lovesick

365 Challenge: Day 350 – Lovesick (Author Alert: Jacqueline Levering Sullivan)

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Lovesick: (a) in love, or missing the person one loves, so much that one is unable to act normally, or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Jacqueline Levering Sullivan

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If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work. 

I am pleased to present the very talented Jacqueline Levering Sullivan. You’ll find out more if you read one of his/her published books and you can check out my review here. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her and the publicity firm helping with her book. It’s been quite fun and I am already excited about what’s coming next for this author!

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About the Author

Jacqueline Levering Sullivan was born in Tacoma, Washington, a city on the beautiful Puget Sound. It is always in the background of most of her writing. She found the Northwest was the perfect place for her to grow up. The long, rainy days never bothered her; they meant she had plenty of time to read, and she seldom had her nose out of a book.

Jacqueline is the author of Annie’s War and A Less Than Perfect PeaceAnnie’s War won the Kentucky Bluegrass Master List award, was granted the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book award, and was chosen as a finalist for the Children’s Crown Award. A Less Than Perfect Peace was awarded a Best Children’s Book by Bank Street College.

Jacqueline is also a retired professor of Writing who founded the Writing Center at Pitzer College and lives in California.

JLS-Headshot

 

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Overview of Current Book: Lovesick

From award winning author Jacqueline Levering Sullivan comes a tale about true love that will make you giggle, gasp, and weep.

Lovesick-eCover

I’m the best buddy, old best pal, faithful Jeanmarie.  That means I keep my mitts off Chuck, even if he has had my heart since we were in fourth grade and he was the only one who didn’t laugh when I threw up my egg salad on rye during choir.  It takes about all the will power I can muster not to blurt out my undying love. I am destined to be one of those plain Janes whose friends are always prettier and richer and who know practically from birth you never ever wear white after Labor Day.

Lovesick-PBCoverIt is 1953 and Jeanmarie Dowd is crazy about handsome Chuck Neary, captain of Rainier High School’s hockey team and boy wonder musician. But he belongs to Terry Miller, her best friend, the school’s reigning beauty. But Jeanmarie has a few things going for her, too. She is smart, fun loving, and energetic with a wicked sense of humor.   She accepts her role as Chuck’s chief confidant, knowing that it might lead to betraying her best friend. She also must deal with her sister Iris, suspected of being a communist.  Can she be loyal to both her sister and Terry without betraying those she loves most?

Lovesick Promo

 

Excerpt from Lovesick

“I really, truly love him,” she says. “Gawd! He’s so absolutely gorgeous.”

Terry proceeds to do a whole inventory of Chuck’s finer qualities. While I was getting my first real look at muscle bound Al Peniche, Terry was cuddling the adorable Chuck Neary.

“We didn’t really do anything, Jeannie, honestly, but we came close.” Terry sighs.

Little jolts of electricity run through me again, but they’re not in my brain.

Pretty much I act like this is our usual routine when it comes to girl talk. I’m trying to listen, but I’m having a bit of trouble because in that section of my mind where I’m trying to rid myself of that image of crazy Al, I’m imagining a more welcome one of Chuck. It’s hard to concentrate.

Then the doorbell starts ringing like crazy like maybe the house is on fire. I can hear Bernie hobble into the hall, swearing a blue streak.

Next there are loud voices, and I realize one of them sounds very much like Earl’s. I know there is no way he’d be here in the middle of the night if there weren’t some world shaking crisis. My heart jumps up into my mouth. My first instinct is to wait. Maybe if I don’t run out there like a ninny, it will turn out to be Bernie’s long lost uncle and we’re all safe. I know better and reluctantly slide out of the nook to go learn my fate.

Bernie looks at me like she’s seen a ghost. Earl, his tux now a mass of wrinkles, is standing just inside the front door wadding his hat up in his hands. “There’s been an accident,” he says. “It’s Iris. She’s had a terrible fall. You’d better come with me.”

Terry has followed me out of the kitchen and hands me my wallet.

“Do you want me to come with you?” she says.

Earl gives her a crooked smile and shakes his head, no, and steers me out the front door. I grab a pair of shoes off the porch and hope they are mine. Just before I get into the car, I turn back and look at the four figures in the doorway, arm in arm, all looped together like a row of sleepy chorus girls. I work hard to push down the sour feeling of fear rising up from my stomach and threatening to lodge in my throat. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something in the universe has shifted off kilter, and I so don’t want to know what that might be.

Excerpt from Lovesick, by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2017.

