The Just Like You Said It Would Be blog tour ends today and I want to thank Xpresso Book tours and all the bloggers who took part in the event and made it such a wonderful week for me. This is a book that might have sat on my hard drive forever if I'd held out for a traditional publisher as it's anything but high concept. It's slowish at the start, realistic, on the quiet side, literary, and it's also my personal favourite of all my novels. Various agents have told me they loved it, but that they wouldn't know how to sell it, others have suggested changes that would fundamentally alter the soul of the book. It took me a long, long time to realize that what's most important to me is not whether Just Like You Said It Would Be is traditionally published or sells many copies but that I be true to it. This is an eighteen year journey I've been on and whatever happens from here on out, I'm very happy that it's out in the world.
Reviewer Lynda Dickson (of the Books Direct blog) gathered a selection of Goodreads and blog review quotes for Just Like You Said It Would Be together as part of her write-up (thank you Lynda!) and I'm going to recap some of those here, and add a few others.
Praise for Just Like You Said It Would Be
"This novel drew me in from the first page and I was not able to put it down...It was so well-written and full of different and complex characters that I found myself easily invested ...Teen and YA readers will easily identify with the uncertainty that comes with growing up, going away to college, first loves, etc. Adult readers—prepare to find yourself quickly being swept away in the nostalgia of your own experiences at the age. Whether it was joy, curiosity, anger, worry, or sadness, author C.K. Kelly Martin perfectly captures the varying emotions associated with that age."
~ Dandelions Inspired
"The powerful first chapter captured me and made me want to read more. The emotions Amira feels are so well written that it brought me right back to the moments in my life where I felt that sad, scared and lonely and missing "the guy"...The writing is just perfectly detailed and the writing when describing any level of emotion is excellent."
"The air feels crisper, and the world more alive than in most other YA. It’s filled with sass, and zippy dialogue, and tender feelings that have to be protected, and the cavernous, shaky unknown of ... is this thing between them the best thing ever, or is it nothing at all? ...This could easily be a TV series—a good one. Richly drawn characters, sympathetic lead, a central relationship with both sharp edges and soft spots, tons of conflict, great setting..."
~ CC, Goodreads
"Amira is perhaps one of the most most deeply introspective 16 year olds that I’ve read. She has a rich internal dialogue and is also a character that is very empathetic and sympathetic. She's experienced great loss, is facing the possible demise of her parents' marriage. The summer she spends in Dublin opens her up to finding herself. Martin does an amazing job creating a character with the kind of personality open to the exploration and growth she embarks on. She’s spirited and yet contemplative and smart enough to understand the impact of the vast change she is experiencing."
"The beginning of the book is slow, and there is what feels like too much unnecessary and irrelevant information. As the book progresses, however, we see that everything is relevant. This is not just a sanitized summer romance, but a true coming-of-age story ... a touching tale of first love, growing up, and realizing that real life isn't a fairy tale."
~ Books Direct
"You can’t see me (I hope), but right now I am holding up my e-reader and declaring: This is why I read young adult novels!...The emotions between the characters are palpable and the “sex” means something, which I have to admit has not been obvious in the other books I’ve read lately where it is a rote act and makes you want to skip pages. I didn’t skip these pages. Everything was an amazing discovery ... What made Just Like You Said It Would Be really work for me was that it felt real."
~ Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored
"Is there anything more potent, more intoxicating than first love?...I loved the geography of the book, especially that most of it took place in Ireland. It gave the story a magical, almost ethereal quality at times....The writing is fresh and modern, the story is incredibly relatable, and the characters are dynamic and three-dimensional."
~ Reads & Reels
"The music is almost a character itself within ...I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and found the primary setting of Dublin to be stunning. This is a contemporary book that will leave you entranced with the complex characters and the overall plot."
~ To Be Read