Today we are bringing you an Author Spotlight for Taylor Saville! We have all kinds of goodies for you today: Information on Taylor and her novel Jagged Mind, which also includes Kim’s review. As a bonus, Taylor is being awesome enough to do a giveaway of not one, but THREE novels and more (US Only). Come on and get to know Taylor and her work:
Taylor Saville is the author of Jagged Mind, and while it is not her first novel, it is the first novel she chose to publish. Her husband, Jeffrey Smith, or Ascending Storm, is a professional artist and designs all of her book covers. She has a new title planned to be released this Fall, and a fantasy trilogy that is well under way. She is also currently writing three new novels simultaneously, so expect many more titles in the future! She will be an author to look out for!
“Jagged Mind took years to bring to life. I’m elated for people to experience the story that took so much out of me to create. This novel is also complete with eleven full-page, interior illustrations.”
Is there any true deliverance for the depraved? Does love change people? These questions surround the life of Harper Nolan. The foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, self-destructive lead singer of the metal band known as Jagged Mind. Locked in a cycle of self-mutilation, violence, and alcohol abuse, the threads of his life slowly begin to unravel, much to the unease of his more levelheaded bandmates. Though right when his world is ready to collapse entirely from beneath his feet, he falls harder than he ever could have imagined for the naive, sheltered girl who changes everything. He believes her love can save him, when in reality, she is merely the flame which detonates the bomb, sending their lives spiraling into a nightmare too intense to fathom. A nightmare which leaves him convinced he must end his own life. Though to his horror… life refuses to let him go.
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Reviewed by: Kim
Kim’s rating: 4.5 stars
So, add another book to the list of “books that made Kim ugly cry.” Taylor was so kind in giving me a free e-book copy and I’m gonna give the most glowing endorsement a booknerd can possibly give: I bought a physical copy off of Amazon. That’s right! On top of the free e-book copy, I ordered a physical copy because I want it tangibly sitting on my shelf. Before I even start talking about the story, I want to mention the brilliant illustrations that are included in this book. Taylor’s husband, Jeff, is a professional artist and he created several gorgeous pictures to go along with the story. Once my copy arrived, first thing I did was flip through the book looking for all the artwork. They are amazing and enhanced my reading.
Now, the story . . . fair warning, Taylor is a soul torturer. To be honest, when I first started reading, I was expecting to hate Harper and sludge through another cliché love story of good girl falls for bad boy and she helps him discover the teddy bear within. Nope! The story is a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and tragedy and happiness and love and hate and disgust and stomach-churning and hope and I didn’t think my heart could take anymore, and that was barely half way through! I do not remember the last time I connected so emotionally to a character like I did with Harper. Every single thing that he went through, that happened to him, that he did, I took personally. There were times when I was literally sick to my stomach because of the things Harper did and participated in. As the darkness inside him got darker and bleaker and deeper, I wanted to jump into the story and beat him and hug him all at the same time. Hope and despair go hand in hand throughout the entire book! I’m pretty sure I developed an anxiety disorder while reading Jagged Mind, in all the best and worst ways! I wish I could accurately describe just how much this book made me feel. And y’all know that I’m a relatively shallow person so that’s a pretty big deal! When I finished the last page, I just sat and cried. My heart broke so completely and it felt so good and so bad simultaneously.
I identified with Emmaline. She and I are the sheltered chicks thrown into a crazy world and I appreciated her realism. There were times that she frustrated me because she was so cautious and reserved with Harper, when my “happily ever after” brain just wanted them to fall in love and everything to work out perfectly, and sometimes it just felt like she was leading him on and it really bugs me when girls do that. The other members of the band were just as turbulent in my mind. Gray, Harper’s best friend and the band’s bassist, alternated between love and hate for me. But I absolutely loved the banter between all the guys. It cracked me up! Indeed, I did laugh out loud several times when the band got together and joked and mocked together. I just became so invested in the characters and I find myself missing them, now that I’ve finished the book. Even the secondary characters that have very small parts in the plot were so real and so genuine that I’ve already asked Taylor to write another book to tell the story of one of them. Ok, two of them! ?
The reason I gave Jagged Mind 4.5 stars instead of a full 5 stars is relatively minor, once I got used to it. Taylor gets so deep into the minds of all the characters that sometimes the distinction between everyone gets a little murky. One minute, you’re in Harper’s head, contemplating his deep-seated self-hate, then the next sentence, you’re in Rence’s head, pondering the future of the band. And the easiest way to fix it would be the pronouns, but even those got confusing. Once I figured it out, I was able to easily think my way through it, but it did get a bit distracting at times. However, I definitely wouldn’t trade the window into everyone’s thoughts for all the clear pronouns in the world, so overall, it worked out well.
I’m going to include the message I sent to Taylor as soon as I finished the book so hopefully I can convey just how much this book meant to me:
“I’m not sure what to say …
Thank you for sharing your book with me. I usually rate books by the emotions they illicit and I gauge my emotions by their physical manifestations. I’m in tears, Taylor. I had to blink to clear my eyes so I could even finish the last 2 pages. Once I closed the book, I sobbed. Very few books have brought out that kind of reaction, and your book is one of them. I don’t want to say that Jagged Mind is “awesome” or “amazing” because they’re too shallow and they don’t do it justice. I don’t know what word to use yet … you’re a writer, give me a word! All I can say is that I love your book and I plan on keeping it on my shelf for the rest of my life and I plan on rereading many times.”
I hope that, in some way, channels a few of the feelings that I had to endure while reading Jagged Mind. I absolutely recommend this book, definitely not to teens, but to anyone looking for a deep, poignant, disturbing, moving read.
There will be three winners: You will receive a signed copy of Jagged Mind and a limited art print signed by the artist! Thank you for this awesome giveaway Taylor!Giveaway runs from today through 9/26 at midnight. Good luck!