City Love by Susane Colasanti

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Title & Author: City Love by Susane Colasanti

Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegen Books/April 1, 2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: So Much Closer, When It Happens, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, Keep Holding On, Take Me There, All I Need, Now and Forever

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn’t resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl’s life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

For years I have been reading books by Susane Colasanti and I love all of her books. It is extremely safe to say City Love is no exception and actually by far my favorite out of all of her books. I fell head over heels in love with Sadie, Darcy and Rosanna from the start and only continued to fall in love with the story as I read each page. I was thrilled to find out that City Love is not a standalone novel and can’t wait for the second book to come out. Every chapter is told in a different girl’s point of view, and they each deal with their own love, drama and issues throughout the book. I liked how each girl experienced something different from the others and that they were all different personality wise as well. The book ended on somewhat of a cliff hanger for each girl and left me wanting more and wanting to know what was going to happen to Sadie, Darcy and Rosanna.

Sadie, who was also a character in Susane’s book So Much Closer, is back as one of City Love’s main characters. Although she is already a New Yorker and wants to leave home ASAP, she stays in NYC for college and moves into an apartment with two roommates, Darcy and Rosanna. Sadie is such an optimistic and romantic at heart, believing her one true love is just around the next corner. She’s kind and always bubbly and happy especially when she meets a total hottie at her internship who is into all of the same things she is.

Darcy comes from California to New York City for college. She also comes from money and with her dad’s credit card. She is definitely not your typical spoiled rich girl at all. She uses her money often to treat her roommates to dinner and even treats Rosanna to a new wardrobe. She wants the people around her to be as happy she is. This summer is her “free for all” after a nasty break up back in California but when she meets a certain guy who she just can’t get out of her head she may break her own rules.

Rosanna leaves one city for another, Chicago for New York. She comes from a large family and is paying her own way through college through financial aid and loans. When she first gets to New York she didn’t realize how expensive everything would be and soon is left with a whopping seventy three cents in her bank account. Rosanna works at a summer camp to pay for her share of rent and makes friends with a girl named Mica. Rosanna is cautious and seemed a bit shy to me. She is against the “Wall Street type” but when she meets the brother of a co-worker she can’t help but to come back for more.

All three girls are so different and all come from different backgrounds. They each bring so much to the story that I couldn’t imagine City Love without one of them. At the end of the book each of their stories is left with the reading dying to know what is going to happen next and wishing that all three girls will get their happy endings that they all deserve. I cannot wait for the trilogy to be finished and I have a feeling it will be one of my favorites I have read. I strongly recommend City Love if young adult books are your thing, this is one you will not regret.

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Top Ten Tuesday 01/20/2015

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Yay for a freebie week! Since this week we can choose any topic for our Top Ten Tuesday post I am going to do…

Top Ten Books I Want to See Made Into Movie

Of course we are talking in a perfect world where the movie would not butcher the book and would be absolutely perfect and not missing a single detail.

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1.) Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

2.) What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott

3.) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

4.) Ten by Gretchen McNeil

5.) Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

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6.) They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire

7.) Compulsion by Martina Boone

8.) The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

9.) Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

10.) The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

And of course there were a few I had to leave out that didn’t make the top ten but deserve an honorable mention…

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And these last two would have made the top ten but they are currently being made into movies…

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Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

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Title & Author: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse/July 14, 2015

Genres: YA Thriller, YA Psychological Thriller

Format: ARC eBook

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Other Books By Author: Debut YA Book

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

From the first day I saw Ruthless on Edelweiss I knew I had to get an advanced copy to read and review. After several attempts (I am quite persistent on Edelweiss when I see a book I reallyyyy want to read) I was finally granted access to download a review copy. Of course I immediately began reading it and was also immediately sucked into the story. Lately I have been on a young adult horror/thriller kick and Ruthless fit right into the thriller category and has also been one of the best I have read lately.

In the very beginning, I was just as scared, nervous, and confused as the main character, Ruth was. I have never felt so connected to a character before than I felt to Ruth. I felt like throughout the book we shared the same emotions. When she was filled with rage after finding out more about her kidnapper, so was I. When she was scared and her heart was racing so was mine. I loved that the author was able to make me feel so many emotions and really get that reaction out of me while I was reading.

