Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Release Blitz: My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick (Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway)

Release Blitz: My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title: My Crunchy Life

Author: Mia Kerick

Release Date: 26th June 2018

Genre: LGBT, Young Adult


John Lennon fought for world peace, but sixteen-year-old hippie hopeful Kale Oswald’s only made it as far as tie-dying his T-shirts with organic grape juice. Now he’s ready to cement his new hippie identity by joining a local human rights organization, but he doesn’t fit in as well as he’d hoped.

After landing himself in the hospital by washing down a Ziploc bag of pills with a bottle of Gatorade, Julian Mendez came clean to his mother: he is a girl stuck in a boy’s body. Puberty blockers have stopped the maturing of the body he feels has betrayed him. They’re also supposed to give him time to be sure he wants to make a more permanent decision, but he’s already Julia in his heart. What he’s not sure he’s ready to face is the post-transition name-calling and bathroom wars awaiting him at school.

When Kale and Julian come face-to-face at the human rights organization, attraction, teenage awkwardness, and reluctant empathy collide. They are forced to examine who they are and who they want to become. But until Kale can come to terms with his confusion about his own sexuality and Julian can be honest with Kale, they cannot move forward in friendship, or anything more.

Find My Crunchy Life at Goodreads


So, Kale, you say you’re a champion of human rights, hmm?” It’s clear to me that Julian detects my discomfort. When he steps up close, his voice emits from directly beneath my left ear. “That means you’re here to protect my human rights, even if it takes you to a place you never figured you’d go— not even in your wildest, but most certainly unoriginal, dreams.”
His breath tickles my neck— or maybe I just imagine it— and I shiver. “Yeah… that’s why I came here tonight.” My urge is to add “dude” to the end of my sentence, but I don’t want to make an assumption.
“Really.” It isn’t a question or a statement. It’s just a word. But the way he says it is sharp enough to cut glass.
I nod for the zillionth time tonight, and about ten thousand prickles of dread pop up in my armpits, which might sound strange, but I hear it’s a common response to stress.
“Really.” He says it again in exactly the same way, then steps in front of me so we’re standing face-to-face. I don’t want to look him in the eye. I’m not sure why I feel this way, because I’ve got balls. So I force myself to be a man and drag my gaze up his body from the badass combat boots, to the tights, to the oversized purple plaid flannel shirt that would make even a lumberjack look like he’s going dancing. And finally I focus on the important stuff: long, dark hair, freshly brushed and falling over his shoulders, even darker eyes that lift a little bit at the corners, and an “I dare you to mess with me” smirk on shiny red lips.
His lips… well, they’re moving again, but I don’t have a clue what he’s saying because I’m too busy staring.
At. His. Lips.
Are hippie dudes supposed to get captivated by other dudes’ lips?
Because this is a first for me, and not just in my brief life as a hippie. I’ve never been one to suffer with debilitating crushes on movie stars or pop singers or the high school’s most popular girls. And here I am totally caught up in the lips of a dude I don’t even know. Weird.

Exclusive Excerpt:

Julian, 7: 10 a.m.

EVERY ONCE in a while, I dare to make a feminine fashion statement at school, which I woke up needing to do today. It would have been much easier to accomplish wearing my chunky suede booties, but since I broke a heel off the left one while speed walking home from my counseling session last Friday, I make the executive decision to go Goth. I wear black better than anybody.
As I towel dry my hair, I think about how much I’ve changed since the incident. The first thing I did when I was released from the hospital was change my personal style to better reflect the person I am on the inside, even though I knew it would make things harder for me at school. I actually had to do it in the interest of maintaining my sanity. But I hate that when I get dressed in the morning for school all I can see in my head is Sydney Harper’s sneer. She should have absolutely zero to do with my clothing choices, or any other choices I make. The problem is I’m not yet detached enough to ignore her disdain, when she’s clearly thinking that I look like a freaky femme in leggings.
Her voice echoes in my head:
“Mrs. Rosen, you said you wanted the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other, but where do the she-males like Julian go?”
“Julian, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” “You’re in the wrong place if you’re looking for RuPaul’s Drag Race, Juliana.”
As I pull on yet another carefully selected androgynous ensemble— a black-sleeved baseball shirt with a skull and crossbones on the front and torn black skinny jeans— I remind myself that high school is not a fashion show and I don’t go there to receive anyone’s stamp of approval. Which is a very good thing because I don’t think I’d have much success if this were my goal.

4 Stars!

I don't read all that many YA books, it's just not my cup of tea, however, I enjoy Mia Kerick's writing. Was it my favorite of her books? No, but it was still a good read.

Julian tried to commit suicide and in result gets the attention he needs to make his mother listen that he's a girl trapped in the wrong body. Now, armed with puberty blockers and going to therapy to help him work through his issues while he decides if he should take the next step, he joins a human rights organization, where he meets Kale.

Kale is straight, or at least he thought he was until he met Julian and then, after learning that Julian is really Julia inside, he really doesn't know where to stand any longer.

Julian/Julia was strong and determined and Kale was sweet and supportive, but they were both 16 years old, learning to navigate through life and then having life throw curve balls at them. It was heartbreaking seeing what they went through at school and with their family and friends. But it was also heartwarming to see that they were willing to compromise and understand and provide support when it was needed.

Overall, this was a very emotional story and it was lovely seeing that despite stumbling in the process, Kale and Julia were stronger than ever in the end and ready to take on the world. Recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

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About the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school.  She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.
Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.
Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.

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