Tag Archives: contemporary

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
2 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 Tour
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
Book Title:
Peach
Book Author:
Emma Glass
Page Count:
112
Publishing Date:
January 23rd, 2018
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Date Read:
March 16th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Introducing a dazzling new literary voice--a wholly original novel as groundbreaking as the works of Eimear McBride and Max Porter.

Something has happened to Peach. Staggering around the town streets in the aftermath of an assault, Peach feels a trickle of blood down her legs, a lingering smell of her anonymous attacker on her skin. It hurts to walk, but she manages to make her way to her home, where she stumbles into another oddly nightmarish reality: Her parents can't seem to comprehend that anything has happened to their daughter.

The next morning, Peach tries to return to the routines of her ordinary life, going to classes, spending time with her boyfriend, Green, trying to find comfort in the thought of her upcoming departure for college. And yet, as Peach struggles through the next few days, she is stalked by the memories of her unacknowledged trauma. Sleeping is hard when she is haunted by the glimpses of that stranger's gaping mouth. Working is hard when her assailant's rancid smell still fills her nostrils. Eating is impossible when her stomach is swollen tight as a drum. Though she tries to close her eyes to what has happened, Peach at last begins to understand the drastic, gruesome action she must take.

In this astonishing debut, Emma Glass articulates the unspeakable with breathtaking verve. Intensely physical, with rhythmic, visceral prose, Peach marks the arrival of a visionary new voice.

My Review

Peach is one of those books that I honestly don’t even know where to start in terms of writing a review.  It wasn’t a young adult book – and I’ve never been more thankful for that – and while it … Continue reading

1 stars
5 Comments
Book Title:
Winterfolk
Book Author:
Janel Kolby
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
February 6th, 2018
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
February 3rd, 2018
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!

Synopsis

Rain is a homeless teen living with her father in the woods outside Seattle, near a community of other homeless people called the Winterfolk. She finds safety and sanctuary in this hidden world—until the day that safety is shattered when she learns the city plans to clear the woods of everyone who lives there. Now she’s forced to confront Seattle, which is full of strange sights, sounds, people—and memories...

My Review

I don’t know why I put off writing my review for this book for such a long time.  Winterfolk was a lot different from other books that I’ve read, and to be honest, it’s probably the very first book that … Continue reading

3 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
P.S. I Miss You
Book Author:
Jen Petro-Roy
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
March 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Date Read:
March 6th, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

In this epistolary middle-grade debut novel, a girl who's questioning her sexual orientation writes letters to her sister, who was sent away from their strict Catholic home after becoming pregnant.

Eleven-year-old Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. But when her parents forbid her to even speak to Cilla, she starts sending letters. Evie writes letters about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend.

As she becomes better friends with June, Evie begins to question her sexual orientation. She can only imagine what might happen if her parents found out who she really is. She could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn't writing back.

My Review

P.S. I Miss You was probably one of the most heartwrenching books that I have read not only so far in 2018, but all time.  It was a tearjerker, it was inspirational, and it was so beautifully written and emotionally … Continue reading

4 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
American Panda
Book Author:
Gloria Chao
Page Count:
322
Publishing Date:
February 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Date Read:
January 31st, 2018
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

My Review

From the very first chapter of this book, I knew for a fact that this was going to wind up being a 5 star read.  It’s been a while since a book has really captured my attention and made me … Continue reading

13 Comments