About halfway through the novel I also thought to myself, “This would make an amazing episode of Criminal Minds or an amazing thriller movie”, but of course neither could do the book justice. It was interesting to see how everything came together in the end and how Carolyn Lee Adams linked the flashbacks to what was happening in the present. The storyline was original, it was thrilling, and it kept me turning (well swiping) page after page until it was finished. I of course was rooting for Ruth the entire time and was so insanely happy with the ending.

I loved how Carolyn Lee Adams decided to feature a strong female lead character. Too many times do we see women being portrayed as weak in similar situations in both movies and TV shows. It was refreshing to see a female lead character, one who was a teen, be able to fight back not only for herself but for the other victims who came before her. I wish we saw more female characters with the same drive, determination and hope that Ruth portrayed in the book. Every time she began to loose hope, she pushed herself harder reminding herself why she was doing what she was doing and who would be waiting for her when she was found. With all that being said you could say that I really liked the main character in Ruthless.

Ruthless wasn’t just a thriller but also a psychological thriller. Yes, I believe there is a difference between the two. The book wasn’t just thrilling, but it also messed with your mind a bit. When Wolfman (Jerry, what can I say I caught on to Ruth’s nickname) would tell Ruth things he had overheard her family and other girls on the farm say about her it really made you question if he was trying to break her down or not. He tried using so many mind games to control her that at times Ruth believed him and I did as well. You were also constantly thinking what was going to happen next and most of the time is was the exact opposite of what you were expecting. I loved how nothing was predictable about Ruthless, even the ending although I was satisfied with the way things ended.

For her debut young adult novel, Carolyn Lee Adams really knocks it out of the park with Ruthless. I am so happy and honored that I was able to read it and post a review for it before it is published. I hope everyone who reads this checks it out when it is published because you won’t regret it. I cannot wait to see what else comes out from Carolyn Lee Adams because I am positive they will be just as great as Ruthless.

Flirty Dancing (The Ladybirds #1) by Jenny McLachlan

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Title & Author: Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury Children/July 3, 2014

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Love Bomb (The Ladybirds #2) – Coming March 2015

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Bea Hogg is shy but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It’s just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude . . . and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with equal panache.  

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

It took me a few hours to finish Flirty Dancing and I loved it and cannot wait to read the rest in the series. Being a dancer in the past I was instantly drawn to the storyline of this book. The dance groups are usually always my favorite on America’s Got Talent and since the talent competition in Flirty Dancing is compared to Britain’s Got Talent, I had a feeling I was going to really enjoy the book and of course I did! It was a quick, light read and it was refreshing to sit and enjoy the book without having to do much thinking. I was nervous after seeing a friend on Goodreads rate it low and say it was predictable. I wouldn’t say it was predictable at all because I actually didn’t expect the ending.

I loved how clean Flirty Dancing was when it came to the romance, but was a bit shocked how nasty the bullying got at times. To me (I’m 22) the characters seemed very young to be so nasty over a boy or a dance competition, then again kids these days may be like that. I did like that the romance in the book never went beyond a kiss. Any further would have been a bit much for freshmen. I also loved how even though this took place over in the UK, the author didn’t make a ton of references that I had to look up because I had no idea what they meant. It also put a fun, quirky twist on the references made that I did understand.

I liked the main character, Bea, for the most part. I wish she had stuck up for herself before the very end of the book because that would have given me some satisfaction. I also liked how dedicated Bea was to her dancing especially since she wasn’t learning a “modern” style such as hip-hop, tap or jazz that most girls learn when they take lessons, but she was learning how to jive. Reading the parts where Bea and Ollie were learning their routines actually made me want to learn how to jive as well. Ollie was just a total sweetheart and at first I had the wrong impression of him but I liked the way he turned out. As for the other characters Kat and Pearl, neither were on my good side. Kat was supposed to be Bea’s best friend but wasn’t really much of any friend at all throughout the book. Pearl on the other hand was, and excuse my language, a complete bitch. Considering the amount of times she called Bea that, she probably should’ve taken a good long look in the mirror at herself.

