Tag Archives: contemporary

Book Title:
Recovery Road
Book Author:
Blake Nelson
Publishing Date:
March 1st, 2011
Publisher:
Scholastic
Date Read:
July 7th, 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows rehab for drinking and rage. At the weekly movie night in town, she meets Stewart, from another rehab nearby. They fall for each other despite the crazy time. Madeline gets out and starts to regain her feet. But when Stewart joins her, both still are severely troubled, and he is getting worse.

My Review

I purchased this book over three years ago, and for some reason or another, I never got around to reading it until now. I was browsing through my Kindle library (which is pretty huge), and on a whim I decided … Continue reading

4 stars
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Book Title:
Wintergirls
Book Author:
Laurie Halse Anderson
Page Count:
278
Publishing Date:
March 19th, 2009
Publisher:
Viking Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
March 3rd, 2019
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.

“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.

I am that girl.

I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.

I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

My Review

It had been a long time since I read Speak – I read it years ago when it was first published. I always enjoyed that book, and this was on my to-read list for a long time, and finally I … Continue reading

5 stars
1 Comment
Book Title:
Speak
Book Author:
Laurie Halse Anderson
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
May 10th, 2011
Publisher:
Square Fish
Date Read:
March 12st, 2019
Format:
Paperback
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

My Review

Speak is one of those books that I read a long time ago, and I recently reread after reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s new book, Shout. I really enjoyed that book, so I really felt that it was time to go … Continue reading

5 stars
1 Comment
Book Title:
Clean
Book Author:
Amy Reed
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
July 19th, 2011
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Date Read:
March 25th, 2019
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Trade

Synopsis

You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing.

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They're addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they'll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there's nowhere to go but down, down, down.

My Review

Clean is one of those books that I honestly wasn’t sure that I would love as much as I did! I haven’t read Beautiful by Amy Reed, but I have heard some really good things about it, so I grabbed … Continue reading

4 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
Good Enough
Book Author:
Jen Petro-Roy
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
February 19th, 2019
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Date Read:
February 25th, 2019
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Before she had an eating disorder, twelve-year-old Riley was many things: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend.

But now, from inside the inpatient treatment center where she's receiving treatment for anorexia, it's easy to forget all of that. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family's trust.

If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover.

Part of her wants to get better. As she goes to therapy, makes friends in the hospital, and starts to draw again, things begin to look up.

But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley's old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought. She starts to think that even if she does "recover," there's no way she'll stay recovered once she leaves the hospital and is faced with her dieting mom, the school bully, and her gymnastics-star sister.

Written by an eating disorder survivor, this is a realistic depiction of inpatient eating disorder treatment, and a moving story about a girl who has to fight herself to survive.

My Review

Last year (it’s so hard to believe it was actually last year already), I read P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy, and I thought it was one of the most beautiful middle grade books that I’ve ever read. Of … Continue reading

4 stars
1 Comment
Book Tour
Book Title:
The Beauty of the Moment
Book Author:
Tanaz Bhathena
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
February 26th, 2019
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date Read:
February 12th, 2019
Format:
ARC
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Susan is the new girl—she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—he started raising hell at age fifteen, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.

Susan’s parents are on the verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.

Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he meets her.

Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.

My Review

I actually just bought a copy of A Girl Like That about two weeks ago because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while and haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. While I haven’t read that … Continue reading

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Book Tour
Book Title:
The Truth and Lies of Ella Black
Book Author:
Emily Barr
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
February 12th, 2019
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
February 3rd, 2019
Format:
ARC
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

From the author of the "unputdownable" international hit The One Memory of Flora Banks comes a fast-paced cross-continental journey of identity, family, darkness and light, and the ways in which we define ourselves.

Ella Black has always had dark inclinations. She's successfully hidden her evil alter ego from her family and friends, but Bella is always there, ready to take control and force Ella to do bad things. When Ella's parents drag her out of school one afternoon and fly across the globe to Rio de Janeiro with no believable explanation, Bella longs to break free--and so does Ella. Because for all that her parents claim to be doing what's best for her, Ella knows there is something going on that they're not divulging, and she is determined to find out what.

