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Friday, April 15, 2011

BLOG TOUR: The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander + Giveaway!

Hi there readers!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Time to escape into another great book, but first…a little news.  It seems that one author is getting her debut a bit earlier than planned.  Susan Goldsmith author of the upcoming book entitled Abithica will be celebrating her eBook debut TOMORROW (04/16/11) so be on the lookout at your favorite online retailer.  What’s it about?  Oh, well….I’m set to review it in the coming months (reading schedule, gotta love it), but you can find out more here and here.  Sounds good?  Alright. 

Secondly, let’s not forget that this is National Library Week.  Have you visited your library today?  If not, no worries; there’s still time.  Showing your support for your local branch is what counts and whatever you choose to do is fine by me.  As for me thanks to a “crazier-than-I-care-to-get-into-right-now” schedule, I’m celebrating by spreading the news and all that I can about great books YOU may want to check out on your next visit.  Now that that’s all cleared up, shall we move on to today’s review?  Here we go.

Today, we take a trip behind closed doors…closed stall doors to be precise.  That’s right.  We are moving this show to a bathroom near you (if you happen to be by a middle school that is) though it’s not for a break so don’t get any ideas (eewww)…it’s for business.  You see, one never really knows what goes on behind the scenes of any given place, let alone the vast maze that is middle school and when you take one vacated restroom, add some kids with problems to solve, and those with the know how to accomplish it….you get one interesting combination.  Perfect for a book you might say…(hehe)…oh and what do you know, today’s feature is just that but on a grander scale.  Allow me to introduce today’s book of choice and blog tour guest courtesy of Walden Pond Press….


Psst!  Hey, YOU.  Yeah you.  Come over here…
Do I have a story that you’re gonna be glad YOU heard.

Picture it.  Sixth grade.  Just last week.
There were these kids you see, but mind you not just any kids.  Kids with a mission and the means to accomplish them.  The brains…Mac.  The brawn…Vince.  Together they were one unstoppable duo, but in a good way…at least for most of us.  They could be depended on to get you outta a jam JUST like that.  No problem.  That was until Staples and his goons showed up.  Whew.  Let’s just say they got a run for their money.

What’s that?
Who ended up on top?
Whadda I look like, some sorta snitch?
I gave you the pieces…you put them together.
I’m out.

-- resumes normal voice --

So, need I say that this book was enjoyable?  It was…it most certainly was.  As a matter of fact, when I first heard about it a while back, I wasn’t too interested.  I know, shocking right?  It took coming across a copy in our local bookstore and a breeze through both the synopsis and first few pages to convince me, but then…I was hooked.  Hooked I tell you!  Let’s investigate this case of bookish hook-age a bit further (that sounded wrong, but you know what I mean)…

Starting with the cover, one can see where this book might carry at least a few laughs.  I mean come on…really, look at it!  It’s a play off the old classic, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, while adding its own unique charm with a roll of toilet paper replacing the obligatory puppet strings, but really…that’s a way to control a situation as well as anyone knows that has been in the “Oh-dear-goodness-there-is-no-paper-in-this-stall!” issue before.  *ahem*  Anywho, book covers work to artistically portray the story within, and this is no exception.  The events…or as we Italians like to say the bus-i-ness (<-- be sure to use the accent when saying this)…take place in an abandoned boy’s bathroom at a middle school, hence the toilet paper.  Why is it abandoned?  Good question….but that’s a story I’ll let Mac tell you sometime (as in the lead character…when you read the book) because frankly, he tells it much better than I (really, it’s too funny). 

Every time I started reading the story I would pick up a mobster-like accent, adding a huge dose of fun if you are reading it aloud (which I was at times to a family member and they were as entranced with the story as I).  It couldn’t be helped!  I kept picturing little Mac…I mean Mac…and his buddy Vince taking care of business one satisfied customer at a time.  Need a favor?  Sure…but I may need to call on you for one in the future.  –insert appropriate accent and chin scratching here-- I mean whether or not it happens today (which if it does…whoa…), the story was so vividly described you can’t help but form images of this group.  Speaking of images...

The character representation was wonderful.  I especially liked how the bullies we meet throughout the course of the story are not of your cookie-cutter variety.  You know…big BIG brick wall type build, usually male, not-too-quick physically or mentally, and all about the fight.  This bunch…let’s just say their descriptions run the gambit from the quick and nimble (Little Paul) to the gossip girlish (PrepSchool) and everything in between…and you’d never guess (name wise at least) who the most fear-inducing one is.  Nope…not Staples, though he is pretty hardcore and fairly sharp (pun somewhat intended).  This is a secret I’ll share…partially at least.  Ready?  The bully that wins the “Most Feared” Award is….


Told you that you wouldn’t believe me but I promise he (yes, HE) is one scary dude.  O_O  Definitely want to stay on his good side…or maybe even off his radar completely. 