Overall I really enjoyed Flirty Dancing and was happy that I didn’t let my Goodreads friend’s review influence whether I read the book or not. That is why every time I write a review on a book that wasn’t exactly my favorite, I always stress that no one should let my review change their mind on a book you want to read. If you really just want to sit back and enjoy a fun, flirty, quick book then Flirty Dancing is perfect for you. I cannot wait until March when the second of The Ladybirds books is published so I can see what happens with another character.

Top Ten Tuesday 11/04/2014

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I unfortunately missed out on last week’s Top Ten Tuesday which I am upset about because I really liked the topic. This week’s topic, Top Ten Books I Want To Reread, is a good one too because there is so many books that I would love to reread if I had the time. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Want To Reread

1.) The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – I have read and reread this trilogy countless amounts of times.

2.) Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – Also have read this book so many times.

3.) Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

4.) Compulsion by Martina Boone

5.) The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

6.) Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins

7.) Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

8.) Magnolia by Kristi Cook

9.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

10.) Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

So that list was super easy to come up with. I know some people cannot or do not reread books but if I absolutely loved the book, I will reread it when I have some free time.

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

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Title & Author: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

Publisher/Year: Roaring Brook Press/2014

Genres: YA Sci-Fi, YA Romance, YA Psychological Thriller

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Birthmarked, Prized, Promised

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

At first I was a bit skeptical because I am not a big science fiction fan and the last young adult sci-fi book I tried didn’t work out. I did however really enjoy The Vault of Dreamers. It was so incredibly original from any other futuristic situations that has been in a book before. A good amount of the characters were easily likeable and once again (yay!) it featured a strong, independent female main character. I liked the whole story line that these teenagers/students are attending a prestigious arts school but at the same time it was also a reality TV show in a way. Viewers were also able to chose specific student’s feeds to watch. Maybe real television should take notes because there is always that one extremely annoying person on a reality TV show that no one likes, yet they always last until the end.

I loved Rosie Sinclair and was rooting for her all the way. While we didn’t have a ton of things in common I did feel a connection to her because if I had been in her shoes, I’d do the same thing. I also liked Linus, Rosie’s love interest in the story. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship form and the two of them teaming up. There were a few other characters that would pop up in the story every now and then like Rosie’s friends, who were alright. As for the main antagonist of the story, you will despise him as much as you (or for those of you who read THG) despised President Snow.

At the end of the book I began to get really frustrated with what was going on. I mean you’re obviously supposed to hate/dislike/despise the main antagonist, but my goodness I felt a new type of rage. I also felt like Rosie was making careless and stupid mistakes/decisions. I was incredibly disappointed when it ended because I wanted to see what was going to happen next and still had a few questions left unanswered. I’m definitely happy to hear there is a sequel in the works and I cannot wait to see what will happen to the characters in the next book.

Monthly Wrap Up – September 2014

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For me personally, September has always been a month that just flies by and this year was no exception. This past month has been crazy with the fall semester starting back up and my professors are just giving out assignments like crazy. I was able to read a decent amount of books this month despite the craziness of all things college. I also was accepted for a huge amount of ARCs from HarperTeen this past month, so you will be seeing a good amount of ARC reviews in the weeks to come. I also apologize for not posting any reviews since Friday morning and not doing Top Ten Tuesday this week. I went to the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert on Friday night and I have a concert hangover, very similar to a book hangover. It was so amazing and since Friday night I have sort of been in a trance just listening to their music over and over again. Now that the school week has started up I’m snapping out of it. (And if the concert is coming close to you I would recommend getting tickets if you like them. It was amazing and everyone was on their feet dancing the entire time.)

When I first started my blog I didn’t even know what an ARC was. When I first found out I was probably like most people and wanted many. I never intended on having my blog be mainly ARC reviews, but I apologize because lately it has. I’m not as crazy about getting as many ARCs as possible anymore. If I see some I am really interested in, I will request them though. My next five reviews will be ARCs from book tours I was on. After those five, I am going to switch back and forth between an ARC and a published book because I have a pretty big pile in my room from the library, along with about twenty books I bought over the summer that I have yet to read. I don’t want my reviews to only be ARCs because I want to be able to also post reviews on books that are currently published so if you are interested in it you can get it right away from your local library, Barnes and Noble or Amazon rather than wait a few months.

