Monday, January 25, 2016

The Revenge Artist: Guest Post, Book Review & Giveaway

 
About Philip Hoy
 

Philip Hoy is a high school English teacher by day and a short-story author, novelist, and poet by night. When he is not creating lesson plans or grading essays, he is writing. He lives in Southern California with his wife Magdalena, also a teacher.




Guest Post

Meet Evelyn Hernandez, Protagonist of The Revenge Artist

By Philip Hoy

Evelyn Hernandez is a beautiful sixteen year-old Latina with large brown eyes and dark brown hair that is medium to long in length and mostly straight, with bangs. She wears a variety of vintage dresses to school, mainly A-line, pin-up, or rockabilly style. Her parents gave her a sewing machine for Christmas last year, and after much trial and error, she has begun to make her own dresses; although, she quietly lets her friends believe she orders them from vintage-clothing websites. The dresses are definitely her thing; but besides that, she is kind of nerdy and is never without her backpack in which she keeps a large black sketch-journal of
her daily life.

Evelyn has an eclectic taste in music, movies, and books. Right now, she’s listening to Reina del Cid. She discovered one of her songs, “Sweet Annie,” a catchy love song with disturbingly dark lyrics, through a free public-radio podcast and she immediately bought the entire album: The Cooling. Her new favorite song on it is “Morse Code.” Now she can’t stop listening to it and has memorized all the words. Recently, her friend Karen had her check out a song by the group Chicano Batman, and she’s thinking of downloading some of their music.   

Last weekend she had her other friend Denise over and they stayed up all night watching silent movies with the soundtracks replaced, pairing up classic horror films like Nosferatu with Black Sabbath and the sci-fi original Metropolis with Daft Punk. Evelyn is also a voracious reader. She will occasionally let slip a line from an Emily Dickenson poem or a Shakespeare play, not really caring if anyone gets them or not. The paperback currently in her backpack is The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig.

Evelyn is talented and intelligent and she has people in her life that love and care about her. She wants to fit in and feel normal, but at the same time she doesn’t want to be like everyone else. She wants to follow her own style and follow her own heart. Sometimes this gets her into trouble, shakes her self-confidence, and causes her to doubt herself. But mostly, Evelyn Hernandez is just … herself, still finding her voice, still discovering her powers, and still learning how to use them.

That is until a new seating arrangement in her English class pairs her up with the school’s handsome varsity quarterback, Garvey Valenzuela, and she finds herself falling for her polar opposite on the school’s social scale.
 
 Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Evernight Teen
 
Review by Suze
 
Evelyn Hernandez isn't popular at school. She's isn't like everyone else in her class, she stands out. Evelyn draws and she sews her own dresses. She has two very loyal best friends, but she also has a lot of enemies. She always has to be careful, but she can manage. Things are about to get worse though. She's sitting next to Garvey and he seems to like her. He even asks her to go to a party with him. Only nothing is as he made it seem and Evelyn wants revenge. She finds a way to do so by accident, her drawings can make things happen. What will be the consequences if Evelyn makes sure bad things will happen to her enemies?
 
The Revenge Artist is an original story about a girl whose drawings are special. I liked that idea very much. Evelyn is a lovely girl, she's kind and she's not afraid to dress differently. I love that she has such a great distinct personality. Evelyn is a high school junior and a lot of the scenes in the book are set at her school. Philip Hoy describes them in such a fantastic way. It's like the reader is in the classroom with her, which makes the story realistic and it really comes to life. There's one absolutely awful scene and I felt so bad for Evelyn that I had tears in my eyes.
 
There's magic in The Revenge Artist and still the story feels like it could have actually happened. That made this book interesting to read for me. Fortunately Evelyn has friends she can trust and she isn't completely on her own. Her conscience struggles with good versus evil. Philip Hoy describes that in a detailed and genuine way. I loved the book talk and that there's a story he uses as a reference. The Revenge Artist is a fabulous, intriguing read. I can't wait to read the next Evelyn Hernandez book.
 
Giveaway
 
One lucky reader will receive a $10 Evernight Teen GC!
 
Follow the tour here.

17 comments:

  1. Seems I can relate to Evelyn. I was the nerd in school and loved music. I set everything to it. This is on my TBR list!

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  2. I love the sound of this. Great review Suuz. It's unusual for man to write about teen girl years.

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  3. I love the sound of this. Great review Suuz. It's unusual for man to write about teen girl years.

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  4. I was very much drawn to it! Loved the review :D

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    1. Wow! Sounds like a good read. To the Author: What did inspire you to write this book?

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    2. Hi Julia,
      My students were the inspiration for my story. I teach high school and when I write I always imagine my students reading my stories. If I didn’t teach English I think I would love to teach art. Telling stories and drawing pictures are really the same thing…writers and artists are the wizards of our world! I am surrounded by so many talented and fascinating young people that I can’t help but be inspired by them.

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  7. Very interesting read!! What inspires you to write? Thanks for the giveaway too! Rita Spratlen

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    1. Hi Rita,
      What inspires me to write? Well, sometimes I feel like I’m a sponge. I soak up everything around me, from home, from my students, from the media, from books … until I reach a point where I’m just so full of ideas that I have to write some of them down before those ideas evaporate, and all those possible stories dry up and disappear. It’s like having a secret you just can’t wait to tell.

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  8. Sounds very interesting! Adding to my TBR!

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  9. How did you come up with the names of the main characters?

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    1. Hi Mai,
      Evelyn is such a pretty, simple name, but it has such depth. It seemed light the right name for a young person with an old soul. I wanted Garvey's name to sound like an athlete's so I gave him the last names of two famous baseball players: Steve Garvey and Fernando Valenzuela. I usually spend a long time thinking about character's names.

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  10. I love that your students were inspiration for this story and that you keep them in mind when writing. This sounds like an interesting read.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah!
      In my novel, the high school dean complains, “You kids live in the extreme, in the moment, and why not when everything is happening to you for the first time?” I feel this is so true of young people; although, unlike the dean, I believe this is what makes teenagers so fascinating and so refreshing to be around.

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  11. This book sounds really fantastic. I just added it to my TBR list. I love it that Evelyn is a character that doesn't fit in with the mainstream. I really love characters like that.

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