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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review and Giveaway: With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Tess Hilmo's beautiful middle-grade novel, With a Name Like Love, recently released in paperback, and I'm celebrating by sharing my review and giving away a new paperback copy courtesy of the author...

With a Name Like Love
Author: Tess Hilmo
Pub Date: 9/27/11
Pub: Macmillan
Format: paperback
Source: from author for review
When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession?  Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tess Hilmo’s With a Name Like Love is a moving and well-written middle-grade contemporary with charming characters, a wonderfully crafted setting, and a story that is equal parts mystery, humor, and heart. In 1957, thirteen year old Ollie Love and her four sisters travel with their mother and father, Reverend Everlasting Love, across the country, preaching in small towns. A stop in Binder, Arkansas finds Ollie a friend in Jimmy Koppel. Jimmy’s momma is in jail for murdering his father, but Jimmy says she’s innocent. And Ollie and the Reverend believe him. So the Loves set out to prove her innocence and help poor Jimmy, but a town full of judgmental folks stand in their way.

It’s books like With a Name Like Love that make middle-grade contemporaries my favorite books to read! In this book, Tess Hilmo tells a captivating story that may be set in 1957, but resonates loudly in any time. Love, friendship, faith, kindness- these are all themes woven throughout the story and explored honestly, yet in age appropriate ways. Hilmo’s storytelling and world-building simply shine! She impressed me with her ability to craft such poignant and quietly beautiful scenes and messages. I’m not usually a fan of books that heavily incorporate religion, but even though Ollie’s father is a Reverend and their Christian faith is important, With a Name Like Love never feels preachy or exclusive. At its lovely core, this story is first and foremost about the kind of faith that simply comes from love. Binder, Arkansas makes for a complex and realistic southern setting that, even with its ugly elements, managed to surprise and enchant me.

Hilmo’s characters are what really make this book sparkle! Realistic, endearing, lovable, sassy, sweet, and utterly charming- this is a great way to describe Ollie, her family, and Jimmy. These characters all feel so real and alive with personality. I just wanted to hug each and every one of them!

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The mystery elements are exciting, the humor is smart and amusing, the characters are delightful, the storytelling is highly entertaining, and the heart comes in heapfuls. With a Name Like Love is a great book that young and old readers alike will enjoy and appreciate. I look forward to reading more from Tess Hilmo!



Tess Hilmo

Win a paperback copy of 
With a Name Like Love!
Tess Hilmo has generously offered one paperback copy of her book for one winner.
-US/CAN only
-will end 10/11
-must be 13+, one main/free entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
Fill out the Rafflecopter form:


Evie said...

I just love the cover of this book! It's very different from anything I've seen before and it has this.. warmth to it! Love the cover art!
The book itself sounds really great, I'd love to give it a try! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Unknown said...

IT should be interesting to follow Ollie and her sisters as her father the Reverend travel across the country and what happens in small town Binder, Arkansas.

Michael G-G said...

I too love the cover, and I love the sound of the story. I'm glad to hear, Aeicha, that middle grade contemporaries are your favorite reads!

RadaliciouScents said...

I really like the reminds me of books I used to read :) I can't wait to read this one!!!

RadaliciouScents said...

I really like the reminds me of books I used to read :) I can't wait to read this one!!!