 

Key Author & Book Information

★Amazon Buy Link: Lovesick

★ Author’s contact info: contact@bamliterature.com

★ Author’s website: http://www.jleveringsullivan.com/

 

Key Links

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Facebook

Barnes and Noble

Publicity Contact

Berlin Malcom, Publicity Manager

BAM Literature

berlin@bamliterature.com

Other Books by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan

Annie’s War

A Less Than Perfect Peace

 

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What people are saying

 

Q.L. Pearce, Redbird Sings

“Lovesick is an extraordinary story. Through the eyes and heart of Jeanmarie Dowd, the author explores the meaning of love, loyalty, and grief. With a skillful balance of tenderness and wry humor, Sullivan has created a time capsule of the fifties in America. The book is rich with family, friends, and romance against a backdrop of rising political tension in the nation. An excellent read!”

Nancy S.

What a great book for teens and boomers alike! Set in the early 1950s, the author brings to life both the innocence and the damaging underside of the era. One one level, it is a teenage love story. But on a deeper level, we learn how society and politics affect ordinary, middle class lives in profound ways. The craziness of the McCarthy era, the painful sadness of childhood leukemia in the 1950s, and the secretive nature of sexuality are all played out in this story with funny and engaging characters. Lovesick is a story of the exuberance of youth, loving families, and decent parents trying to do their best both for their kids and the country. Jacqueline Sullivan brings it all to life in a very entertaining young adult novel. Let’s hope she writes more!

Booklist

“Based on events in Sullivan’s childhood, this debut novel [Annie’s War] tells this story of lost innocence through the eyes of a child who is trying to make sense of what’s going on around her…. Sadness and strength come through, as does a realistic view of bigotry and courage, grief and kindness.”

Publishers Weekly

“[Annie’s War] Set in Washington State in 1946, Sullivan’s thoughtful first novel is narrated by a feisty 10 year-old . . . Credible characterization and dialogue help readers absorb the lessons Annie learns from wise Grandma and caring Gloria, that most folks are basically good people.”

 

To see more about Jacqueline Levering Sullivan on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out his/her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Book Review: Lovesick by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan

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Why This Book 
Someone suggested the book to me after I completed reading something else, noting the two had similar tone and style. I really enjoyed the first novel, which made me keen to read Lovesick by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan. It was one of the remaining books I have in my queue that I committed to read in early 2018 (I’m on a role — this was the seventeenth book I read in January), so I dove right in; I’m glad, too. It gets a very high 4+ star rating from me… probably a 5 on Amazon given the definition there and a 4 on Goodreads.

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Plot, Characters & Setting 
The YA novel takes place in 1950s in a small US town focusing on Jeanmarie Dowd, a 16-year-old girl trying to get through high school without falling apart or getting in trouble. She’s had a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, Chuck, for years. Jeanmarie’s older sister, Iris, has somehow gotten herself involved with a few people suspected of being Communists. Her mother and step-father are at a loss over what to do with both girls. Throw in a few crazy friends, escalating health issues and a situation with the police, Jeanmarie is caught between every possible teenage issue in a time when forgiveness wasn’t very easy.

Approach & Style 
I read this 170 page young adult novel on my iPad through Kindle Reader in about 90 minutes — it’s short and easy to digest, but very full of emotion and complexity. It is broken into 29 chapters, each relatively short between 4 and 8 pages, focusing on specific scenes or events that happen to the main character, her family and friends. It is told in first person POV with a perspective focus on the main character, Jeanmarie Dowd.

Key Thoughts 
If there were ever a book to transport you into the feel of the 1950s, this was it. I may not have been been born until a few decades afterward, but I still know what it was like… and Sullivan found a perfect balance of fear, loyalty, rigidity, change and intimacy. Between the words and the setting, you are transported to a different world and understand why things happen the way they do for each of the characters.

Jeanmarie is a beautifully written character. Although she does something wrong/bad, you know she never intended to hurt anyone, and you easily recognize she probably should have had it all along. That said, the punishment she (and others) suffer, is quite a tearjerker. I love the balance of rivalry and connection with her sister. I adore the relationship she has with her parents. It’s amazing to see how she and Chuck remain friends, including her connection to his parents. The end will hurt a bit, but in a way, you almost know from the very first page, it’s gonna happen.

There’s a fine balance of detail regarding the Communist plot, the health scares and the way life actually happened in the 1950s. It’s never too little or too much, just the right amount. You want more, and maybe the book could have had another 40 to 50 pages to draw out even more emotion, but it’s quite good as it stands. The pages turn themselves as you excitedly fall into their magic.

Sullivan creates strong characters within a charismatic setting. She excels at defining relationships not only in words and dialog, but also in distance and what is never actually said between people who should have had a conversation. Less is more sometimes, and this might be a perfect example of that old adage.

Summary 
I recommend this book highly, especially to those who can handle a few tears and a couple of punches to the gut. It won’t make you cry the whole time, but in just the right places, you’ll get a tad weepy… then find your happiness. It evokes a 1950s ambiance which isn’t always easy to do. I look forward to reading more from this author.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.