Beta Review: More than Meets the Eye by Tonya Preece
*Note that things in the story could change before the story is published and I have the greenlight from Tonya Preece to write a vague review type post*
My first beta read!!! I was so excited to have this opportunity. Honestly, I was rather nervous going into the story because the whole beta reading is new to me, but I went into it with an open mind and made notes throughout the story. Over all this was a wonderful experience because I was able to read a story in the early stage of revision. I am so glad that I had this opportunity and was able to provide feedback!
This isn’t going to be a super detailed review, but hopefully I will have enough non-spoilery details that’ll leave you wanting more!
Quick Summary: A couple of years after the death of her father, Cordelia (aka Cordy) finally attempts to go to the site of the accident. Only she can barely look at it without getting sick. The accident site brings up old memories that she can’t seem to shake. Shortly afterwards, Cordy then realizes that her problem is even deeper than she thinks when she finds out that flames are a trigger to her new panic attacks. She must then figure out what is the cause of these panic attacks, while learning more about her past and figure out who she really is with all of this new information. Along the way to recover, Cordy must figure out who she can trust and who is holding her back.
This is a wonderful story about growing up. Cordy handles her situation rather well considering all of the things she finds out. Sure, at first, it might come to her as a shock , but with the support of her mom, best friends, and a special friends *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* she is able to conclude that even though some of the things in her past aren’t what she thinks, she is able to use this new information to grow and become a better version of a herself.
More than Meets the Eyes delves into topics like PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, and grief. In the world of Y.A. these topics are becoming more prominent, but there are still not enough books of them. This story does a wonderful job of showing people (both young and old) that these conditions may have their moments of making the world feel awful, but it shouldn’t stop you from living your life. Throughout the story, people are able to see this progression with Cordy. Not only does she have to learn how to deal with all of the unresolved emotions, but she learns that these “labels” shouldn’t make you stop living life.
One of the things that I appreciated about this story is how sex-positive it is. There is a scene where Cordy and her mom actually talk about having sex and waiting until she is ready because of not only the physical aspect of sex but the emotional part as well. Cordy also tells her later boyfriend that they should wait until they are both ready to take on such a huge commitment. I know in a lot of the stories that I have read where the MC has sex, he or she isn’t able to communicate with the other person or a trusted guardian/friend. Seeing Cordy have both the trust and nerve to be able to talk with her mom and boyfriend is such a huge plus.
Another huge perk of this book is all of the great music that is mentioned. For Cordy, music is her escape and one of the things that helps her breathe easier. Cordy is a die-hard music fan who loves not only bigger artists, but she loves to listen to small bands that are up and coming. She runs a blog dedicated to band reviews and is starting to make a name for herself by going to small shows and writing reviews about the music, atmosphere, and everything that goes along with concerts. Cordy is very dedicated to her love of music and is always looking for new groups to listen too and love.
One of the sad things that come along with life is letting go. Not necessarily in the sense of death (although Cordy did loss her father) but just growing up and realizing that certain people may not always fit in your life and coming to terms with ending that relationship. Also, people sometimes learn that a person isn’t always the person they have made him or her to be, and we have to come to terms with knowing the he or her isn’t quite as high and mighty as we made them out to be. Cordy has to face both of these instances and has to rebalance her world.
Last thing: let’s talk about adults in Y.A. Adults seem to be a hit or miss in most books because there are honestly books where there are no parents at all. Like really??? But in MTMTE, Cordy and har mom have a really strong relationship. Cordy’s mom is understanding in all aspects of Cordy’s life. Cordy and her mom are able to get along and actually spend time together. Sometimes parents in books seem to be an after thought and are just slapped in there during a dull moment, but in this story Cordy’s mom is honestly one of Cordy’s best friends.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book with all of the music references with bands like All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Sleeping with Sirens, State Champs, Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance. The story itself is so beautifully written because it shows teenagers being teenagers by hanging out with friends, working, going to school, and dealing with personal problems. I really hope that one day y’all will be able to read a finished version of this story because it is so heart-warming.
I owe a huge thanks to Tonya for letting me read her amazing story! She took a chance on letting a long time read and short time blogger read her book, and I will forever remember this story! Thank you, Tonya, so much for this opportunity and best of luck to you and your book!
Happy reading until next time,