BLOG TOUR - Essence by Lisa Ann O'Kane **GIVEAWAY**

Welcome to my Blog Tour stop for 
Essence by Lisa Ann O'Kane

I have for you my review, a giveaway and Lisa Ann reveals some random facts about herself!!

Thank you Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

Autumn escaped a cult, but now she realizes she’s fallen into another.
Growing up in San Francisco’s Centrist Movement, sixteen year-old Autumn Grace has always believed emotions—adrenaline, endorphins, even happiness—drain your Essence and lead to an early death. But her younger brother’s passing and a run-in with a group of Outsiders casts her faith into question.

Ryder Stone, the sexy, rebellious leader of the Outsiders, claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic — and he can prove it.

Autumn follows Ryder to his Community of adrenaline junkies and free spirits in Yosemite National Park, and they introduce her to a life of adventure, romance, sex, drugs and freedom. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realizes the more she risks in search of the perfect rush, the further she has to fall.


So I am tired today, this is due to the fact that I had to find out how this amazing book finished, so please forgive my grumpiness, but it is all worth it as Essence was unlike anything I have read before.

Set in San Francisco in our near future, earthquakes have hit and the city is rebuilding itself but out of the chaos comes a movement, The Centrists led by Cedar, a man who believes that when we are born our bodies have a finite amount of "essence" or what we would refer to as emotions, the members of this movement show no emotion, happiness, laughter even exercising is forbidden.

Following the death of her younger brother, Autumn starts to question her life and the whole Centrist way of life, her brother was allowed to die as the elders said he had run out of "essence", she doubts this as he was only 6 and following a dressing down from the elders for grieving her brother she runs in to the remains of Golden Gate Park to pull herself together but what she finds there is a little more than the peace she wanted, she finds three teenagers hidden away calling themselves Outsiders, they are ex-centrists who have fled the movement who have made their life hidden away from everyone, they do not believe the whole "essence" theory and they encourage Autumn to consider her life, consider the fact her brother could have been saved if the elders had allowed him medical treatment.

She has a big decision to make, will she leave her mother and aunt behind or will she run away with these people she barely knows but who offer the chance to live a normal life?  The decision is made for her as Cedar announces that she is going to be sent to a Centrist retreat but of course she doesn't get there.  She goes with the Outsiders - Ryder, Jett and Cody who take her along with fellow member Javi.

This is the first time she has been out of the San Francisco bay area and when she gets to their destination she is blown away - Yosemite National Park has been abandoned following the earthquakes and Ryder, along with her father Rex have set up a community here to help recovering centrists.

So I don't want to spoil what happens next for you but to give you some teasers as Autumn wakes up to a world of possibility she starts to notice boys!, she also gets to experience the highs and lows of living in such a beautiful place, she also needs to learn who to trust as sometimes the people she puts her faith in are holding back the facts, she experiences a lot of firsts, namely sex, drink and drugs plus some truly scary outdoor pursuits.  

The question she begins to wonder is that this is all to be good to be true, what are they hiding?

Essence is a beautiful book, the settings of San Francisco and Yosemite are just perfect, the Centrist movement was just the perfect kind of creepy and when Autumn got to Yosemite it was also perfect as some of the answers to her questions you could see maybe there were holes in them, which gets you just desperate to find out how this ends up.

I would say it would be classed as young adult, but I am well out of that age bracket and I found it to be a great read.  It really shows that when the worst happens people take control of that situation and try and influence others in to their way of thinking but not everyone can be brainwashed so easily as Autumn proves in this book.

Essence is awarded 4 out of 5

Lisa Ann O’Kane is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel ESSENCE.

Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.

Some Random Facts About Lisa Ann O'Kane
  1. In the past fourteen years, I have lived in sixteen different houses in ten different cities in five different states in two different countries in two different hemispheres.
  2. My original childhood career goal was (literally) to be a garbage man, because I REALLY wanted to hang onto the back of the garbage trucks as they zoomed around town.
  3. I am too tall to be Cinderella, but that didn’t stop me from spending a couple of years working as a back-up dancer in Walt Disney World’s Tapestry of Dreams parade.
  4. I was once trapped on a remote cliff in Death Valley for several hours, and it honestly occurred to me that this was probably the last day of my life. I eventually escaped by making an unprotected, sideways climb across some crumbly rocks, and I still can’t believe I made it out of there alive.
  5. During my zookeeping career, a bottlenose dolphin, a raccoon and a red fox bit me. A mountain goat gored me, a great horned owl clawed me, and a Bactrian camel nearly crushed me between a gate and a barn.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

1 Winner will receive an E-Copy of ESSENCE, 
a Vintage Yosemite Map Pendant, Two collectible ESSENCE Buttons and a Metal Cuff.

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