Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Release Day Spotlight: The Weight of Destiny (Misfits #1) by Nyrae Dawn

The Weight of Destiny
By: Nyrae Dawn
Published: November 18, 2014
Source: Author
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Gr's Summary:

When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost. 

Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad. 

When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late.

Book Praise:

"Whenever I read Nyrae Dawn, I am reminded that words are her art, and she wields her paintbrush with all the skill of Rembrandt. The tender romance of Ryder and Virginia is palpable on the page, and the story sings with all the complexities of the interwoven plot. I read late into the night to finish this one, and once again, Nyrae has managed a masterpiece. LOVED."  ~ USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Courtney Cole

"The Weight of Destiny unfolds like a storm. It is dark and electric and incredibly romantic. I lost and found myself. The characters are so vivid, so alive, you'll forget anything but them exists." ~ David James author of Between the Stars and Sky

"The Weight of Destiny is YA at its absolute finest. Nyrae Dawn flawlessly brought two seemingly broken characters to life and showed everyone deserves a second chance at love and life. This breathtaking storytelling will blow you away." ~ USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffany King

"The Weight of Destiny is art at its best, Ryder and Virginia canvasses on which the good and bad of life and love unfold in brilliant, true color."
~ Author Jamie Manning

My Thoughts:

Ms. Dawn write's the most beautifully broken characters, and makes them relatable regardless of gender, sex, ethnicity, and social status.  When it gets down to it, we are all people who may all have different life experiences, yet we all know what fear, sadness, anger, and other various afflictive emotions feel like.

In The Weight of Destiny, we have two characters that appear very different on the outside, yet are undergoing the same emotional turmoil beneath the surface.  Virginia comes from a wealthy family, attends a private school, and is a popular straight A student who is attending Stanford in the fall.  Yet, she closely carries a family secret that makes her live in constant turmoil, with the fear of eventually battling the same mental illness that plagues her mother.  Ryder (Ry) lives in a poor neighborhood, doesn't apply himself in school, and is being raised by his older brother Luke.  His mother took off when he was young, and his father has been on the run from the law for many years.  Ry knows that his father will one day come back for him, and they'll live on the run together as professional thieves.

One night, Virginia and Ryder meet.  These two very different teens end up forging a deep connection with one another.  They learn that they are a lot more alike than either of them noticed at first glance.  Will they crumble under the weight of their destiny, or write their own?

I loved, They Weight of Destiny, by Nyrae Dawn.  The connection between Virginia and Ryder felt authentic.  The friendship that they built created a deep and well-developed romance.  There were many great secondary characters as well, and I am looking forward to them getting their own stories.  I adored, Ryder's older brother, Luke.  I need him to get his own story.  Luke was an amazing brother.  He put Ryder ahead of himself, worked crazy hours, and wanted Ry to make good decisions.  I also loved getting to know Ryder's best friend Shane, and his other good friend's Tanner, Cody, and Drea.  

My Rating:

The Weight of Destiny was a beautifully crafted character driven story.  I loved reading Virginia's inner dialogue.  She was very in touch with her emotions, and her fears were conveyed in such a way that I could empathize with her plight.  I liked the philosophical question that was posed in this story, "Are we fated to become who our parents are, or Can we write our own destiny?"  I love stories that make me contemplate my own life experiences.  Ms. Dawn made me reflect on my thought processes when I was an older teen, and I remembered how exciting and intimidating that time in our life is.  I give, The Weight of Destiny, 4 Rich Characters, Contemplative, Empowering, and Emotionally Riveting Stars!    

Book Teaser:

Book Excerpt:

“You’re strong and beautiful.”
She chuckles softly and shakes her head. “It’s just a different kind of strength. You are who you are, and you don’t care what people think. You don’t care that you’re sober at a party where everyone is drinking. You don’t give a shit if you’re the girl who leaves to do her homework, because it’s important to you.” 
“Is it still strength if the reason behind it is fear?” She sounds like she’s drifting away, her voice getting softer and softer. I need to reel her back in, keep her close, so I roll to my side, lean my head into my hand and let my elbow prop me up. With my other hand, I brush her cheek with my thumb. “I don’t know. You’re the smart one. Regardless, I know you’re strong.” Because I know she’s dealing with more than I’ve seen; I just don’t have a clear picture of what it is.
“We’re still different, though, so why me?” 
Words get trapped in my throat. I can tell her it’s because of what I said—she’s beautiful and strong. I can tell her it’s because sometimes the loneliness in her eyes mirrors mine, only I didn’t know it was there before her. Maybe it’s to prove I won’t screw up with a girl like her the way Luke thinks I will. There are a million possibilities, not all of them good. The only thing that manages to come out is, “Because the weight isn’t as heavy when I’m with you.”
Her breath hitches. I let my fingers gently glide against her neck, her throat. When she speaks, I feel the words vibrate through my fingertips. It’s a crazy-wild feeling, and I want it to keep going, want to touch all her words. 
“The weight of what?” she asks. 
I don’t know… I shrug. “Of everything.” 
But it’s not my words that settle into my chest. It’s hers. Virginia shakes her head and answers her own question. “Of destiny.”

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About Nyrae Dawn:

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn's passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she's a total romantic at heart and proud. Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids. When she's not with her family, you can be pretty sure you'll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.

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