I was approached by the author to take part in a blog tour for her book Freedom Road, I accepted the invite to host a spotlight and a review. The first thing I noticed about Freedom Road was the amazing cover, the eyes for the character have a way of instantly grabbing your attention, when I read the synopsis I was intrigued and wanted to know more.
Samantha, the protagonist, is a guitarist in a band with friends, but after an accident caused by her Dad, it puts her guitar playing days in jeopardy, will she ever play again, and if she can will she be ready for her auditions?
I began reading with no idea what to expect, and by the time I had reached chapter four my heart was breaking for Samantha. Her life at home isn't easy, with a vacant Dad who is rarely around, and a Mum who is still grieving the loss of her child. Samantha is struggling to just be, to make it past each day. She is lost and afraid and I just wanted to take her out the book and keep her safe. One person who helps her try to see reason is Tad, her neighbours Grandson. He calls her out on her bullshit and tells her what's what.
Tad shook his head, then leaned it on his hand and turned toward me. "Seriously though. I don't get you. I mean, this whole..." He waved his hand at me. "This whole unworthy act. Like you're not worth anyone's time."
"I'm not acting."
"Which makes it even worse. That you would actually believe that."
[Tad to Samantha kindle location 1168]
When Laird comes on the scene, I never knew how to take him, I felt like he was hiding something but I could never put my finger on what it was or what bugged me about him. As we get to know him I began to realise he was one of the few people who were actually true to Samantha, who wanted her to succeed and follow her dreams, and without his and Tads support I'm not sure how Samantha could have coped.
I have never felt so much dislike for a character, Samantha's dad was a piece of work he is selfish and arrogant and did not know how talented Samantha was as he was too caught up in his own world.
Samantha is basically left with no one, only her neighbour June, Tad, and eventually Laird. Her friends are a lie, just wanting Samantha for her talent and the hopes she can make their dreams come true. They fail to see how hard she is struggling and trying to deal with her life.
Freedom Road was a surprising read, I didn't expect to experience the emotions I did or enjoy it as much as I did. Samantha is a fighter, and while it takes her a while to find the right path, once she is on it nothing can pull her away. For this alone I admire her strength and determination to carry on with what she believes. When she is hit with a shocking and life changing truth she is willing to drop everything and sacrifice her future, and only the persistence of Tad and Laird keep her going.
T.M. Souders has a way of drawing the reader in instantly, and letting them experience a wealth of emotions, pulling on your heart strings and making you emotionally invested in not only the characters themselves, but also their future. If there were to be a book released after Freedom Road that follows Samantha after what transpires I would definitely want to read it.