You're Losing Me, Kid: 'Phantom Limbs' Blog Tour

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Phantom Limbs

Author: Paula Garner
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Death, Realistic Fiction, Disability, Romance, LGBT, Coming of Age, Family
Publisher: Candlewick
Page Number: 368 Pages

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How do you move on from an irreplaceable loss? In a poignant debut, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief—or be swept away by it.

Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed forever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.


Loss. It's something that we all experience. But do some people feel it even more than others? Does losing your best friend/crush feel worse than losing your limbs? This book explores the complex pain of loss in a unique fashion by following a horny teenage boy and his long lost crush now found.

Dara was the best. She was the only character I truly liked in this entire book. She was sassy and snarky. I'm a sucker for sassy and snarky. But she was too harsh on everybody for me to love her. But she was cool. I wouldn't ever hang out with her; she's probably hit me a lot and verbally abuse me. But I wouldn't mind watching her from a mile away. Like watching a tiger in the zoo. Because Dara is a tiger.

The emotions that Meg had were so...painful. It hurt to read it. I felt so sorry for her. And I know that people who've gone through loss aren't strangers to pity. She would hate the pity, but I still pity her. She had such a strong connection to Mason's death. It was so awful for her to go through that. I can't even imagine. The author wrote this pain so well. I feel, though, if this was Meg's story, I'd like it more.

But, I couldn't stand Otis. He is a horny teenage boy. There is no way to censor that. He thought about sex constantly and stared at every girl's ass. Even Dara's. I know that this is probably true with horny teenage boys all across the world, but we could have had less of this. It was a slap in the face. I'm used to people being perverted, but this is way too far. There is no reason for me to read this. I could talk to my Florida friends and get much funnier, perverted stuff.

I typically don't encourage people to chase after someone who doesn't want them. Not that I typically give relationship advice. But if this girl is gone, she's gone. Don't get hung up on her. Honestly, if I was Otis's friend, I'd give him some crazy good advice. For example, "Dude, she's gone. Leave it be" or "She has a boyfriend. Quit it." Stuff like that. But Otis's stalking is too far.


Paula Garner spends most of her time making food, drinks, and narratives, despite being surrounded by an alarming TBR pile and a very bad cat. Her debut YA novel, Phantom Limbs, comes out from Candlewick in 2016. Paula is represented by Molly Jaffa of Folio Lit, and lives in the Chicago area with her family.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:
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Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of PHANTOM LIMBS (US Only)

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