I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Corey Ann Haydu’s newest release, The Careful Undressing of Love. This most recent story of hers is Corey’s first foray into magical realism in the YA genre. I can honestly say that I was completely enthralled by the end of the first page and I could not tear my eyes away from the mystery surrounding the women of Devonairre Street which is why I’ll be giving you 5 reasons you should read The Careful Undressing of Love after this brief synopsis:
The girls of Devonairre Street have always been told they’re cursed. Any boy they love is certain to die too soon. But this is Brooklyn in 2008, and the curse is less a terror and more a lifestyle accessory—something funky and quaint that makes the girls from the shortest street in Brooklyn special. They wear their hair long and keys around their necks. People give them a second look and whisper “Devonairre” to their friends. But it’s not real. It won’t affect their futures.
Then Jack—their Jack, the one boy everyone loved—dies suddenly and violently. And now the curse seems not only real, but like the only thing that matters. All their bright futures have suddenly gone dark.
The Careful Undressing of Love is a disturbing and sensual story of the power of youth and the boundless mysteries of love set against the backdrop of Haydu’s brilliantly reimagined New York City.
- Beautiful prose – What struck me the most while reading The Careful Undressing of Love is the beautiful way that Corey Ann Haydu relays how our main character Lorna experiences the world. She has a way of turning the most simple observations into something worth examining. One of my favorite sentences in the book is on the very first page of the first chapter and it has stuck with me long after I finished reading. Lorna is watching a balloon float away from Devonairre Street on her shared birthday and she thinks “I think I wouldn’t mind being a red balloon against a blue Brooklyn sky, looking down over Devonairre Street.” It totally sets the mood for the story since the reader is technically that balloon, hovering over Lorna and co., getting inside information about their lifestyle without ever having to experience the grief of being fully involved.
- Complex feelings of grief and loss – The Careful Undressing of Love takes place in an alternate reality which is very close to ours but instead of 9/11, the characters are all Affected by a bombing in Times Square where they lost their loved ones. In this strange new future, everyone is required to learn the names of the Affected and there is a minute of silence each day to remember those who were lost, and those who survive them. But, this is not the only coping mechanism for loss and grief that’s present but I’ll explain more in my fifth reason.
- An intriguing curse – According to Angelika, the driving force in perpetuating remembrance of the infamous curse, any man that a woman of Devonairre Street falls in love with is destined to die soon after. An overwhelming number women on the street have lost their husbands in the Times Square bombings and widowed women have been dwelling on Devonairre Street for years. Angelika has her reasons for believing in the curse and she checks each girls faces on their shared birthday each year for any sign of love. She reminds them constantly to never fall in love or else it will be their fault when an innocent man dies.
- Delicious food descriptions – Lemons, lavender tea, honey cake and vanilla tea are the foods that stick out to me most after reading this book. They’re definitely the most prevalent but there’s one other scene that stuck out in my mind. Lorna would often imagine Future Lorna and in one possible future she sees herself crashing weddings and having a stomach for champagne & cake and it just made me so happy that I have some upcoming weddings to attend.
- Cult-like behaviors of Devonairre Street – Some of the eccentric behavior of the women of Devonairre Street is done as a preventative measure to avoid falling in love. Other habits are superstitious and nonsensical and others are a coping mechanism. The girls of Devonairre Street wear keys around their necks. The never cut their hair and they wear a ton of wool clothing. When a male they’ve doomed passes away they console each other with lemons and lavender tea and they leave their driveway lights on overnight because according to Angelika, “love happens at night.” (Or luf as she would say in her Polish accent.)
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of A Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on January 30, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 13, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 14, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.