So here are the books I read (and reviewed) this month:

– 09/03/14 Death Date by Victoria Laurie 

– 09/04/14 Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

– 09/08/14 Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

– 09/10/14 No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

– 09/11/14 Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins

– 09/12/14 Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

– 09/15/14 Easy by Tammara Webber

– 09/18/14 Tease by Amanda Maciel

– 09/21/14 The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

– 09/26/14 The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

– I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Review coming October)

– Dead to Me by Mary McCoy (Review coming October)

– All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Review coming October)

So thirteen books overall for this month isn’t too bad. I had only expected to read up to two books a week and I just under double that amount so I won’t complain. The last three books on my list I have finished between last week and the weekend. I will have reviews for the first two up this week, and a review for All the Bright Places will be posted at the beginning of next week.

Unfortunately I did not buy any books this month 😥 However, my mom did preorder a copy of…They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire! I am super excited about that coming in the mail this month. It is at the top of my most anticipated YA novels of 2014 and I cannot wait to finally read it. It has been on my TBR list since this summer so now after months of waiting I will finally get to read it (as long as she doesn’t decide to hold onto it until Christmas). So, even though I didn’t buy it myself, I will count it under books bought this month.

Once I get a job, which I am actually waiting for a call back from a hospital, I will begin buying books again. Also later this month is a used book sale at my library. It lasts 3 days and there is tables and tables full of books and none are higher than $3, so hopefully they have some YA books I can buy and add to my shelves. 🙂

I guess that’s it for the month of September and I am certainly ready for October to begin. I am one of those people who cannot wait for the chilly weather, crunchy and color changing leaves, bonfires and of course Halloween. The past few days have actually been unseasonably warm so I have not been very happy about that because I would prefer it to be 65 degrees outside rather than 80.

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

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Title/Author: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse – February 17, 2015

Genres: YA Paranormal, YA Horror, YA Thriller

Format: ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy)

Source: Edelweiss

Other Books from Author: The Murmurings

Rating: images (2)

What This Book Is About

The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I was so excited to be granted access to an ARC of The Bargaining on Edelweiss. I LOVE creepy, scary young adult books and was eager to jump right into this one. The Bargaining definitely delivered the creepy factor and much more. The first night I began reading this, I started dozing off and waking up, so by the next day I had to start all over again because I couldn’t remember anything I had read. I had been about 35 pages in and was just like…

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Once I started rereading the book, I was instantly sucked right in. I will admit that I began reading the book from the beginning for the second time in my Western Civilizations class, and I continued to read through the entire class. (Gotta love crazy old college professors…see Saturday’s post.) Luckily Monday was one of my short days, so I immediately went home and continued reading. In all honesty, and sorry for my choice of words, The Bargaining scared the shit out of me. Already being pretty afraid of the dark, reading this in bed in complete darkness (it was on my iPad so my lights were all off) may have not been my smartest choice. I was actually afraid to roll over because I thought someone or something would be standing next to my bed. I never experienced “scary goosebumps” from a book until I read this one. Seriously, read when it’s still light out!

I really liked the storyline of The Bargaining and how Penny’s and Miller’s pasts tied into it. I was constantly left guessing what was going to happen next and overall what really went on in those woods. Penny seemed like your typical moody, curious teenager. At first she annoyed me a little bit because she made no effort with her stepmom, but I ended up really liking her in the end. Miller on the other hand, we get to know his story in the prologue of the book. Knowing who he was and what he caused I think automatically influenced my feelings towards him. Even as he became friends with Penny, I still didn’t really like him too much. The huge shocking secret Miller finally shares with Penny at the end was so unexpected and surprisingly that I couldn’t believe it.

The Carver House reminds me of the many abandoned, haunted places that are all over the state of New Jersey. I’m a hug scaredy cat, but I’ve always wanted to check some of them out. (There were two specifically that really set the picture in my head for the Carver House and if you’re interested in reading about abandoned places and the rumors behind them here are the two houses. Demon’s Alley and Purgatory House. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a justifying article for Purgatory House.) I think I really was interested in the Carver House because of the mystery behind it. You don’t know what happened there or who previously lived there, just that a lot of people talk and have stories to tell about it. If the Carver House was real I may consider flying across the country to find it.

