Publisher's note: Sydney is a straight-A student heading to college on a scholarship, and Alex is a quiet jock preparing to serve an LDS mission. But their dreams are shattered on the eve of their high school graduation when they find out that Sydney is pregnant. Separated, they must both trust in God as they search for the worth they once found in each other.
My Review: Based on real-life events, Stephanie Worlton's debut novel Hope's Journey is a definite must read for any teenager, young adult or parent of a teen. The author tackles the sensitive subject of teen pregnancy in a very tasteful and mature manner and I thought the emotions expressed by both the adults and teenagers were as real as it gets. The author did a great job grabbing your attention by emerging you in both Alex's point of view and Sydney's point of view. It was difficult to get through this book without tears. Sydney's and Alex's characters were defined and well-rounded, the plot was very well developed, and the story is definitely heart-rendering. Stephanie did a wonderful job showing the growth and development of the characters as they progress on their journey of denial, anger, acceptance, forgiveness, and ultimately hope. I had a difficult time getting into the story at first, but once in the heart of the plot, it was impossible to put down. I think this is a wonderful debut novel. Well done!
To purchase a copy of Hope's Journey visit Amazon Today!
To learn more about Stephanie visit her BLOG!
Also, today I am excited to feature an author interview! Stephanie is an amazing person and just the sort of mom who I would love to hang out with! I hope you enjoy meeting Stephanie Worlton, and I appreciate the time she took to answer a few questions.
1. Tell us about yourself
I was raised in Sandy, Utah and studied Architecture and German language at the University of Utah. I’m a very visual person and creating stuff is as natural to me as breathing. I’m lucky enough to be married to my best friend and high school sweetheart and together we have four children who are amazingly independent and smart. I’m a warm-weather, outdoors kind of girl. I love the summer sun and I honestly enjoy getting my hands a little dirty. We spend a lot of time camping, 4-wheeling, and even fishing (which to me is simply a boat ride with a book!). I think the seasons are overrated and would love to live somewhere where it was summer all the time.
2. Tell us about your book, Hope’s Journey.
Hope’s Journey is the story of high-school sweethearts, Alex and Sydney, who have big plans for their futures. Sydney’s got several scholarships on the table and Alex is preparing to serve an LDS mission when all of their carefully constructed plans collapse because Sydney gets pregnant. Separately, they venture through self-doubt, confusion, heart-ache and failure as they try to piece their broken lives back together. Their journeys lead them to discover the power of faith, forgiveness, and ultimately…. hope.
3. What inspired you to write Hope’s Journey?
Simply put, I was told to do it… and I do what I’m told (most of the time, anyway). Beyond that, I’ve had the opportunity to work with youth (kids 12 -18) for most of my adult life, and over the years I’ve shared my personal teen-pregnancy story both privately and publically (in small groups) with some of them. As a result I’ve seen the influence that honesty and understanding can have on changing lives. In recent years, society has glorified teen and single-parent pregnancy and honestly, there simply isn’t anything glorious or fun about it! There are a handful of books with the subtext of teen-pregnancy, but when I read them not once did I feel like they’d captured the reality of what that young woman – or young man for that matter – were going through. I wanted to tell a story that was authentic, but more than that, I wanted to breakdown some stereotypes, persuade girls to strengthen their resolve to make good choices, and to create an atmosphere of hope for those who’ve already crossed the line.
To read more about the BACKSTORY, check out my blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/2011/10/back-story-following-inspiration.html
4. What first sparked your interest in writing?
I think writing is something I’ve always enjoyed although up until a few years ago I’d have never believed that I’d actually write a novel – being an author wasn’t on, or even near, my to-do list. But, writing Hope’s Journey was something I knew I had to do. And, it was definitely a learning process. I guess it goes to show that you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks! I’ve learned just how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to write and hope to be able to publish many more works.
5. What are some of your favorite hobbies, besides writing?
My husband accuses me of being the energizer bunny because I have such a hard time sitting still. I love to draw and paint and build things. I frequently can be found sitting on my porch swing, tape measure in hand, designing one project or another – and when I say project I don’t mean cute little crafty things… Think bigger scale, like furniture, or lighted crown-molding, or (my current distraction) a cute cottage looking shed for all my gardening tools.
6. What is your favorite food?
There was a time I would’ve said ice cream but I’ve concluded that it’s really the hot fudge that I love. I have the most irresistible recipe for fudge and, honestly, it doesn’t have to be hot to be delicious, nor does it need to be accompanied by ice cream.
7. What are you current projects?
I have a really hard time focusing on one project at a time (I think I may have adult onset ADD – if there is such a thing). I have two projects however that are continually on my mind (and on my laptop screen). Both are novels about strong women – one about overcoming domestic violence and the other about how thin the veil between this life and the spirit world is. I’m also writing a children’s book that my brother is illustrating, and developing a series that I will be co-writing with my brilliant husband.