Friday, March 6, 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post, Giveaway & Review: Charisma by Jeanne Ryan

 Today on WinterHaven Books I am super excited to join in the blog tour for Jeanne Ryan!  Her latest book Charisma is one that really made me think about what I would do if I were given the chance to be not shy.  I really pondered this for a long time so when I got the opportunity to ask Ms. Ryan almost the exact same thing I squeed!  Her answer below really blew me away take a look...

If you could take Charisma and the effects would only last for one day, what moment in time would you like to travel back to and redo with the added benefits?

This is such an awesome question. There are hundreds of moments I’d love to go back and “fix.” However, as the country song goes, since every broken highway eventually led to meeting my sweet husband, I know better than to go back and mess with any romantic entanglements (even with the jerks), unless doing so could’ve brought me to my Mr. Right even sooner.
Instead, an incident that quickly came to mind took place during sophomore year when my English class had a substitute one day, and several of my fellow students noticed she was wearing hearing aids. One of these students also possessed the knowledge that if you made a kind of shushing sound, it would play havoc with hearing aid receptors, so this girl and the kids around her began a low drone under their breaths. They in turn tapped other kids to add to the white noise. I didn’t join in, but to my regret I didn’t speak up either. My sorry excuse is that I was painfully shy and didn’t have the spine to stand up to bullies, on my own behalf or anyone else’s.
I sat and watched, at first thinking it wouldn’t go on for more than a minute. But as the substitute sat at the front of the room, her expression became ever more confused. The kids responded by shushing louder, keeping their lips positioned so it wasn’t obvious what they were up to. I cringed, wishing they’d stop, but still staying quiet. Static noise enveloped the room and the teacher became agitated, and more agitated. Her discomfort only fueled the kids, who could barely contain their snickers. Ultimately, she hurried from the room in tears. The kids responsible just laughed.
So, if I had a chance to go back in time and use some Charisma, that would’ve been a worthy day. Maybe an eloquent, more outspoken version of myself could’ve convinced them not to prey upon that woman or anyone else.

Awesome right?!  Jeanne thank you so much for stopping by!!  You are made of pure awesomeasuce!
Here's a bit more information about Charisma and my review of this captivating novel.

CharismaCharisma by Jeanne Ryan
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller

Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it's too late.

Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.
My Thoughts:
Would what you do if you were given the opportunity to go from the shy person in the corner to the outgoing center of attention.  What if the only way for this to happen was for you to accept a drug that hasn't been tested yet?  The guarantee is there though, you would become a social butterfly overnight.  Interested?

This is the basic premise of Charisma.  The main character, Aislyn is offered a once in a lifetime chance to rid herself of her shyness.  Her shyness has cost her friends, a boyfriend, and the most important of all a scholarship.  Aislyn knows she has to do something and when her mentor hands over a cure in a syringe things change overnight for her.  This story isn't a simple one though.  Things aren't as black and white as they seem at first and terrible things start happening.

What really intrigued me about this story was the gene therapy and how in this story it could change a persons personality.  I won't lie I was incredibly shy and awkward growing up and if I had had a chance to change myself at that age I'm not sure I could have passed up the opportunity.  It would have been incredibly tempting.  This is one of the reasons why I think Ms.Ryan has a hit with this one.  I bet 9 out of 10 people will relate to Aislyn.  It's hard growing up and when you hit high school for most people it gets even harder.  

 Aislyn was a great character.  I could really relate to her and her shyness.  I think that helped me connect with the story even more. I wanted her to get over her shyness. If she had been written as selfish I wouldn't have thought she deserved the chance, but Aislyn really surprised me.  She didn't just use her new found boldness for her own gain, she helped spread the word about gene therapy for her little brother who had cystic fibrosis.  I really admired her for that.  Did I think she did a few crazy things to find out the truth yes definitely, but I understand what was driving her and couldn't hold it against her.  

I was thankful for her friend Evie.  Evie tried helping Aislyn the best she could and when things went wrong Evie stood her ground and told her what she thought.  I even liked that Evie stood up for Aislyn's mom.  It's hard being a friend and a voice of reason, but I think teens need to see that it can be done.  Shoot even adults need to see it.

I also really loved how the author chose to write Aislyn's mom.  I have seen way too many YA books recently where the parents are just non existent and it's really starting to bug me.  Aislyn's mom was front and center and didn't let her daughter get away with too much.  Plus Aislyn helped her mom.  There were a couple of forgetful moments but in the grand scheme both were there for each other and it was nice to see a different type of relationship.

I can't wait for more people to read this.  It was a very interesting read that made me question what I would have done if given the same opportunity.  

4.5 snowflakes 

About the Author:
 I’ve lived all over the world, raised in a family with eleven brothers and sisters. I spent my early childhood in Hawaii and the rest of my growing-up years trying to figure out a way to get back there, with stops in South Korea, Michigan and Germany along the way. Before writing fiction, I tried my hand at many things, including war game simulation and youth development research. But I decided it was much more fun to work on stories than statistics.
These days, I still love Hawaii, but have found my home under the moody skies of the Pacific Northwest.
Note, I post news on Twitter / Facebook / Website 

Because I really felt something for this book I am giving away a finished copy to one lucky reader. Open to wherever The Book Depository ships to.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Nope. I like keeping to myself.

  2. No, I don't think I would take something to make me more social. I choose to keep to myself.

  3. I might try it once but I don't think I'd do it very often. Thanks

  4. It sounds tempting, but I don't think I would it. Thanks for the giveaway! (Valentina -on the raffle)

  5. No 100%

    Megan @

  6. No, I don't think I would. I would rather not risk my health for something so superficial.

  7. At one point in my life, yes, but not anymore.

  8. No. I've always kind of been content with my social life. Not even taking the side effects into account I would say no.
    Thank you for the chance to win!

    Rafflecopter name: Elizabeth Holme