I will say one thing though….this would be a great book turned movie.  I don’t often entertain that notion because really, what Hollywood decides to make and doesn’t is beyond my influence, but I could definitely see this one being a big hit.  You’ve got humor, suspense, danger, mystery, butt kicking (oh come on…that does well in movies, in fact there are several about ONLY that), with a side of friendship.  No, scratch that.  There is quite a bit of friendship just not of the flowers and skipping through meadows variety…more the “brotherly love” we girls aren’t exactly familiar with (at least in the extremes it is taken), but the emotional connection forged we can certainly relate to.

All in all, it portrays kids in real life situations with problems that extend beyond what to wear or who is fighting with whom (though those are valid too) and looks at ways they can be dealt with.  Though I can’t say that every school’s abandoned bathroom or backyard is a mini-mafia-type boss’ homestead, the problems they deal with personally and for others are dead on…no pun intended.  It’s the have’s and the have not’s.  Some see them and rebel against them because of their own troubles (like Staples) while others take the high road without looking down upon their fellow man (like Mac…and Vince) but in the end it’s all about being able to coexist without letting one rule the other….and if that can’t happen, putting the smack down on the offending party.  – HIYA! – No, no…just kidding!  Issues can resolved through non-violent means, when in doubt involve an adult to help set things straight.  Keep your friends close and be careful who you “cut free”.  You never know if one day that friendship would have changed your life…or theirs.

Though this blog tour is beginning to wind down, there are still a few stops yet to come you definitely want to take note of.

Friday 4/15 – Interview at A Reader’s Ramblings
Saturday 4/16 – Interview at Teach 8 YA Book Blog
Saturday 4/16 – Review and Giveaway at Tracey Edward Wymer’s Blog
Sunday 4/17 – Interview at Kid Lit Frenzy
Monday 4/18 – Review and Giveaway at Read Now Sleep Later

Review copy received courtesy of Kellie at Walden Pond Press.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog of bookish goodness, be sure to visit their website, blog, or follow along on Twitter.  To find out more about the author, seek out his website for all there is to know (for now) on this “Author.  Unicorn collector.  Amateur drifter.  Etc.” (seriously, his welcome page alone is a hoot).  Still looking for more adventure?  Not to worry.  Check out the Books & Games site from HarperCollins Children's Books (of which Walden Pond Press is an imprint of) for more great information on this title, a few soon to come games related to it, sweepstakes and more reading adventures.


And now for something totally unexpected…well, unexpected if you forgot the title of this post that is… (hehe)….time for a giveaway!  That’s right.  Thanks to Kellie at Walden Pond Press, I get the fabulous opportunity to offer YOU a CHANCE TO WIN!  Here’s the scoop….

The prize…
(1) Hardback copy of The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander
(1) SIGNED bookplate from the author

(Too cool, right?  Feel free to “squee”, I won’t hold it against you.)

How to enter…
Fill out THIS FORM.

The rules...
*Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only! No P. O. Boxes please.

* Entries will be accepted from Friday, April 15th, 2011 through Friday, April 29th, 2011 at midnight CST. The entries will be tallied and entered into the randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator. (This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post. You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
* The winner will be announced and contacted via email Monday, May 2nd, 2011 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. Should they fail to respond in the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen. If you choose to include your full name and mailing address in your contest entry, no worries....the time frame issue is erased.
*Winner's name and address will be forwarded to the publisher for prize send out only and then discarded.


That's all she wrote.
Good luck everyone!

Now, it seems I have a little business to attend to here with Mac and Vince, so if you don't mind....please shut the door on your way out.

Until next time...happy reading.


Misha said...

You write the most entertaining reviews!
I love how the cover of The Fourth Stall seems to be making fun of The Godfather cover. It seems like a hilarious read. I am very tempted to read it.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

I love the way you make all these asides from the main review - I always find myself mentally whispering etc in the indicted places.

Teresa said...

Thats it, I'm convinced. I must read this book. Fantastic review.

Mary Ellen said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win! said...

Wow that was quite a review! I thought I might enter this one to see if I can win the book for my nephews - brothers 2 years apart.
Both readers!

I'm a follower of your blog.

dancealert at aol dot com

Gina said...

Misha: Thanks! ^_^ Agreed on the just points at the fun inside.

Petty witter: LOL. Glad you're drawn into them.

Teresa: Yay! *high five*

Mary Ellen: My pleasure.

Brenda: sounds like a plan! good luck.

The1stdaughter said...

I'm so glad to hear I wasn't alone on not being drawn to this one at first. It just didn't grab me for one reason or another, I don't know why. But boy am I glad I picked it up after all! SO SO good!

I loved all of Mac's little detours with his story telling as well. I think sometimes authors do that and it bogs the story down, not the case at all here. This would absolutely make a fantastic movie and one that would be great for adults and kiddos alike.

Love your "accent" and of course, Kitten! Both fantastic! Fabulous review as usual! Loved it! :o)

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