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(A house from Demon’s Alley, inspiration for what the Carver House looked like in my mind.)

Overall I think The Bargaining was great. It’s labeled as a chilling and suspenseful novel, and that it definitely is. It was truly terrifying at some points and I love when a book can deliver that level of terror. I will be purchasing a physical copy of The Bargaining in February when it is published and rereading it in the future. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in young adult mysteries, thrillers, paranormal, horror genres or anyone interested in local legends and abandoned places. I cannot wait now to read Carly Anne West’s other young adult book that has been on my TBR-list for so long, The Murmurings.

Tease by Amanda Maciel

Tease by Amanda Maciel

How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental

3stars

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From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

(Summary from Goodreads)

First, before I continue to my review I have to say that this is the third or fourth time I have began to write this review and have erased everything to start over from the beginning. I have been debating on whether I share my true feelings and thoughts of Tease, or sugarcoat my review to make it sound like I’m this super sweet, nice person. Well after unsuccessfully trying to review this book so many times, I have come to the decision to be completely honest, even if it seems like I am “mean girl” or a bitch. I read and post HONEST reviews on books and I don’t feel like I’d be being honest by not including everything, the good and the bad. So, I apologize now if I offend you or for any offending words I may use. Now, let me also make one thing perfectly clear, I do not condone or encourage bully of any type. These are just my feelings towards the characters and situation in a fictional novel. This review will also include spoilers, which were pretty obvious to begin with, but if you plan on reading Tease and don’t want to know what happens then I would stop reading now.

When I first rented Tease from my library I didn’t really expect too much from the book. While this book is disturbing, I also loved it yet didn’t at the same time. Tease was emotionally real in some aspects of the book, while in other aspects some things were unrealistic and didn’t exactly make sense. For example, Emma supposedly committed suicide because she was being bullied. Yes she was being bullied, but she didn’t commit suicide until the guy she was dating cheated on her with his ex girlfriend who happens to be the narrator, Sarah. Do I personally feel like she committed suicide because she was being bullied? No. Throughout the entire book it is made perfect clear that Emma has had what could only be assumed as mental health issues in the past. She has transferred schools a lot, the reader can only assume from hints that it’s because she had issues at each one of those schools. Do I feel like had she not been bullied but Dylan still cheated on Sarah with her only to later cheat on her with Sarah and then decide it’s really Sarah he wants to be with (confusing I know…Sarah and Dylan were dating, Sarah caught Dylan and Emma making out at a party and then dumps Dylan, Emma and Dylan begin dating, at a party Emma is not at Sarah and Dylan hook up and Dylan tells her he is sorry and actually wants to be with her not Emma, Dylan admits to cheating to Emma, Emma then commits suicide the next day), she still would have committed suicide? Yes. From the hints and evidence the reader gets about Emma’s shaky mental history and previous school transfer history, along with the way she behaves and acts at school, I do believe Emma was mentally unstable and would have still committed suicide bullied or not. Now I am not saying she should have been bullied or that it didn’t make things harder/worse, I just don’t think the blame should have been completely on Sarah, Brielle, Dylan, Tyler, and Jordan. If her mental issues were that obvious to readers, than it should have been clear to her parents who were the ones to transfer her from school to school and to have her go see a psychiatrist. Her parents could have completely prevented what was happening to Emma, but they didn’t. They could have found a special school for her, they could have had her put on medication, or even transferred her to an all girls school. No more rambling, back to the review. The book did grab my interest from the beginning, mainly because I wanted to see the outcome of the trial. It took me two days to finish, in between school and homework. When I first finished the book I was like,  “That was amazing, totally 5 stars!”, now I’m like, “eh I don’t really like the outcome, 3 stars…”. Overall I think the book was enjoyable, although the topics are serious topics that students are facing everyday across the nation.

Onto the characters…Sarah, Brielle, Dylan, and Emma. Those in my opinion were the four main characters. Two other boys, Tyler and Jordan, were also pressed with charges but not really as big of characters as the other four. I’m going to do the character part of my review a little different than usual (this whole review is different than my usual).

