An Aurora YA Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

The Ocean at the End of the Lane cover The Ocean at the End of the Lane starts with a middle aged man heading back to his childhood home for a funeral, but it doesn’t stay there for long. Rather it goes back to when he was a child and the adventures he had with the mysterious Hempstock family down the road when he got a new babysitter who was more than she appeared to be.

This book was by far one of the best I had ever read. I went into it with very high hopes simply because I love most of Mr. Gaiman’s works. It exceeded every single one of my hopes for it. There was beautiful imagery, but without slowing down the pace or being too out of character for the point of view it was told from. He was able to tell the story while still adding in imagery that made it more interesting, without going on a tangent about what things looked like.

The story was interesting and the characters grabbed my attention and kept me caring what happened to them while still being realistic. The main character is a very young boy throughout the majority of the narrative and is kept accurate to being so young. There are times when he is exceptionally brave or clever, but never in a way that it is unbelievable for a boy of his age to be. For example, when the boy escapes his house and his evil babysitter, he’s smart enough to get away, but almost as soon as he gets to his neighbors’ house, he breaks down, which seemed very believable to me considering his age, without making him seem entirely helpless.

If I had to pick one thing I wasn’t overly fond of in this book, it would be that I didn’t care as much about the Hempstocks as I could have. However, as the story progressed, I began to like them more and more because they did seem to be almost arrogant, but then as the book went on it was made clear that they didn’t just talk, they could actually handle situations.

Cover Artist: I couldn’t find the actual cover artist.

At first glance, the cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane is certainly interesting, and eye-catching. As I went on reading the book I did start to wonder where the cover fit into the story. By the end, I understood what it was and it became better for that understanding. Overall, the cover is fairly simplistic, but it does its job

Sales Links:  Amazon   The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Book Details:

ebook, 143 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by William Morrow; 1st edition (first published January 1st 2013)
original titleThe Ocean at the End of the Lane
edition languageEnglish
charactersLettie Hempstock, Ursula Monkton, The Nameless Boy
settingSussex, England (United Kingdom)

literary awardsNebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2013), Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2014), Goodreads Choice for Best Fantasy (2013), Specsavers Book of the Year (2013), Paris Review Best of the Best (2013)

Spotlight On: BA Tortuga and Say Something Book Tour and Contest



I had a chance to ask BA a few questions and took it.  Here’s the interview…

1 – In books, what makes you cry?

It’s usually that moment of self-realization where the character knows s/he’s screwed and there’s nothing they can do about it. That kills me.

2 – Have you ever written something that makes you cry?

Oh, good lord and butter, all the time. I cried over Say Something a dozen times a day. O.o There’s a moment about mid-way that I just die, every time. (And I won’t spoil, but email me after you read and I’ll totally share).

3 – What is the saddest book you ever read?

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. I just sobbed.

4 – What would you say is the hardest subject book you ever had to write?

Say Something, without question. I swear, I didn’t think I’d survive writing this one — there’s marriages, deaths, illness, healing… a whole lifetime. 😀

5 – What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?

Me, my wife, a couple of cold gluten free beers, and a steak on the grill.

Book Name: Say Something
Author Name: BA Tortuga

Author Bio:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife (still amazing to say that), Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Author Contact:

SaySomethingFSPublisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Angsty G

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press

Say Something Blurb:

Jenson has loved Mike his whole life, but he has never known how to tell Mike how he feels. After high school Mike leaves for college and his Hollywood dream, while cowboy Jenson stays behind in their small East Texas hometown. Neither man knows what to say to go beyond friendship, even though they come together through all of the best and worst times of their lives. The most amazing moments keep bringing them back together, but through huge love and terrible loss, sickness and health, their timing never seems right to take their relationship to the next level. When the universe gives them one final chance, Jenson must overcome his fear and say the most important something before it’s too late.

Say Something Excerpt:

“So, this guy, he’s the one?” Ricky leaned over the edge of the bed, head dangling down.

“That kills brain cells, man.” Mike looked at himself in the mirror, working the thick pancake makeup to make the scar less noticeable.

“Uh-huh. So does green, and we smoke that. The scar is hot, honey. Leave it alone.”

Mike grunted. “He’s only ever seen it with stitches.”

“He’s, like, a real cowboy?”

“Uh-huh. We’ve been together forever. I just… I can’t believe he’s coming.” Really coming, here. Jenson. Finally. Mike touched up his eyeliner, and looked at himself again. Maybe glasses….

“You’re such a big queen.” Ricky laughed, waving at him upside down.

“You’re just jealous that I’m not your big queen.”

“Nah. You’re too toppy.” Ricky cackled, and Mike had to laugh. Everyone knew Rick would bottom up for anyone.

“Oh yeah. I’m a big bad leather daddy.” He turned and flexed, playing happily. Ricky was going to be a model. Hell, the guy was already working. Him, though, he still wanted to act.

He thought he could. His profs said he had talent. He just had his damned face to overcome.

The phone rang, and he spun around. “Oh God. Do you think it’s him?”

SayBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

9/29: The Hat Party
9/30: Cate Ashwood
10/1: Amanda C. Stone, Velvet Panic
10/2: Parker Williams
10/3: Rainbow Gold Reviews
10/6: Andrew Q. Gordon, Prism Book Alliance
10/7: Lee Brazil
10/8: Fallen Angel Reviews
10/9: Hearts on Fire
10/10: Kimi-Chan
10/13: Tara Lain
10/14: Cathy Brockman Romances
10/15: Havan Fellows
10/16: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
10/17: MM Good Book Reviews
10/20: My Fiction Nook
10/21: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, The Blogger Girls
10/22: Love Bytes
10/23: Inked Rainbow Reads
10/24: Multitasking Mommas

Contest:  Rafflecopter Prize: E-Copy of Say Something.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link for the entry form and for additional contest details.

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