Monday, March 31, 2014

Blog tour: Only the Good Die Young by K.K. Hendin + review & excerpt

We are one of today's stops on the blog tour for K.K. Hendin's poignant New Adult novel, Only the Good Die Young. We have an excerpt and our review as well. Thanks to InkSlinger PR for the opportunity to feature another fantastic author and book. Read on!
Only the Good Die Young by K.K. Hendin
New Adult contemporary romance
Published March 11th 2014 (first published March 9th 2014)

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble \ Goodreads

The first year of college is supposed to be about parties, parties, and getting the hell out of Texas. Instead, Milcah Daniels is spending her eighteenth year in and out of Houston's hospitals. Her hair is falling out, they’ve cut off her boobs, and if she makes it to nineteen, she’ll consider it a personal miracle.

Breast cancer really has a way of messing with a girl’s social calendar.

When Milcah’s temporarily discharged from the hospital, she’s determined to get a tattoo for every medical procedure she’s had. Her quest leads her to Skin Stories, a new tattoo parlor a block from her apartment. And to it’s infuriatingly sexy artist, Callum Scott.

Callum is everything Milcah wants, and everything she shouldn’t have now. A new relationship when the official prognosis is one to five years is a terrible idea. But Callum doesn’t know about the breast cancer, and Milcah’s not running to tell him.

But when the doctor says things are actually looking positive, her entire life turns upside down. How is she supposed to start living again when she’s finally learned to accept her death?


He glances back down at the paper. “Do you know what this means?”

“Dude, I’m going to have it permanently inked to my skin,” I say. “Of course I know what it means.”

“You’d be surprised how many people don’t know what they’re getting tattooed on,” he replies. “They’ll get random words in the foreign language of their choice tattooed because they think it looks pretty, and they have no idea what it actually says.” He snickers. “Or the assholes who insist spelling a word in their tattoo wrong, even when you point out to them that the spelling they want to use is not right, and that you’re and your are two different things.”

He’s a closet grammar freak, and my ridiculous and embarrassing crush intensifies. I clear my throat a tiny bit and refocus on the conversation. “Well, you don’t have to worry. I know what it means.”

“Does Mar have your email address?” he asks.


“The girl in the front.”


“Well, I can email you the different fonts so you can pick one before setting up the actual appointment,” he says, looking completely casual about asking me for my email address.

God, Milcah. It’s for business. There’s nothing personal about it. Which is awkward, since my email address is still the same as it was when I made it in the sixth grade. I scribble it onto a paper and shove it towards him. “Thanks,” I say, trying to keep my voice sounding normal.

Why am I acting so freakin’ bizarre?

He folds the paper and tucks it into the pocket of his faded jeans. “Great. Hopefully I’ll have them for you tomorrow or the next day.”

I don’t have to go see Dr. B again for another two weeks. I still have time.

“Thanks,” I say, twisting my hands together and feeling awkward.

“I guess I’ll be seeing you around,” Callum says, flashing me a smile.

“Yeah.” I turn around and leave his office before I say anything stupid.

Mar, the girl in the front, smiles at me as I walk toward the door. “Do you need to schedule a follow-up now?” she asks, leaning against the desk.

I am inexplicably jealous of the fact that she gets to spend so much time in the same building as Callum, and I wonder what the hell has happened to my brain. Apparently, when they removed my boobs, they removed my common sense, too.

“Not yet,” I say, determined to be extra nice to her because the insane part of me wants to hate her. “But I’ll give you a call when everything’s figured out.”

“Great,” she says. “Have a great day.”

“You too,” I say, and walk out of the tattoo parlor, only slightly perplexed how nothing in the tattoo parlor was what I thought it would be.

Getting cancer at any age is a bitch, but finding out you're Stage 3 at eighteen is downright tragic. At eighteen, kids are going off to college, concerned with being independent and figuring out their futures. For Milcah Daniels, her world is completely spun off its axis. Her main concern is how long will she live?

Milcah is an incredibly strong character for someone so young. She faces her diagnosis, the ensuing chemo, the double mastectomy--on her own. Alone. She decides to get a tattoo to mark every single procedure she's endured. When she meets the tattoo artist, she begins to feel again. Feel that it sucks that she will die while there are great guys like Callum in the world. There's a chemistry between them, only she won't let herself have hope.

Only the Good Die Young intrigued me. Any type of story dealing with a terminal illness has the prospect of being a tear jerker, but author K.K. Hendin gave us a strong heroine in Milcah and a twist in her story. Milcah has been preparing to die, but what can she do if she learns she just might live? Callum is a good guy and he doesn't treat Milcah like a fragile porcelain doll (he doesn't know about her cancer until later). He's respectful but will not take her negative attitude. Callum is also her neighbor and she has to deal with him being so close to her. 

Milcah's story is very realistic. The tone is somber and at times depressing but with its fast pace, I felt like I had to keep reading, had to see what happened between these two characters. Despite the sad topic, I found Only the Good Die Young to be refreshing and different. This is first and foremost a character-driven novel where romance takes a back seat. I would have liked to see more romance between them. Readers experience every thing Milcah goes through and I mean everything from the puking to hair loss to sheer despair and it's gripping. Milcah is pissed off-rightly so-and yet, she meets Callum and he shows her it's okay to be mad, but he also shows her that there are things and people that make life worth living and fighting for. 

Rating: 3.5
Cover comment:
With many of today's NA covers featuring either one or two characters on their covers, this one is bland and doesn't give much of a hint as to what the book is about.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in exchange for my honest review during a blog tour.

KK Hendin Bio:

KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. She’s the author of the NA contemporaries HEART BREATHS and ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.

She spends way too much time on Twitter, where she can be found at @kkhendin, and rambles on occasion over at

Links: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads 

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