Author: Elana Johnson
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Publisher: AEJ Creative Works
About ELEVATED: The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she’s been avoiding for five months.
Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.
But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.
When I agreed to review a copy of Elevated in exchange for a fair review, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. At least that’s what I thought after reading reviews on Goodreads which spoke about how Elevated is formatted. I’m so not into poetry, quite frankly, and the close association freaked me the hell out. I don’t think it’s literally poetry, as I had feared, and I’m not sure of the technical term for it either. It’s formatted into short paragraphs, and well, I’m going to stop attempting to confuse you with my piss poor explanations. It’s different, and not in a bad way. I haven’t been in “reading mode” in quite a while and this is the first book I’ve read this new year. Yeah, it’s the end of February, I’m a book reviewer, and I haven’t read squat except Entertainment Weekly. I’m hoping my brain has gotten a little kick start from this little gem.
Elevated switches back and fourth between the past and the present, but the change isn’t jarring. Elly avoids using the elevator in her building, choosing to walk the sixteen floors to her apartment.
The girl ain’t crazy, she’s depressed and avoiding someone.
Enter the fateful day that she can’t use the stairs and the poor thing almost goes into a panic attack just looking at that damned elevator. She gets on and then it stops before her floor and Travis gets on.
The boy she’s pined after. The boy she lost. The boy whose calls she hasn’t returned for the past five months.
Then the elevator gets stuck.
And that’s when things get interesting.
While the elevator is at a standstill, Travis implores Elly to open up to him and she reminisces more about what happened to lead them up to this point. Tears are shed. Secrets are revealed.
Elevated is not some fluffy YA read. It’s not all hearts and flowers and happy smilie faces. There’s pain and heartbreak and bad family dynamics and betray and love and guilt. All of that is wrapped very nicely into one heart wrenching, heart clenching, intense novel that leaves you sad, but at the same time full of hope. Hope that these two characters, Elly and Travis, can somehow make sense of their lives – even if it is apart. Hope that perhaps Elly will stop blaming herself for everything that has ever gone in her life and just enjoy a day, an hour even, on this planet. The words on the page, even in e-form, were sometimes heartbreaking to get through as so many emotions were behind each paragraph and each word.
Elevated ended up being so much better than I had ever expected or hoped for.
Praise for ELEVATED:
“ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love.”
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not
“Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page.”
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go
About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for free download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.