Oct 30, 2012

Review & Author Interview! Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners!

Posted by Emily at Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Okay, lemme start of this post with a bit of fangirl gushing! I adore this book. Like, legit love. It even has a place on my bookshelf of 10 favorite books. I've recommended it like a bajillion times, and it's just being released today! :D This book is just adffogkg. No words, people, no words. But i'll find some of course, some words of high praise for this review(and keep scrolling below it, for I have an interviews with le awesometastic Shelle Sumners herself! :D)

Source: Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pagecount: 336
Publication Date: TODAY!!! October 30th, 2012. J
My Rating: 5/5 Stars!
Summary: Grace Barnum’s life is precariously balanced on sensible choices and uncomfortable compromise. She dutifully edits textbooks that, she fears, may be more harmful than helpful to kids. She is engaged to a patent attorney who is steady and reliable. She has a cautious relationship with her fascinating father, a renowned New York painter, and she prefers her mom slightly drunk.

Always a planner, Grace feels prepared for most eventualities. Until the responsibility-challenged Tyler Wilkie shows up. Fresh in town from the Poconos, Tyler has warm eyes, a country drawl, and a smile that makes Grace drop things. Worst of all, he writes devastating songs. About her.

Tyler reaches something in Grace, something she needs, but can't admit to. Something she wants, but won't succumb to. Tyler Wilkie loves Grace Barnum and ruins everything.  And Grace grows.
My Review: I fell for this book. I fell instantly and hard. Within the first ten pages I was hooked. The mailman delivered it about 10 minutes before family came over for dinner, and they were like ‘and how are you Emily’ and I was like ‘shhh, I’m busy reading AN AMAZING book’ (but I was slightly less rude about it, because I’m not the kind of person who likes getting in trouble :3 although I did need to be told a LOT to set my book DOWN when I took it with me to the dinner table) I finished this book in one night. I even took it to a SLEEPOVER. I just couldn’t put it down! And then when it was done I was like I NEED MORE.
But anyhoo, lemme start with more of a traditional review. :3
This book centers around Grace Barnum’s life, it’s a typical goodie goodie girl life- she edits textbooks, she’s engaged to a reliable guy named Steven(whom slightly irks me-  The second Grace met Tyler I was Team Tyler. I wanted her to dump Steven from the getgo!) and then she meets Tyler Wilkie. Who is a totally sexy southern singer(need I say more, girls?). The only problem I had with this book was how ANNOYING Grace was in some parts. Sometimes I wanted to smack her. But she sobered up some by the ending, so it was good- Grace Grew by the end(see what I did here? Hmm? :D)! And overall, I  highly recommend this!!!!!!!!!!
Great book! (:

Scroll down for my interview with this awesome author! :)

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

With Grace Grows I did both. I actually had a dream that started the idea of Grace and Ty. I wrote a general outline based on things that were in the dream, and then as I followed the outline and wrote the story there was a lot of creativity and on-the-spot expansion of the dream ideas.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I doubt that any novelist ever purely imagines everything that happens in her book. We have to use some things we know! I am familiar with New York, the Poconos, textbook publishing, live music clubs, and Broadway Theater. These were very rich worlds to place Grace and Ty in and see what happened.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

That is a very tough question, because I had so much fun writing this entire story. I suppose I could say just about every scene between Grace and Ty; the things they said to each other were so fun and surprising. I also liked the challenge of giving each chapter a uniquely meaningful title.

Is there anything you're particularly afraid of? I.E. Insects, whatever odd phobia.

I always try to sit on the aisle, in theaters and on airplanes. I don’t like to feel trapped!
Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it, and do you like it?
I like to be called “Shell”, although I grew up with my name being pronounced “Shelly”. My name is spelled “Shelle”, and when my mom gave me that name, she meant for that final “e” in my name to be silent, with sort of a French pronunciation. Somehow the “silent e” idea got lost among other family and friends, for most of my life; but I have always felt more like me when people call me “Shell”. That’s what I call myself.

What's your earliest memory?

I have several memories from around the time I was three, but I’m not sure which happened earliest. I remember sitting in a car with my grandparents at night, outside the hospital where my sister was being born. We were just looking at the hospital building and the stars in the sky and talking about what it would be like for me to have a baby sister. I also remember a dream I had when I was very little. In it, my dad was chasing me around the house with a broom because I refused to eat my turnip greens (I grew up in the South). Who knows where I got the broom thing, and my dad chasing me. In real life my dad was fun, and no one forced me to eat those horrible greens.

Which character is your favorite, if you play favorites?

I adore Grace and Ty, equally. I love her kindness and fragility, and I love his sunny nature and determination.

Is Tyler based on anyone in particular (come on, I just had to ask this :D)

Many people are wondering about this, because my husband Lee Morgan is an incredible songwriter, and he collaborated with me and wrote the songs that Tyler writes for Grace in the novel. And, like Ty, he is an amazing singer (if you’ve heard the Grace Grows Original Soundtrack, you know this). And he’s also very nice. So there are some similarities between them; but there are many, many things about Ty that originated in my fertile imagination.

Twitter: @shellesumners


  1. I loved this book, too! I read it last year on my Kindle. :)


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