I’m thrilled to be a part of Kelsey Macke’s DAMSEL DISTRESSED Blog Tour, and I’ve got lots of great stuff for you in today’s spotlight! This is a very special project, including not only the beautiful novel, but also a companion CD to go along with it! It’s the perfect way to experience DAMSEL DISTRESSED! Sit back and enjoy as I present all of the details about the book and album, a book review, plus a giveaway opportunity! Be sure to enter below!
About DAMSEL DISTRESSED:
Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters’ story. Those girls don’t get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing
Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.
When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.
While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.
And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.
Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain.
PURCHASE DAMSEL DISTRESSED:
Miss Riki’s Review:
I had to take a step back and ponder a little after reading this book, but I mean that only in the best of ways. I think I felt every emotion ever felt by a reader while reading this book, and I wanted to bask in the beauty of such a well crafted and singularly touching novel. Now that I’ve had a chance to sit with my feelings (and oh- there were so many!) I’m ready to put together a more coherent review.
First off, I cannot imagine a single more endearing and heartfelt character than Imogen Keegen. She’s absolutely everything you could possibly ask for in a protagonist. She’s wounded and emotional, yet snarky and smart. She’s a good friend and a dutiful cast mate. She’s the kind of character that you want to be friends with in real life! She’s that girl you just want to wrap your arms around and tell her everything is going to be okay, even when all signs point to the idea that they might not be. The author takes Imogen on a complete journey, and although she falters along the way, she comes out on the other side a more complete and well-rounded person. I cried for Imogen. I cheered for Imogen. I hated for Imogen. In short, I absolutely adored Imogen. She’s unlike any character I’ve ever read in YA, and I loved her.
The secondary characters in this novel are every bit as complex and well developed as Imogen, and I found myself identifying with each one of them. Grant is swoon-worthy and geeky, all at the same time, and I dare you not to crush on him. Even Ella Cinder- the by-all-means evil stepsister, has more dimension that meets the eye. I fell in love with the extremely likable cast of characters and friends that surround Imogen at school and in the production of Once Upon a Mattress and my heart broke when unforeseen circumstances come between them. Every character has a purpose in this novel, and you’ll fall in love with every one of them.
Damsel Distressed handles some very important topics, including depression and self-harm, but it does so with extreme care and tact. There are greater lessons about fitting in and loving yourself evident in the text, but it never once feels didactic. It is simply an honest portrayal of one girl’s struggle with very real problems.
I highly recommend this novel. It is exemplary contemporary young adult with a compelling voice and well-crafted characters. I was taken on the full emotional journey in reading Imogen’s story, and I think that readers everywhere will love her as much as I do.
ABOUT IMOGEN UNLOCKED:
Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen, a girl who’s survived the years after her mother’s death by focusing squarely on her best friend, Grant, musical theatre, and lots of cheese. The book is full of humor and heart, and also contains a few surprises. Full page sketches are scattered throughout the novel, and each one contains a QR code that corresponds to a song from the book’s soundtrack. Imogen Unlocked is a 12-song album of original music written by the author and her husband Daron as their indie-pop band, Wedding Day Rain. Together, the book Damsel Distressed and the soundtrack Imogen Unlocked work together to tell the story of a girl who might just make her own Happily Ever After, if she can just hold herself together.
Imogen Unlocked Track Listing:
- No Goodbye
- Something About
- Don’t Wake Me Up
- Let Me Go
- My Strength
- Always Speak Too Late
- The End is Just the Beginning
- Breathe Easy
- Edge of the Fall
About Kelsey Macke:
Kelsey Macke has been creative for as long as she can remember. From an early age she was on stage singing, penning poetry, and writing notebooks full of songs. When the idea for her debut novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, popped into her head, she was undeterred by the fact that she had no idea how to actually write a novel. Her bff, the internet, was her guide, and after much trial, error, and candy, she finished it, and set out to get it published… a process far more difficult than, the internet (now her mortal enemy), had lead her to believe.
Her whirlwind adventure was made even more unbelievable when she signed with fabulous agent, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and, shortly after, Danielle Ellison of Spencer Hill Contemporary bought her debut.
This innovative, mixed-media art project has given Kelsey an incredibly unique opportunity to join two of her passions: writing and making music with her husband as half of the folky, indie-pop band Wedding Day Rain.