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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Select by Marit Weisenberg - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

For Julia her family is everything. She knows she isn't like other teenagers her age. Her father is the leader of a group of people and her family is perfect, they don't show emotion, they are competent and skilled and they are more advanced than regular humans. However, Julia is also not exactly like her family. She always feels like she isn't good enough. Her half-sister Liv has everything she used to have and more, but for Julia the same rules don't apply. Julia isn't allowed to use the abilities she has. She's being asked to hide who she is and that isn't an easy task. When she messes up trying to protect Liv and this mistake almost outs her family she's being sent to a regular school to repent.

John is the guy Julia's banishment to a regular school starts with and he's also a student at her new school. He fascinates her and there seems to be something special between them, Julia can read John's mind and finds out he feels the same way about her as she feels about him. Julia's father is a billionaire, her family is far from normal and they can never find out she's befriended John. All of a sudden she's secretly dating a regular guy with an ordinary family. Julia's only wish used to be to be exactly like her family, but now she starts to question her values and her father's leadership and way of life. Julia can't have the best of both worlds, she'll have to choose between what she's always been taught and the new lessons she keeps learning. What will she do?

Select is an intriguing story. It's clear from the start that Julia is different. She adores her half-sister, but while Liv receives everything Julia longs for, Julia has a tougher road ahead of her. Her family doesn't treat her very well and there isn't anyone Julia can confide in. She has to figure out most things on her own and I admired her strength and determination. She's always had a dream for the future, but wishes can change and that's the moment when difficult choices have to be made. Julia's life is filled with secrets, raw power and coldness. I couldn't wait to find out how a little extra kindness would form her, which is a great topic for a story. John is exactly what Julia needs and I was anxious to find out if she would see it that way or if her family's values would go too deep to really notice this.

Marit Weisenberg has written a great creative and gripping story. I loved the way she describes Julia's family and the characteristics she gives the members are fascinating. Select is a story about growing up and the battle between doing what's expected and what feels right. I loved this first The Select story and can't wait to read more about Julia and John's beautiful connection and Julia's interesting family members and their plans for the future. Select is a strong beginning of the series and I loved the ending of this first book. I can't wait to read more.


If you love gripping stories about gifted main characters and true love you should definitely read Select.

About Marit Weisenberg

Marit Weisenberg has a master’s degree from UCLA in Cinema and Media Studies and worked as a film and television executive for a number of years. Select is Marit’s debut novel. She lives in Austin, Texas.



Guest post

My Five Favorite Scenes from Select
By Marit Weisenberg

1. When the entire pack of sixteen highly-evolved teens break the rules and go out in public as a group

This is my most favorite scene and, because it was the first scene I imagined and the seed that grew into a whole story, I think of it as the heart of the book. It is extra special because it takes place at one of my favorite spots in Austin: Barton Springs, a natural spring-fed pool that has been referred to as the crown jewel of Austin. I move the scene through different aspects of the location—the steep slope of the lawn under the pecan trees, the crowds on all sides of the enormous pool, as well as the serious chill of the water and the eerie plant life floating beneath the surface.

2. When the teens are arrested

This scene was inspired by imagining the night the Kennedys and their power brokers handled Teddy Kennedy’s accident in Chappaquiddick, an incident that resulted in the death of a young woman. The thought of the wealthy and powerful brazenly exerting their influence over the local authorities has always lived large in my mind. And, in other stories, I’ve always loved scenes when officers do their jobs and then find out from a higher up that they’ve accidentally messed with someone powerful who they should have stayed away from.

3. When Julia meets her former bad boy crush and longtime best friend, Angus at the dock

I love stories about boy/girl friendships. Friendships between straight males and females can be so complicated, especially as they evolve over time. Even if lives go in different directions, even if one or both have had feelings for the other, I think there is always an extra special bond when two people have grown up together and have a shared history. Nothing can erase that.

4. When the long overdue blow up takes place between Julia and her younger, breathtaking half-sister, Liv

This was also one of the hardest scenes to write because it had to be full of things the sisters have always been afraid to say out loud. From the beginning stages of writing Select, I knew I wanted to examine a blended family with a very uneasy, unspoken dynamic. What’s it like having a stepparent who makes you feel unwelcome in your own home? And how

do children from a first and second marriage who are being raised together deal with the unequal division of love? This scene is where it all comes to a head between two sisters who really love each other but whose loyalties are being tested.

5. When Julia arrives at John’s house at dawn

This scene embodies what I love to write about most: the roller coaster of first real love. I wanted my novel to have romance and heartbreak and that out-of-control feel when the heart has completely taken over despite thinking you’d moved on. Most importantly, I wanted to include how very scary it can feel to make yourself vulnerable to another person.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a hardcover copy of Select by Marit Weisenberg.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Select sounds like an intriguing and gripping story.

  2. OH I am a big fan of YA, even at the ripe old age of 53 LOL..I think I prefer it because its so uncomplicated!! NO real adult drama, just new romance etc

  3. The cover is lovely!It sounds like a page turner too.

  4. This sounds like a really gripping and creative read, looking forward to reading it.

  5. this looks interesting and absorbing!

  6. Another good YA novel to look out for.

  7. This looks like a wonderful read. Love the cover!


  9. What a wonderful cover. I can't wait to read it.

  10. id love to read this. its sounds great :)

  11. Always looking for new reads sounds interesting thanks

  12. great giveaway - looks like a great read

  13. Thanks for the great book prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  14. I'd like to see how Julia's & John's relationship grows.