Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Tour: If Only We by Jessica Sankiewicz

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jessica Sakiewicz's debut novel, If Only We!  I loved this book and it's only .99 for a limited time, so you should definitely grab it now!  Today I have a guest post by Jessica to share with you, as well as my review.

They say all it takes is one wrong move and you lose the game. One false step and you’re trapped. One slip-up in your choice of words and you ruin a friendship forever. That is what they say. They say I lost.

I do not believe them.

At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart.

Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong.

And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.

Add it on Goodreads.

Purchase on Amazon and Smashwords.

Guest Post: Why I Decided to Self-Publish

When I first started book blogging on 2011, it was around the time of the self-publishing boom. I read an article about Amanda Hocking's success story and thought it was amazing how far publishing had come. I never dreamed of seeing the day when someone could write a book and just publish it like that.

For years, I had browsed through magazines, websites, and a copy of the Writer's Market book I decided to invest in to see what avenues I had for publishing. I read all sorts of articles and books on it—how to query, how long publishing takes, the royalties—everything. It all just seemed so overwhelming and time-consuming and extremely difficult to even be accepted. I understand that there are a lot of manuscripts out there that editors have to look through and they don't have time for all of them. The thought that my query letter had to be eye-catching to even get their attention and keep them from tossing the first three chapters of my manuscript in the trash had me wanting to facepalm. All I could think was, “Can I write the perfect query letter and be able to get my foot in the door?”

At that point, I didn't even have anything remotely ready to publish. It was just one of those dreams I had, wanting to be an author and to see my name in print. I set that dream to the side, hoping that maybe one day I would be able to do it. So seeing this new possibility, how I could now write my story and have pretty much full control in how it turns out, was inspiring. I began to work on one story that summer, then began another, If Only We, for NaNoWriMo. Once November was over, I was determined to finish writing it and get to the point where I could publish it. It took a lot of time, and some days I thought I would never get through it, but I did.

Now that I'm here, actually publishing my first novel and becoming an author, it is beyond exhilarating. When you can finally reach a dream, it is the best feeling. I love how self-publishing has opened the doors for so many great writers out there. Can you imagine how many great books we would have missed out on if not for self-publishing? All the great indie authors we wouldn't have come to know and love? It is truly an amazing thing and I'm glad to finally be part of it myself.

My Review

If Only We is an incredibly sweet, creative debut NA novel (although YAs would like it too) that had me tearing up a few times. If Only We is the story of Adrienne’s summer after graduating high school—but it’s actually her second chance at that summer, since at the end of August, she finds herself inexplicably tossed back in time to graduation day, and given a chance to relive the summer and hopefully fix her mistakes. I love these second chance-type stories, and I thought the author did an incredible job with this one!

In her first go-round of the summer, Adrienne fled her home and friends after confessing to her friend Chevy that she liked him as more as a friend, only to find that he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. (Or, at least, he claimed not to.) Over her second-chance summer, Adrienne stays at home and finds herself facing not only the issue of her feelings for Chevy, but also the conflict between her mother’s goals for her college/career and Adrienne’s own desires; her relationship with her stepsister; and a tragic accident that, as part of her second chance, Adrienne hopes she might be able to prevent. All of these conflicts are well-developed to illustrate Adrienne’s growth in becoming her own person, being honest with herself and others, and realizing that you might not always be able to control fate, but that doesn’t mean you should give up the fight.

What I love most about this story is the way the author juxtaposes the bigger conflicts, like Adrienne’s struggle to figure out what she wants to do with her life and how to balance her mom’s expectations with her own desires, with smaller, more everyday concerns. The kind of little things that mean so much in our everyday lives, but don’t often play an important role in novels that go for big drama, are given respect and attention here. Things like watching a favorite TV show with a stepsister, or selling the first pillow you designed and sewed, are as important as the bigger moments in this book, and they made the novel feel so much more real and relatable to me. I also thought the way the book’s biggest tragedy was handled was absolutely perfect, and it definitely made me a little teary.

Overall, Adrienne and her story feel real—and for a book involving time travel, that’s quite a feat! By the end of the book, I felt like Adrienne, her friends and stepsister were people I could call up and talk to on the phone. I didn’t want to leave the world of this book by the time it ended!

About the Author

Jessica is the 28 year old author of IF ONLY WE, a YA contemporary coming out in October 2013. You can often find her either reading or marathon watching TV on DVD, her favorites being Castle and Veronica Mars. She frequently mismatches her clothes and giggles uncontrollably. She knows almost every Billy Joel song by heart. She collects books and toys, and she has an intense love of cats and lemurs. Currently in the midst of her quarter-life-crisis, she is still takin' names and getting very close to reaching an epiphany.

Visit Jessica on her blogGoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter..


  1. Thanks so much for being on the tour, editing, and your review! <3

  2. You're very welcome! Thanks for having me!