Once in Rio, Ella learns a shocking truth about her family that gives way to a mission through the streets and beaches of Brazil in search of her authentic self. But the truth has many layers, and as Ella uncovers more and more about her own history, she struggles to come to terms with just where it is that she came from.

My Review

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black was no doubt my most anticipated read for winter of 2019. I absolutely LOVED The One Memory of Flora Banks (and I even made Flora Banks inspired cupcakes, which you can check out … Continue reading

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Book Tour
Book Title:
Me and Me
Book Author:
Alice Kuipers
Page Count:
248
Publishing Date:
October 2nd, 2018
Publisher:
Kids Can Press
Date Read:
September 25th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

It's a perfect day for Lark's dream date with Alec from school. Blue skies, clear water, a canoe on the lake. Alec even brought flowers for Lark's birthday. Everything is just right ... until they hear screams from the edge of the water. Annabelle, a little girl Lark used to babysit, is struggling in the reeds. When Lark and Alec dive in to help her, Alec hits his head on a rock. Now Annabelle and Alec are both in trouble, and Lark can only save one of them. With that split-second decision, Lark's world is torn in two, leaving her to cope with the consequences of both choices. She lives two lives, two selves. But which is the right life, and which is the real Lark? Me and Me is about how it feels to be torn in pieces, and how to make two halves whole again. This mind-bending novel from Alice Kuipers, expert chronicler of the teenage heart, explores loss and love, music and parkour, all while navigating the narrow space between fantasy and reality.

My Review

I want to start out by saying that I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Me and Me. I hadn’t read anything by this author prior to going into this book, but once I started reading it, … Continue reading

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Book Title:
Speechless
Book Author:
Hannah Harrington
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
January 26th, 2016
Publisher:
Harlequin Teen
Date Read:
July 30th, 2018
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

My Review

Speechless was actually published a few years back, but I haven’t even known about it until recently, when I got it from Harlequin on one of their big sale days. Curious, I added it to my order, and it sat … Continue reading

4 stars
1 Comment
Book Title:
White as Silence, Red as Song
Book Author:
Alessandro D'Avenia
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
September 4th, 2018
Publisher:
Thomas Nelson
Date Read:
August 20th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

International bestseller White as Milk, Red as Blood, has been called the Italian The Fault in Our Stars.

Leo is an ordinary sixteen-year-old: he loves hanging out with his friends, playing soccer, and zipping around on his motorbike. The time he has to spend at school is a drag, and his teachers are "a protected species that you hope will become extinct," so when a new history and philosophy teacher arrives, Leo greets him with his usual antipathy. But this young man turns out to be different. His eyes sparkle when he talks, and he encourages his students to live passionately, and follow their dreams.

Leo now feels like a lion, as his name suggests, but there is still one thing that terrifies him: the color white. White is absence; everything related to deprivation and loss in his life is white. Red, on the other hand, is the color of love, passion and blood; red is the color of Beatrice's hair. Leo's dream is a girl named Beatrice, the prettiest in school. Beatrice is irresistible - one look from her is enough to make Leo forget about everything else.

There is, however, a female presence much closer to Leo, which he finds harder to see because she's right under his nose: the ever-dependable and serene Silvia. When he discovers that Beatrice has leukemia and that her disease is related to the white that scares him so much, Leo is forced to search within himself, to bleed and to be reborn. In the process, he comes to understand that dreams must never die, and he finds the strength to believe in something bigger than himself.

White as Milk, Red as Blood is not only a coming-of-age story and the narrative of a school year, but it is also a bold novel that, through Leo's monologue - at times easy-going and full of verve, at times more intimate and anguished - depicts what happens when suffering and shock burst into the world of a teenager, and the world of adults is rendered speechless.

My Review

I had a really difficult time trying to figure out whether or not this book was for me, and even still, while I’m torn about it, I do have to say that White as Silence, Red as Song is definitely … Continue reading

3.5 stars
3 Comments