Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer (Review)


Today I am participating in a book tour for Amy Allgeyer's upcoming novel DIG TOO DEEP (April 1st, 2016 by Albert Whitman). 


Release date: April 1, 2016 
Author links: Goodreads - Website
Publisher: Albert Whitman
Pages: 272

Description (from Goodreads):

With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother-- her 'former' mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn't the same as Liberty remembers, and it's not just because the top of Tanner's Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange--the same water that officials claim is safe to drink. When Granny's lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty is convinced the mine is to blame, and starts an investigation that quickly plunges her into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Liberty isn't deterred by any of it, but as all her searches turn into dead ends, she comes to a difficult decision: turn to violence like her former mother or give up her quest for good.



What would you do if you didn't have clean water? What if the water that comes to your house via pipes could make you sick? Those are questions Liberty is faced with when she is forced to move away from Washington D.C. to live with her grandmother in Kentucky. After her mother gets into trouble with the law, Liberty leaves her private high school and her best friend behind and journeys to a place where she never thought she would end up living at. Very quickly she notices that things are not quite as they were the last time she visited her grandmother - the top of the peak close to her grandmother's house has been blown away to mine for coal and a lot of people in the town are getting sick, Liberty's grandmother included. Though Liberty insists that she is different from her activist mother, she cannot help but to get involved in an attempt to bring justice to the sick townies. With the help of a few people from the town who actually believe what she is saying, she gets deeper and deeper into the secrets of the mining company. But gaining more information comes with consequences...

This book really made me think of my privilege. I live in a country where our tap water is clean and fresh and does not make us sick. The idea of actually buying bottled water almost makes me laugh, because why would I pay two euros for something I can get for free from the tap. While I lived in US, I got used to the idea of drinking bottled water, but still took showers and washed my teeth with the tap water. The couple of times I've been to the South of Europe and been told that I should use bottled water also when washing my teeth, I have felt like it's a burden. This book really made me think about that and how lucky I am. 

Prior going to this book, I didn't really know much about mining or mining towns (other than watching Hallmark's When Calls the Heart....), but as I kept reading this one, I googled information about mining towns and mountaintop removal mining and found some interesting facts that I probably never would have come across to if it wasn't for this book. When it comes to crisis's with water, with the situation ongoing in Flint, Michigan, I was a bit more aware of the dangers of contaminated water supply. With the situation going in Flint, I think Allgeyer's book is released just at the right time - while Flint's situation is not connected to mining, the overall focus on contaminated water is something that is very current right now. 

Liberty is an interesting character and one that I started to like all the way from the beginning of this novel. She is stubborn and headstrong, which is something that I can definitely identity with. I also liked that she is flawed and though she means best, she does not always think things completely through before acting. She is idealistic and ready to fight for causes important to her, but she does not always succeed to look at both sides of the situation. I think the town as a setting is very interesting, because while these people are getting sick, they know that things could be even worse without the mine business in town - they are willing to risk their health in order to keep their families fed. 

One of the aspects of this book I liked the most was the relationship between Liberty and her grandmother. I really loved the dynamics of that relationship, the witty dialogue and the way they are able to trust each other despite the fact that they have spend years apart. While Liberty's mother is not present for much of the novel, the complicated relationship Liberty has with her is also something I enjoyed reading about. There is a slight romantic aspect to this novel, but overall I would say it is more about the struggle Liberty goes through to have her voice heard. Following Liberty on her journey is very empowering - she is ready to fight for what she sees as right, and it was awesome to read about a young girl who is ready to take risks for the well-being of those she loves.

Allgeyer's novel both well paced and written. Overall, once I started reading it I had a difficult time putting it down, because every single ending of a chapter made me feel like I need to know more. Dig Too Deep is a very current, well-written, interesting and fast-paced story about a little Kentucky town and the people who are willing to fight for their right to healthy lives. 


ABOUT AMY:


The youngest of seven kids, Amy has been writing stories since she first learned to

make her letters face the right way. Her work has appeared in Family Fun, A Fly in

Amber and Stories for Children. As an architect, she spends her days restoring

hundred-year-old homes in Boise where she lives with her son, a feral house cat,

and a fake owl named Alan. She hates chocolate, but loves vegetables. She also loves

travelling to foreign lands and the smell of honeysuckle on humid Southern nights.

Amy is represented by the lovely and amazing Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow

Literary.

Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

GIVEAWAY:

2 winners will receive a signed ARC of DIG TOO DEEP, and a silver starfish

bookmark, magnet, button, and "Make Your Own mini-protest sign" kit, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR STOPS:

3/21/2016 - Curling Up With A Good Book (interview)
3/22/2016 - ReadReadRead (review)
3/23/2016 - Two Chicks on Books (guest post)
3/24/2016 - The Phantom Paragrapher (review)
3/25/2016 - The Cover Contessa (interview)
3/28/2016 - 5 Girls Book Reviews (review)
3/29/2016 - A Dream Within a Dream (guest post)
3/30/2016 - Queen of All She Reads (review)
3/31/2016 - Wanderlust & Books (interview)
4/1/2016 - The Bookish Angel (review)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Milka! Thanks so much for hosting me, and taking time to write such a thorough and lovely review! :)

    ReplyDelete