Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Author Interview and Book Review: The Next Forever by Lisa Burstein

Today I welcome Lisa Burstein, author of The Next Forever a very interesting take on what happens when a couple decides to test their relationship one night, it's a fast read, or it was for me. So grab your favorite cuppa and sit and learn a little more about Lisa, and read my review of The Next Forever and be sure and get your own copy of the book as well.  

What three things do you need in order to write?
Wine (don't tell my editor)
My Alphasmart http://assistivetech.sf.k12.sd.us/alphasmart_3000.htm
My cat purring in my lap

What's your favorite season?
Autumn. I love the smell of fireplaces and seeing the changing leaves. I am a sucker for a trip to a pumpkin patch.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?


I am currently in love with the New Adult genre even though I am a good 15-20 years older than the characters, so what made you choose to write a book in the New Adult genre?

I am really into it right now too. I think that time in someone's life is so interesting. You are an adult, but not. I was so excited to take the romantic leads from my YA Pretty Amy and throw them into the cauldron of college's temptations and choices.

What's the first sentence of The Next Forever?
“So is that a yes or a no?” Joe asked, a smile struggling to come to his lips—sunshine fighting through heavy gray clouds. He had just asked me to move in with him starting fall semester. I should have smacked my dining hall tray from the table and climbed across it to kiss him like we were on a plane going down, but all I could do was stare at my tray and run the tines of my fork over my uneaten mashed potatoes.

How would you describe The Next Forever?
It is sweet, sexy test of one couple's "happily ever after".

What can we expect next from you?
I have a companion novel to Pretty Amy coming out in March titled Dear Cassie that tells us the story of Amy's best friend Cassie, who has been sent to a wilderness rehabilitation camp and is told in diary format. There's also a swoon-worthy boy there.

My Review:
What would happen if both parties in a relationship started to feel just a bit trapped and on the same night went out to test the boundaries, to go back and see if they were the same people they were before the relationship?  Well that is what Lisa Burstein explores in The Next Forever and it makes it an interesting and fresh premise for a novella.  I think that's what I love about the New Adult genre is that it tackles a lot of things that are there but romance doesn't tackle.  It has the raw realism, but there are good endings most of the time too (and no I'm not giving away the ending I'm not saying if it's happy or not, you'll have to read).  The endings may not always go the way we think but they resolve and it's okay.

This is a novella so there is not a lot of time to get to know Amy or Joe, but I felt I did get to know them.  We spend a lot of time in their heads and I like that.  They are thrust into situations where they are trying to figure themselves and their relationship out so you can't help but get to know them no matter how short the format is.  Amy is actually featured in one of Ms. Burstein's earlier YA books, Pretty Amy, but I had not read it before reading this one, so I don't feel it's necessary.  The Next Forever touches on the arrest that takes place and some events from Pretty Amy but I don't think it spoils Pretty Amy nor do I think Pretty Amy is necessary for The Next ForeverThe Next Forever is the next chapter in their lives and can be read as a stand-alone.

The story moves along quickly with mainly the character development and the two parties as the backdrop as the plot.  I found the story to catch my attention easily.  I didn't really like Amy that much but I couldn't relate personally to her.  I could relate more to Joe.  But I think most women/girls reading it will fall on one or the other side.  That doesn't really matter, just because I couldn't relate to her didn't mean I didn't like the story, because I did. I was fascinated. I kept flipping my Kindle pages because I had to know what would happen next.  What they would do and how things would turn out.  I was invested in the characters.  Ms. Burstein made me care and that was what was most important.

The Next Forever is an interesting novella.  I think it is very worthwhile, tells a great story and has not-your-everyday characters in it.  If you are enjoying the latest New Adult craze then this is just the novella to fill in a few hours of reading.  I'm ready to go back and read Pretty Amy to learn more about Amy and her friends in preparation for Dear Cassie in a few months.  Ms. Burstein is a very interesting writer and I'm glad I received this introduction to her.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the book:

Title: The Next Forever
Author: Lisa Burstein
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary
Length: 97 pages
Release Date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-003-2
Imprint: Ever After
One night in college can change everything… Away at college, Amy just wants one night alone without her high school sweetheart, Joe. So when he invites her to go to the library, she heads off on her own instead. How she ended up at a house party with the mysterious bad-boy Trevor is another story…

Joe so isn’t going to the library. He needs space from Amy, too, so he’s decided to rush a fraternity, to get back the swagger he had in high school. But it doesn’t take long for the brothers to invite him to the real rush—where the beer is flowing and one particular girl has set her eyes on Joe.

Over the course of one wild night, both Amy and Joe will have to decide if their futures belong with two new people, or whether the next forever will have their first loves in it.

About the Author:
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom.


***I received this book from Entangled Publishing for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***