May 8, 2015

Blog Tour & Review-- Stella Rose by Tammy Flanders Hetrick


Upon Stella Rose’s death, her best friend, Abby, moves to rural Vermont to take care of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Olivia. But Abby struggles to connect with Olivia and she soon finds guardianship of a headstrong teenager daunting beyond her wildest misgivings. Despite her best efforts, and the help of friends old and new, she is unable to keep Olivia from self-destruction. As Abby’s journey unfolds, she grapples with raising a grieving teenager, realizes she didn’t know Stella as well as she thought, and discovers just how far she will go to save the most precious thing in her life.

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Tiffany's 5-Star Review

"Does anyone ever truly know another person? Does it even matter? I'm starting to believe that friendship has nothing to do with intellectual or even emotional connection, that my friendship with Stella was more...visceral. 
What else explains the achiness in my heart, the nonstop tears, the fact that I sense her presense everywhere, like the phantom leg of an amputee?"

Nothing, and I mean nothing, I say can ever explain the beautiful nature of this book! I could write a review that's forever long, and still have more wonderful things to say. 

When I read the blurb, I knew this story would be a heartbreaking one. I prepared myself with an open mind and lots of tissues. After finishing my read, my mind was filled with awe and my eyes and nose raw from crying so many times. 
Please don't think that this story is all sadness, because it truly isn't. It's eye-opening and beautiful.

"So this is what grief feels like. A cold, icy hand squeezing my heart; a red-hot spool of wire scoring my brain, searing my memories, burning images into my soul."

After Abby's best friend, Stella, passed away from her battle with leukemia, she was left to take care of her friend's most prized possession...Olivia. Stella's sixteen year old daughter was her world and leaving her in Abby's care was something she knew was the right thing to do--
Even if Abby wasn't so sure she could do it.

"The three of us are bound by love, and forgiveness is part of love. A given. If we can't forgive each other, we can't love each other, and that simply is not an option."
"You sound so sure."
"I am sure."
"Mom would be proud of you."

This story reminded me so much of  P.S. I Love You. How Gerry would always talk with Holly to ease her mind, even though he really wasn't there. How beyond the grave, he continued to be present in her life. I adore that story, but I believe I love this one more

This book was different because it wasn't about a love between a man and woman. It was about the love between two best friends and the love they share for a special young lady. It's an emotional roller coaster and you feel yourself wanting to reach through the pages to hug Abby and tell her she can do this! And to let Olivia know that her mom knew what she was doing and to help Abby. 

"Looking in the mirror, I see the truth. I am failing at raising my best friend's daughter. It's not like I had to raise her from scratch, for Christ's sake. 
It's just one year. And I'm going under."

Like I said before, I could go on and on about this book. In one year's time, you read about how difficult grief really is, how best friends don't always know everything about each other, how the grief of a teenager could lead to unexplainable events, and you find out that some secrets can lead you to your own future

I praise Ms. Hetrick!! This debut novel is beyond amazing! I recommend it to anyone and everyone. 
You won't regret it! 

"There will never be another Stella Rose. This is as it should be, and this comforts me, truly."


About the Author

Jessica Anderson Photography

Tammy Flanders Hetrick has been telling stories all her life, refining her skills at age ten through marathon tag-team storytelling with her best friend, honing her craft through decades of business writing, and ultimately finding joy in extracurricular creative writing. She has published short stories in Your Teen Magazine, Blue Ocean Institute’s Sea Stories, and Route 7 Literary Journal. In 2009 she was recognized with the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition’s Pioneering Woman Award for coaching and mentoring women in the workplace. Hetrick lives in Vermont with her husband of thirty years, their two cats, and a beagle/miniature bull mix. 

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