Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.
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Monday, May 2, 2016

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
"Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can't shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul."- summary from Amazon

This was such a thoughtful, carefully crafted look at patriarchal religious towns and families, and the idea of being able to find the right balance between secular and faithful thinking. It was difficult at times reading this book, seeing all that Rachel goes through while living with her family (and knowing that there are young girls and boys in the real world subjected to this kind of fanatical thinking); I would occasionally have to take a step back to calm down before continuing to read. Mathieu dexterously shows the conflict between family, faith, and creating your own path, as well as all the different perspectives. We see the family's perspective and Rachel's of course, but we also get to see an ex-member of this town in the character of Lauren and how growing up there affected her.

Overall, this is a beautifully written book and I highly recommend it.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
"The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won't now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear."- summary from Amazon

Summers' books are always a must-read for me; they're so honest and unflinching in their portrayals of teen life and are extremely compelling. This one is no different, though I do think it's her best book yet. Each book of hers keeps getting better and better. Romy is a wonderful main character and I enjoyed (I wish I had a better word to go here; "enjoyed" is not the best adjective for liking books like these) reading about her journey throughout the book, and the conclusion to that journey felt very realistic.

Overall, another winner from Summers and I cannot wait to read what she releases next!

FTC: Borrowed book from local library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, April 18, 2016

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West
"She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door.

With three older brothers, Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, has always been more comfortable calling the shots on a basketball court than flirting with the opposite sex. So when her police officer dad demands she get a summer job to pay for the latest in a long line of speeding tickets, she's more than a little surprised to find herself working at a chichi boutique and going out with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game. Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with her neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden, sitting back-to-back against the fence that separates them. Braden may know her better than anyone. But there's a secret Charlie's keeping that even he hasn't figured out—she's fallen for him. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely loved West's debut YA romance and have been meaning to keep up with each new release, but somehow fell behind. I finally read this book a couple months ago and really enjoyed it. Her books are very Dessen-esque; a romance surrounded by some great insight and emotional depths.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek by Seth Rudetsky

The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek by Seth Rudetsky
"Broadway, New York. The shows, the neon lights . . . the cute chorus boys! It's where Justin has always wanted to be--and now, with a winter internship for a famous actor, he finally has his chance to shine. If only he could ditch his kind, virtuous, upright, and--dare he say it?—uptight boyfriend, Spencer. But once the internship begins, Justin has more to worry about than a cramped single-guy-in-the-city style. Instead of having his moment in the spotlight, he's a not-so-glorified errand boy. Plus, Spencer is hanging out with a celebra-hottie, Justin's best friend Becky isn't speaking to him, and his famous actor boss seems headed for flopdom. Justin's tap-dancing as fast as he can, but all his wit and sass might not be enough to switch his time in New York from nightmare-terrible to dream-come-true terrific."- summary from Amazon

Such an awesome and funny book- I loved the central mystery of it and Justin's voice is so compelling that I ended staying up way too late last night reading the second half of the book!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Focus on Me by Megan Erickson

Focus on Me by Megan Erickson
"Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin's Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley's eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn't an option…"- summary from Amazon

This was such a lovely, sweet and sexy gay new adult book. I loved getting to know these two characters and watch them slowly fall in love with each other, and deal with the obstacles that came their way and the moments of self-doubt that kept them from each other.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.