Saturday, September 06, 2014

Review + Interview: First World Problems by Leigh Ann Kopans

Title: First World Problems
Series: A companion novel to Solving for Ex
Genre: Young Adult-Contemporary, Romance
Author: 
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 1st 2014
Source: Received an eARC from the author (Thanks!)
Recommended for: People who loves reading contemporary stories that will change the way you look at life.



GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: 

Sofia's had a really rough year - busted for cheating at prep school, dumped - dumped! - for the first time ever, and her new non-profit working stepmother is turning out to be an uppity bitch.

She deserves to treat herself. But when she throws herself a birthday party with 20 of her closest friends in Paris and (accidentally!) maxes out her dad's credit card in the process, he’s had enough of her attitude. As punishment, he switches her planned gap year touring Europe to one doing community service work with the evil stepmother’s relief organization in Guyana.

The rural village of Dabu needs help in every area from education to getting safe drinking water. But Sofia’s more concerned about her roommate Callum, the gardening expert, who calls Sofia "Princess" and scoffs at her distaste for sweaty, muddy, iguana-eating, outhouse-using life in Guyana.

Eventually, life on the equator, her work in the village, and especially Callum - with his brooding eyes and bewitching New Zealand accent - start to grow on Sofia. Life is rough in Guyana, but it’s roughest on the girls, whose families are too poor to send only the most promising boys in school. They’re trapped in a cycle that will keep them from ever making a better life for themselves, or for the village. Worse, Callum doesn’t seem to think any of the changes Sofia envisions are actually necessary.

Determined to change the girls’ futures, she comes up with a strategy to help them and, ultimately, the village. But what starts out as a plan to convince Callum and her father that she’s fallen in love with Guyana, turns into the realization that maybe she’s falling for Callum, too. And that by changing these girls’ lives, she might also be changing her own.

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Please welcome, LeighAnn Kopans, to the blog!

1. When and why did you start writing books?

Leigh: I started writing late in 2010, when I was unexpectedly a stay at home mom and couldn't stand spending all day every day taking care of the kids, cleaning up the house, rinse and repeat. I had this sense that I really NEEDED to create something lasting, and I'd always loved reading, so I thought I'd try my hand at writing a book. I wrote during naptime, and soon after that I started using the time after they went to bed, too, then weekends. I was hooked pretty quickly.

2. What is the best thing about writing books?
Leigh: My very favorite thing is coming up with the characters, really getting to know them before I even write a single word. I start to identify pieces of myself and my friends, real human parts that make them so very real. 

3. When you were younger, did you picture yourself as an author?
Leigh: That's such a funny question! My mom swears I loved to write, but I don't have any recollection of it.

4. What inspired you to write First World Problems?
Leigh: The title, actually! I thought the Twitter meme (#firstworldproblems) was so funny, and I started to think about how pretty much all problems in romance novels are first world problems. But what if I put a character in a third world setting? That's how the idea was born. 

5. What talent(s), aside from writing good books, do you have?
Leigh: Hm...I'm a very good baker. My challah bread is famous in the neighborhood. I've also picked up gardening, though I think the ghost that came with our house is to blame for that. I love photography, and I'm learning to make some fabulous mixed drinks, too. Oh, and I kickbox.

6. If you could be one fictional character for a day, who would you be?

Leigh: I'd be Elizabeth (Bennett) Darcy. She's too snarky for her own good, too rich to care, and she got the guy in the end anyway. (and he's CUTE!)

7. What is your message to those people who are aspiring to be an author someday?

Leigh: Just keep writing. Write more, then write even more. Know you're going to make mistakes, and be okay with it. Then, read. Read more than that. Then read one more book. Help someone else with her writing. Eventually, these small steps will make you into an author.

To Leigh; thanks for letting me interview you! I had fun and thank you also for letting me read your book. (Trust me, she's a very lovely person! <3)
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MY THOUGHTS:

GENERAL:

I received this book in exchange of my review, without knowing what it is about until I started reading it. I was really glad I had the chance to read this book. This is a powerful and moving story that will teach you a very important to lesson in life.

It was a wonderful book, I was really hooked with Sofia's story. Many things happened in this book. Some heartwarming and some heartbreaking. I adore this book because it changed the way I look at life. It taught me to appreciate everything I have, no matter how big or small it is, because some people out there doesn't even have anything.

CHARACTERS:

The main character, Sofia Cole, is a spoiled rich brat from Pittsburgh. She was sent to Guyana, a rural village in Dabu (which is near the Amazon rainforest), to do a community service with her so-called evil stepmother's relief organization because she accidentally maxed out her Dad's credit card when she threw a party in Paris with her friends. (Can you imagine how ridiculously rich Sofia is? A PARTY IN PARIS?! Wow.) Sofia acted really bitchy at first but I liked how bitchy she was. Her character was flawed but she seemed very genuine, and I like that too. I really like it when authors make the characters very real.

Aside from Sofia, there's also Callum, Lena, and Arielle, who are also doing community service for the people in Guyana. Each of them helps in the community. Ari helps in the hospital, Lena teaches children, and Callum is working in the farm.

Callum was really hard on Sofia, at first, because he thinks Sofia won't survive in Guyana because she's so attached to her fabulous life back in Pittsburgh but as the story progresses, Callum was wrong. Sofia survived and she even changed for the better. She started to appreciate things around her. She started turned into a Sofia that everyone will love. Character development? 101 percent.

PLOT & WRITING STYLE:

The plot was actually cool. I love that it was inspired by a meme (#firstworldproblems). Everything was well-built, which is totally great. If it was me, I couldn't even get myself to write book inspired by a meme. The author is truly a genius. 

As for the writing style, I must say I am really impressed. This is the first book I have read from Kopans and because of this book, I'll definitely read all of her upcoming books. (P.S I'll be reading Solving For Ex next week, hopefully!)

FINAL VERDICT:

This is the kind of book that will change you and the way you look at life. Everything was great about this book. I found nothing wrong about this book. This is totally one of my best reads this year! I suggest y'all should grab a copy because this is definitely worth reading!
 
RATING:
5/5 hearts!
Totally an awesome read, highly recommended! 

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About Leigh Ann Kopans:

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Her debut novel, ONE, is about a girl with only half a superpower, the boy who makes her fly, and her struggle to make herself whole.

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)

Author Links:

Troglodyte forever,

3 comments:

  1. Kinda reminds me of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father. It really sounds promising; I'll have to check it out.
    Beautiful blog; I followed! Follow back?
    http://www.spacebetweenthespines.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read 52 Reasons to Hate My Father. You should really check this book out because it was amazing! Thanks for stopping by our humble blog. (I followed back!) ;)

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    2. Thanks for following Brittany! <3 Hope you enjoy reading our post!!!

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