I saw her was at an Aurora Lit Fest and my dearest bestest friend Swishy was with me, and we hung out with Emily, and when she went up on stage, she asked us to hold her sweater. OK, we were giddy with excitement. Would we hold Emily Giffin's sweater!??!!
YES. We would.
Because we were her original fans.
That day she shared secrets with us on how to pose for best-ever photographs and told us about a reader who didn't care for her books because they were too "matchy-matchy."
Later that year when she came back to town and did a bigger event, she invited me out for dinner and margaritas. What kind of author takes the time to make a fan feel THAT special? She's truly unique. The night before I moved from the Chicago area to Arizona she had a signing. I made sure I was there to let her know how much she and her books meant to me so I went there with my copy of Heart of the Matter. She knew I was moving away and leaving the very next day and she let me cut in front of everyone.
As an author, she means the world to me. She's inspiring, kind and good-hearted. I also consider her a true friend of mine.
And now she's got a trillion fans and a trillion of followers but Emily makes time for so many of them, and she reaches out to them and is kind enough to share her life with them on Facebook and Twitter and she's doing it here today by giving away a copy of her latest, Where We Belong.
I'm so happy that I get to share her latest novel with you all!
Emily Giffin’s books unfold like a slow satisfying meal – one that you don’t want to end – but one that you can’t wait to get to the dessert. Where We Belong is one of those books where you can’t wait to find out how it ends but you also want to prolong the reading for the pure enjoyment of Emily’s words.
The summer Marian graduates from high school, she has a summer romance with sort-of-rebel-outsider musician and fellow classmate Conrad Knight, who she has known since sixth grade, and discovers that he is the love of her life. She knows he is not going to college and she is, and that their summer will only be that – a summer romance.
When she ends up pregnant, and he tells her that he loves her, she commits the biggest of lies and decides (out of love for him maybe, or fear for her own future – that’s for you, the reader, to decide!) to tell him that she is actually NOT pregnant.
Marian breaks things off from Conrad, takes a year off from college, has the baby, gives her up for adoption, then goes to college and goes on with her life, to become a famous TV producer.
Fast-forward 18 years and she’s in a committed and loving relationship with Peter, the CEO of her network, and hoping to get married and start a family of her own. Her television show is doing great, she lives in NY and life couldn’t be more perfectly scripted.
Then Kirby Rose lands at her doorstep.
Kirby has never really fit in with her family – her perfect younger sister and her boisterous dad and protective mother. She’s always been a bit of a loner who loves playing the drums. After she turns 18, she decides to find her birth mother.
When she heads to NY to meet Marian, Kirby will turn Marian’s world inside-out. Kirby has been Marian’s best kept secret, and only her mother knew that Marian had a daughter she gave up for adoption. This secret (or lie, as Marian’s boyfriend neatly points out) will bring to light the fact that keeping Kirby a secret was wrong on so many levels.
There are layers to Where We Belong and surprises along the way that will keep the reader enthralled throughout. You will root for Kirby the whole way through, and find her endearing and brave. I can see how Marian made some of the decisions she made, and I was very sympathetic toward her. In fact, Emily writes all of her characters so that there is no one ‘bad guy’ and you will feel for each and every character, from Marian to Kirby’s adoptive parents; and even Marian’s own mother, who while you might not like her very much, you will understand why she acts the way she does.
One caveat: As with all Emily’s leading men, you will fall in love with both Peter and Conrad – she writes such sexy men in such diverse ways.
I have to say I closed the book and wondered where life was about to take some of these characters I had really come to care about. One thing I knew for absolute certain was that Kirby was going to be absolutely, 100-percent OK, and that made for a completely happy ending. After all, there would be no story had there been no Kirby.
I also think that Emily put her heart and soul into this book, as she has with her others, but in the case of Where We Belong, I think it will inspire people who have been adopted or even women who have given up babies to search for their biological children. And if Where We Belong brings a happy ending to even just one family who has felt the need to search, then that is an incredible gift of this book.
Phew, this was one of the most emotional posts I've written. If you'd like to win a copy of Where We Belong, tell me about a time in your life where you've felt the most like you've belonged. It could be a moment, or an age, or an event, or a celebration … just somewhere or some time when you felt completely encompassed in the feeling of belonging!
And thanks Emily, for quitting being a lawyer! But also, it's time you come to Arizona for a book tour.
Next week there will be a HUGE one-day book giveaway with 10 BOOKS BEING GIVEN AWAY IN ONE BOOK POST -- DON'T MISS IT!
If you're new to Booking with Manic, thank you for stopping by! We love new readers! Some notes - If you're entering to win a book, please use an identifying name and it's usually a great idea to include an email, which I will never give out to anyone else. You can only enter once please. You'll need to check back here in about a week or so to see if you've won the book -- I will highlight the winner's name at the top of this post. Most books are supplied directly through publishers, publicists and the authors. Winners will receive books directly from the publisher within 3 weeks from the time you provide me with your address, unless I send you the book (sometimes I will). Sorry, but we can only ship to U.S. and Canada so if you're from another country, thank you for coming by to read and discover new authors, but we can't send you a book. Any questions on how I run the blog or suggestions on who you would like to see featured, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!