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Nowhere Feels Like Home: (A Misfit McCabe Novel) Paperback – November 23, 2009
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About the Author
Born in Seattle, WA and raised & living in southern California with her husband Denny, and their three wonderful, miniature, long-haired dachshund's, Gryphon, Phoenix and Elsa, LK Gardner-Griffie is definitely a west coast girl, but loves to travel. The love of writing and travel were fostered very young by reading Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and deciding that she and Jo had a great deal in common. While she didn't have 3 sisters, and a father absentee in the war, the making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for LK to know that she and Jo would have been kindred spirits. LK Gardner-Griffie started writing her first, never to be published, novel at the ripe old age of 9. She believes in that magic nation of imagination, and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Outside the world of writing, LK loves her pups, listening to music and even more, singing. Country music is her favored genre (because that's what she sings). She and her husband Denny are strong supporters of Cal State Fullerton Baseball (Go Titans!) and they thoroughly enjoy supporting their nieces and nephews in their sport and music related endeavors. After having spent time working in a variety of jobs, such as retail sales, insurance, throwing papers for the LA Times, pre-school teacher, and a brief, but memorable stint at a gas station, LK currently works for an international shipping company in the capacity of business, process, system support manager. She has decided it is time to carve out time for writing as there are several more projects that she has in the works, as well as those that are still just a glimmer in her mind.
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Top customer reviews
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Nowhere Feels Like Home picks up where Misfit McCabe left off, although if you haven't read Misfit McCabe the journal entry in the beginning brings you up to speed. Katie is stuck in bed with a broken ankle and is still dealing with the recent death of her father as well as the trauma of her accident, caused by her nemesis Harvey, Jr.
While the first book focused entirely on Katie, this book tells more of Sarah's story. Katie's boyfriend Tom plays a larger roll in this book which causes Sarah some protective concern. Sarah relates her own high school boyfriend experience and how protective their cousins, Matt and Mark, were of her. At one point, Sarah gives Katie "the talk" which is handled in a mature and tasteful way. My 12 year old daughter and I have already had a few "talks" but this delved more into kissing, feeling and emotions. It was a great conversation bridge into those topics.
Timmy, Katie's best friend from her old home town, shows up and makes Katie reexamine her situation and her new family. Where is her home?
Julia and I loved this book and anxiously await book #3! (Team Rusty! We going to make t shirts!)
Katie becomes displaced from her routine after her father gets sick and passes away, and she has to go live with Uncle Charley and her cousins. The book came to a climax when Katie was kidnapped by her school bully, Harvey Denton Jr., and left in the hills all alone. After almost drowning, then getting bit by a rattlesnake and breaking an ankle, Katie finally made it home alive.
Nowhere Feels Like Home picks up right where the first book left off, where we quickly discover that while Katie is okay and recovering, things don't really feel like "home" to her. She still feels displaced, and if it wasn't for the broken ankle forcing her to stay in bed most of the day, she'd probably be back out there into trouble or searching to find her own self once again.
As I emailed back and forth with LK during the writing and editing process, I can remember in the very beginning how she had no idea how she was going to write a book with her main character stuck in bed with a broken ankle throughout most of the book. I was anxious to see how she was going to pull it off as well.
As an author myself, I know the challenges of coming up with a plot and then finding out how you are going to move your characters through it. What scenes will you create and how will you connect them? What conversations will your characters have and how will they be relevant to the plot? How will you breathe life into your characters without making them seem like stiff pawns just moving around on a chessboard?
After getting to know "Kit-Kat" so well in the first book, it was obvious the second book would have to focus more on Katie's new family: Uncle Charley and Katie's three cousins. And that is exactly the focus that LK took. There are indeed some very heartfelt conversations that take place from the edge of Katie's bed between her and Cousin Sarah and Uncle Charley, shedding a bit of light on who her relatives are and why Katie should have no problems in calling their place her home now. Then there's Cousin Matt and Mark, two rebellious boys, who respect Katie and make her laugh, and take up for her. LK embraces the emotional and physical discomfort that Katie is experiencing and uses it to further mature her lead character even more so than she did in the first book.
This is also a book of secrets beginning with Katie being instructed to keep quiet about how she broke her ankle in the first place. Katie also discovers that her personal vendetta with Harvey Jr. runs deeper with a family feud between hers and the Dentons. Katie and Sarah share moments as Sarah helps Katie cope with her pain, and sheds light on Sarah's personal love life while Katie gains a boyfriend of her own. Timmy, Katie's best friend whom she got into trouble with in the beginning of the first book, also makes an appearance and further solidifies Katie's premonitions that things are changing, whether she likes it or not.
In the end, this is a book about family and not the traditional family we know as a mother, a father, a brother, and a sister. Sure, Katie is with blood relatives now who love her just as much as her immediate family did, but such a transition during your teen years can be hard when what you need the most is a place and a family to call home. LK balances this theme with Katie also adjusting to fit in with her peers, while avoiding the trouble that made her the "misfit" in the first book. It's been nice seeing Katie mature and develop so nicely.
I'd also like to point out the beautiful cover of this book. And while I loved the bright colors of the cartoon cover that Misfit McCabe had when I first read it, LK has since given it a makeover to match the new "teen" feel that she presents with Nowhere Feels Like Home. LK definitely knows how to appeal to her target audience and knows how important that book cover is in making your book marketable to your readers. Well done!
Most recent customer reviews
Author: L.K. Gardner-Griffie
Published By: Shanlian Wordlit Press
Age Recommended: 14+
Reviewed By:...Read more