Book Review: In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

The Tyler family was everything a high school student loved to hate.  They lived in a great house in the nice part of town, both daughters were good students and looked forward to a future of achievement and promise, and both parents had solid jobs and a solid relationship.  Yes, from the outside looking in, it seemed as if everything were perfect.

But we know better than that.  The word “perfect” does not exist in good storytelling.  There is always some hidden flaw, dreadful secret, or skeleton in the closet.  The Tyler’s didn’t see their flaws until their oldest started to test her limits.  In a grand sweep of bad decisions, each worse than the last, Leah finds herself in real trouble.

It all starts in Leah’s senior year of High School, when she meets bad boy Todd.  She is convinced that he is her ticket to the one thing she has craved for years, adult freedom and independence.  Ever since she could walk, her father has groomed her natural abilities into that of a star athlete.  Now recruiters are seeking her out for soccer scholarships and her father’s dream of sending her to Harvard is about to come true.  But there is one problem, Leah couldn’t care less.

Terri Giuliano Long, Author

In Leah’s Wake author Terri Giuliano Long examines the ties that bind the family together and what happens when those ties are pulled taut.  Which ties will hold fast and grow stronger under trial and which will break?

This book is a terrific study of character. Each chapter pulls the reader deeper into the world of the Tyler family and those close to Leah.  This story isn’t just about Leah but about everyone around her as well.  With each scene we are shown intimate details the other character’s lives, as they struggle to cope with each of Leah’s bad decisions and many of their own.  Mrs. Long has done a wonderful job creating characters who are very human and real.  Each are a collection of unique strengths, weaknesses, and self-defeating behaviors.  By the end the reader can’t help but feel a closeness to the family, a feeling of understanding, empathy, and regret.

For me, reading the book was like stepping into a different reality.  I’ve never participated in the bad girl lifestyle and being able to experience it through not only Leah’s eyes, but those of her family as well, was both refreshing and frightening.  I identified most with the character of Justine, Leah’s younger sister who lives in the shadow of her all-star sister’s and often feels forgotten or uncared about.   Each decision Leah makes has a profound impact on Justine’s life as she tries to seek out her own identity.  In many ways, Leah’s rebellious actions affect Justine more than anyone else.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about families trying to overcome their problems, who wants to learn more about the different challenges facing today’s teenage population, or who favor books that focus on character growth and development.  I will warn readers that due to the subject matter this book contains explicit language, drug usage, and intimate situations.

In Leah’s Wake can be purchased in both paperback and kindle editions through

You can also learn more about the book at Terri’s website or


This post is part of the Novel Publicity blog tour. See below for important information about the tour, including great ways to win a copy of this book!

Tour Notes:

Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

The next word for the book give-away is YOUR. Learn more about the give-away and enter to win 1 of 3
copies on the official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page. The other 2 copies
are being given-away courtesy of the GoodReads author program, go here to enter.
And don’t forget to stop by the
Q&A with Terri Giuliano Long Group to discuss In Leah’s Wake (including questions from the official book club guide), the author, her writing process, and

Book Trailer for In Leah’s Wake:

About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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4 Responses to Book Review: In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

  1. Excellent review, Jodi! I’m in awe of your skills, and you taught me some things about how to improve my own – a good reminder of some of the things I learned in college. I’m not up to speed on remembering some of those things that make a review that entices people to read a book! Great job!

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Jodi! It’s such an honor – and a privilege – to be here. I really appreciate your devoting this space to introducing my work to your readers. Thank you so very much!

    Warmest wishes,


    • Tsuchigari says:

      It’s not everyday when the author of the book reviewed personally comes over to say thanks. That means so much to me! Thanks for the chance to expand my horizons. Best wishes to future projects.

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