Tag Archives: contemporary

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
Book Tour
Book Title:
The Leading Edge of Now
Book Author:
Marci Lyn Curtis
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
September 4th, 2018
Publisher:
Kids Can Press
Date Read:
August 6th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

My Review

“Family has magnetic properties, it seems, and foster kids know this attraction more than anyone else.” The Leading Edge of Now is a powerful, character driven novel about a girl coming to terms with the truth, even if it isn’t … Continue reading

1 Comment
Book Tour
Book Title:
See All The Stars
Book Author:
Kit Frick
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
August 14th, 2018
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Read:
August 9th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut.

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

My Review

To be completely honest, I didn’t have any idea what this book was about when I started reading it.  I had read about it in the past and I thought it sounded really good, but by the time I got … Continue reading

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Book Title:
Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Book Author:
Justina Chen
Page Count:
352
Publishing Date:
July 31st, 2018
Publisher:
Arthur A. Levine Books
Date Read:
August 1st, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

What would you do if the sun became your enemy?

That's exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity -- an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn't just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her.

Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He's a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life -- and love -- as deep and lovely as her dreams.

My Review

I knew I was going to enjoy this book when I first read about it – I’m drawn to books that focus on teens dealing with realistic issues, whether they be medical issues, social issues, etc.  When I came across … Continue reading

4.5 stars
4 Comments
Book Title:
Hooked
Book Author:
Catherine Greenman
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
May 8th, 2011
Publisher:
Ember
Date Read:
June 27th, 2018
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she's a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.

Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.

This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.

My Review

It took me forever to read this book.  I’m not even kidding – I have been reading this book for 3 months now.  I’m not even sure why – I mean, I’ve read other books in between reading this one, … Continue reading

2.5 stars
4 Comments