To celebrate the release of Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus (9/20/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Rob and 10 chances to win a copy of Die Young With Me, as well as two chances to win a Punk Rock Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway! That means two giveaways for the followers of my blog. Be sure to enter BOTH giveaways below. 🙂
In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes the incredibly moving true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.
Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?
When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.
But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.
While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music. Die Young With Me is a raw, honest account of a brave teen’s fight with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.
Favorite Books as a Teenager
Or, Why Stephen King Rules
by Rob Rufus
One such decision was to let me read Stephen King books from a very young age. My dad was a huge fan, and had all the first editions. The first one he gave me was Pet Sematary, when I was in 5th grade. It continued on from there. Night Shift. Skeleton Crew. The Shining. Through middle school and high school I read and read and read, devouring all the Stephen King I could get my chubby, shaking hands on.
It’s only now, as an adult, that I can see what a profound impact those books had on my writing. His books were like a B-12 shot to the imagination! Think about it – what better way to introduce a kid to the complexities of life than to sprinkle in a couple of monsters?
More than Kerouac, Bukowski, Henry Miller, or any of them – Stephen King introduced me to the pure joy of reading, and it was as fast-paced and exciting as a first love should be. Below are the five Stephen King books that hit me the hardest when I was a teen. If you have a friend in school that isn’t a “big reader,” or you have a child that cringes at the thought of a book, give them one of these books.
Do a kid a favor, and scare the living shit out of them.
2.) The Stand – Step aside Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, this is an epic that’s 100% American as hell. Like IT, the characters in this book are diverse enough to relate to the most un-relatable teen reader. When an apocalyptic super flu wipes out the population, what are the handful of survivors – ranging from a rock star, to a deaf-mute kid, to a pregnant girl, to the mentally disabled – to do with themselves? Take on the devil, of course. Duh.
3.) Different Seasons – This book is a little more subdued than the others. It’s four novellas, two of which were adapted into incredibly successful movies – The Shawshank Redemption, and Stand By Me (think IT, without the clown). But when I was a kid, the novella that really rocked me was Apt Pupil. It is the story of a teenager doing a homework assignment on The Holocaust, who then realizes one of his neighbors is an escaped Nazi war criminal. He blackmails the old Nazi for help on the project, which, I’m sure you can assume, doesn’t go as planned. So if anything, Different Seasons is a good reminder not to have murdering fascists do your homework for you!
4.) Pet Sematary – This was my first, so I have to include it. As an adult, I recognize this book as an amazing study on human grief. As a kid, though, I loved this book because it just truly scared the shit out of me. Plus The Ramones are all over it, and did a killer theme song for it, so that’s reason enough to give it a read.
5.) Salem’s Lot – If you think Twilight was a little too melodramatic, then you should dig up a copy of Salem’s Lot. There is nothing cute, or pouty, or sexy, about the teenage vampires in this small town. These babies are the real deal! One of the scariest books I ever read as a kid – imagine that movie The Lost Boys, only if Charles Manson had directed it. You’ll be afraid of the dark for weeks.
Stop by Addicted 2 Novels tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!
About the Author: Rob Rufus is a musician and writer living in Nashville. His band, Blacklist Royals, has released two full-length albums and played in sixteen countries over the past five years. Rob has written articles for Modern Drummer, Amp Magazine, Digital Tour Bus, and many music sites. Rob also works closely with the cancer community, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Stupid Cancer Podcast (the largest advocacy/support organization worldwide for teens with cancer), and Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can find him online at robrufus.net, on Twitter @rob_rufus, and Instagram @dieyoungwithme_official.
To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win one (1) copy of Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus (US/Canada only) First rafflecopter.
And then fill out the second rafflecopter to enter to win the Grand Prize Giveaway, including:
- Two (2) winners will receive a Punk Rock Prize Pack featuring a finished copy of Die Young With Me, an exclusive poster, a mix tape (ft. an excerpt of the book), Die Young With Me switchback comb (not pictured), and Rob Rufus punk rock vinyls
- Enter via the rafflecopter below
- US Only
- Ends 10/2 at midnight ET
Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies. All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.
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