Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

A blurb from the author's webpage
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

My Take

Beth and Ryan definitely seem at odds in the beginning.  Those situations always make for the best stories though.  Beth is cast as an outsider from the beginning.  Interestingly though, she does have a friend there but it’s also Beth’s internal feelings of being an outsider that make her distance herself from everyone.  I liked the characters in this book.  They were a group of close-knit kids.  It was interesting to see how they differed from the inner city kids where Beth had come from.  They were all close-knit, all just kids, but with very striking differences in some ways.  I’m giving this one 4 daring kisses!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Screwed by Laurie Plissner

A short blurb from the author’s website:  Flattered by the attentions of Nick, the cutest guy in school, seventeen-year-old Grace Warren, captain of the math team, lets down her guard and gets pregnant the night she loses her virginity. Hopeful that Nick will drop to one knee and propose when she breaks the baby news to him, Grace is heartbroken—Nick wants nothing to do with her. Her best friend, Jennifer, thinks she should get an abortion, but Grace is certain that her morally upright parents will insist that she keep the baby. After she comes clean to her folks, they surprise her by insisting that she terminate the pregnancy to avoid humiliating the family. But when she sees the fetus on the ultrasound, she decides she can't get rid of it. Deciding to save the tiny life growing inside of her, Grace must face the consequences of being that girl--the good girl who got knocked up.

My Take
I loved this book!  I really liked how there were little vignettes on the more major characters.  It really gave you a good glimpse into everyone and their reasoning for doing the things they do.  The characters were wonderful; flawed, rich, full of life.  I loved Grace for standing by her convictions, come what may.  She was strong and vibrant.  Great writing that sped along keeping me turning the pages.  I’m giving this one 5 expectant kisses!

 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

A quick bit from the author's webpageI can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

My Take

I really did not see how the main character could get through the entire book devoid of emotion.  I would say the author was successful in moving the story with that in place.  Seeing emotions and elements as people was very interesting.  I really was pulled into this story.  Elizabeth was relatable, which I thought would be tough with an emotionless character. 

The story took surprising turns and really kepy you gripped to it.  You felt as though you truly knew the characters in the end.  And what about that cover, huh?!  Pretty awesome!  I'm giving this one 4 1/2 emotion filled smaks!!  <3





Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of an early book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Some of Tim's Stories by S.E. Hinton

A short blurb about this book:  A teenager when she first gained fame, now a seasoned writer, Hinton offers in Some of Tim's Stories the culmination of her life experience- incisive portraits of characters shaped by circumstance and one another. The stories in this collection merge into a larger narrative about two cousins, Terry and Mike, whose lives and families are intertwined but whose paths lead to very different futures: one in prison, the other enduring a guilt-ridden existence working a bar.

The tales are made especially distinctive in the telling. The "author" of the stories is a bartender named Tim- the "Mike" of his own narrative-whose idiosyncrasies are perfectly captured in Hinton's intriguing use of metafiction. The book also features exclusive interviews with Hinton conducted by Teresa Miler, host of public televisions's Writing Out Loud.

My Take

What a pleasure to again get to read a work from the author who began the Young Adult genre.  S.E. Hinton is a master writer.  Each of these stories was very insightful and by the end you felt as though you had a larger story overall.  I loved the interview portion in back.  I considered it an additional treat.  S.E. Hinton's books are always timeless.  In my opinion that is the mark of great writing. It can survive time and speak to generations of people and still be relevant.  I'm giving this one 5 short kisses!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of an early book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Here's a summary from the author's blog page
It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?


My Take

This was such an interesting concept.  I've always thought sleep and dreams were so thought provoking.  Just dreams in themselves are somewhat mysterious.  I mean sometimes you remember them, sometimes you don't; you dream of absolutely weird things and it's all beyond your control.

Getting a free pass inside Parker's mind and going on this sleepless ride with him will have you white-knuckling your way through the book.  It's keep you up late material that is sure to keep you turning the pages well into the night.

I really loved Parker's relationships with Finn and Addie.  Finn is his best friend and Addie is Finn's sister.  The friendship between the boys is so realistic and Finn is just one cool character.  I can't wait to read the rest of this series.  I'm giving this one 4 1/2 sleepy kisses!




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of an early book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The After Girls by Leah Konen

A small synop from the author's webpageElla, Astrid and Sydney were planning the perfect summer after high school graduation. But when Astrid commits suicide, the girls’ world is shattered. Shouldn’t they have seen this coming? Couldn’t they have saved her?
As Ella hunts for answers and Sydney tries to dull the pain, a chilling message from Astrid leaves them wondering whether their beloved friend is communicating from the after world. The girls embark on a journey to uncover Astrid’s dark secrets, and the answers to the questions they never dreamed of asking will change their lives–forever.

My Take

I really loved the characters in this book.  They were so unique yet tied together through their friendship.  I'm sure when a friend commits suicide, those left behind so shoulder those feelings of responsibility or at the very least have nagging questions as to why. 

There was a line I loved in this book as well.  Sydney was talking about her long time love interest Max (not the ideal guy for her).  She said, "He wanted everything from her and nothing all at once."  I know I've been there more than once!  So perfectly said. 

The story moved along at a decent pace.  It didn't totally enthrall me, but I did like it.  I'm giving this one 4 ghostly kisses!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

A blurb from the author's website


Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say?
But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?  

 The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it.  But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies – trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose:  love without truth or life without trust.

My Take

“The Testing”, the first in a trilogy, was fabulous!   While it did remind me of the Hunger Games, it’s very different as well.  As Cia went through the testing she came to understand her own strength, yet also held on to her humanity.  She realized that in working together and connecting to other human beings that we are ourselves stronger.   The building relationship between her and Tomas was not too over the top, and added a great element to the story.  I would definitely recommend this book and am already anticipating the next book in this series.  Btw, on the right side bar I've posted a free link to read the prequel and see the trailer.  Please go check it out.  Enjoy!  I’m giving this one 5 grade A kisses!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of an early book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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