Tag Archives: contemporary

Book Title:
Keeping You a Secret
Book Author:
Julie Anne Peters
Page Count:
268
Publishing Date:
July 31st, 2007
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
February 4th, 2020
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger.

At least, it seems to be.

But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship?

My Review

I bought this book for my Kindle ages ago. Ages and ages. I finally got around to reading it. I don’t really go through my Kindle that often, except when I swear I can’t find anything to read among my … Continue reading

3 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
Full Disclosure
Book Author:
Camryn Garrett
Page Count:
290
Publishing Date:
October 29th, 2019
Publisher:
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
February 6th, 2020
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

In a community that isn't always understanding, an HIV-positive teen must navigate fear, disclosure, and radical self-acceptance when she falls in love--and lust--for the first time. Powerful and uplifting, Full Disclosure will speak to fans of Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon.

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She's making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she's HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real--shy kisses escalating into much more--she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she's positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she's terrified of how he'll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone's first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on...

My Review

Full Disclosure was a book that I didn’t even know anything about until I saw it on the Book of the Month club website, and I decided to give it a go after reading about it on Goodreads. It was … Continue reading

4.5 stars
Leave a comment
Book Title:
The Party
Book Author:
Robyn Harding
Page Count:
352
Publishing Date:
June 6th, 2017
Publisher:
Gallery/Scout Press
Date Read:
January 18th, 2020
Format:
Paperback
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.

My Review

The Party was one of those books that I wanted to read for ages, but have pretty much forgotten about it over and over again. I’d see it in the store, or online as a recommended book, but I never … Continue reading

4.5 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
All the Things We Do in the Dark
Book Author:
Saundra Mitchell
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
October 29th, 2019
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
November 18th, 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Library

Synopsis

There’s no such thing as a secret.

SOMETHING happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her soul.

She has her best friend Syd, and she has her tattoos—a colorful quilt, like a security blanket, over her whole body—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her. And Ava isn’t letting anything get in the way of finally, finally seeking peace. But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery—and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully-constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building. Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own—do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave, and let it reopen old wounds—wounds that have finally begun to heal?

My Review

I was really drawn to All the Things We Do in the Dark from the moment I read the synopsis for the book. Granted, I kind of just heard about this book like two weeks ago, and wasn’t entirely sure … Continue reading

4.5 stars
Leave a comment
Book Title:
In at the Deep End
Book Author:
Kate Davies
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
June 4th, 2019
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Read:
August 29th, 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

A deliciously disarming debut novel about a twenty-something Londoner who discovers that she may have been looking for love — and pleasure — in all the wrong places (i.e. from men).

Julia has had enough. Enough of the sex noises her roommate makes. Enough of her dead-end government job. Enough of the one-night stand who accused her of breaking his penis. The only thing she hasn’t had enough of is orgasms; she hasn’t had proper sex in three years.

So when Julia gets invited to a warehouse party in a part of town where trendy people who have lots of sex go on a Friday night, she readily accepts. And that night she meets someone: a conceptual artist, who also happens to be a woman.

Julia’s sexual awakening begins; her new lesbian life is exhilarating. She finds her tribe at queer swing dancing classes, and guided by her new lover Sam, she soon discovers London’s gay bars and BDSM clubs . . . and the complexities of polyamory. Soon it becomes clear that Sam needs to call the shots, and Julia’s newfound liberation comes to bear a suspicious resemblance to entrapment . . .

In at the Deep End is an unforgettable and audacious odyssey through the pitfalls and seductions we encounter on the treacherous path to love and self.

My Review

IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE I’VE POSTED. Let me start off by saying that In at the Deep End isn’t the type of book that I would usually pick up. I’m not sure why; I rarely read books that … Continue reading

3 stars
3 Comments
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
Leave a comment
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