Sarah – Sarah is one of the main characters and the narrator of Tease. She’s a junior in high school when all of this takes place and ends up missing a lot of school after Emma commits suicide and has to attend summer school. Her best friend is Brielle who is without a doubt the definition of a mean girl. Sarah tends to do whatever Brielle wants to do. Sarah is one of the biggest bullies to Emma. It only gets worse when Sarah realizes Emma is texting her boyfriend Dylan. She continues to go after Emma to try to scare her away from Dylan. At a party she catches Dylan and Emma making out. Sarah breaks up with Dylan and the bullying towards Emma only gets more intense from there. Later at another party she gets dressed up in an attempt to win Dylan back. When it works, they spend the night together with Brielle and her date going to the diner and other places. Dylan then decides it’s Sarah who he wants to be with. Sarah is charged with stuff like stalking, and other things I forget. She ends up taking the plea, although I was hoping she’s go to court and fight it. (I guess you could say I was team Sarah in a way. While I don’t agree with her bullying Emma, I did feel like she shouldn’t have been held responsible.)

Brielle – Brielle is Sarah’s best friend and the definition of a mean girl. She even physically bullies Emma in the locker room at one point. Brielle began as the leader of the bullying towards Emma. As things got worse, she often encouraged Sarah and took things to an extreme level like making fake social networking sites of Emma and commenting on Emma’s Facebook page. Brielle even at one point convinces Sarah to go with her to Emma’s house to warn Emma’s mother that Emma is sleeping around with so many guys, and some who are legal adults (making it statutory rape). After the charges are pressed against the girls, Brielle and Sarah no longer talk, or rather are not allowed to have contact with each other.

Dylan – Dylan is the middle point of a lot of the drama that unfolds in Tease. He is Sarah’s boyfriend, a senior, and the classic “super hot jock”. Sarah finds texts from Emma on Dylan’s phone and pictures of them together at a party Sarah wasn’t at. Dylan also begins to defend Emma saying she’s  “cool, nice girl” and that he thinks Sarah would get along with her. At a party Sarah catches Dylan cheating on her with Emma. Dylan later cheats on Emma with Sarah and then decides he made a mistake and wants to be with Sarah. Dylan goes and admits everything to Emma. After the suicide, he is also pressed with charges that are later dropped. He also continues to defend Emma to Sarah during the few times they sneak around together.

And I saved the best (ha ha sarcasm) for last.

Emma – Emma is a sophomore and the new girl at school. She immediately gets disliked by many of the upperclassmen girls at school. She is often referred to as a “slut” or “boyfriend stealing bitch”, along with similar names. Call me a mean girl, bully or bitch, but yes Emma is a slut, a boyfriend stealing bitch, along with everything else they called her. She is the girl who in high school had a new boyfriend every week and then moved onto the next guy. Both girls and guys knew she was easy and would put out. She also went after other girl’s boyfriends, Sarah and Dylan as well as Brielle and her boyfriend (I forget his name…maybe it was the kid Jordan?), for example. In public Emma cried a lot in attempt to gain sympathy from people, but alone she would be a bitch to Sarah. Emma knew what she was doing but constantly played dumb saying stuff like, “I didn’t mean for this to happen”, and other excuses that just made you shake your head and want to chuck the book across the room.

I felt like the author made it near impossible to feel sorry for Emma. I do feel like Emma brought a lot of the issues onto herself and she was full aware of what she was doing. Now I’m not saying anyone deserves to be bullied, but some people do deserve to be put in their place. I do feel like Sarah had every right to put Emma in her place after she went after Dylan knowing he was with Sarah. I know personally in high school had I found the school slut and my boyfriend making out, I would probably have thrown a few punches at the both of them. I also feel like Emma’s parents were partly to blame. I was kind of surprised that Sarah’s lawyer never made that point. Emma’s parents were full aware of the bullying going on and of her mental instability. They obviously had seen this quite a few times before and thought the simple solution was to transfer schools, not to get her serious help or homeschool her. I think that yes Sarah and Brielle should have gotten in trouble for bullying, but they in no way should have been held responsible for Emma’s suicide. As I think of it now, I also don’t believe they once ever suggested she kill herself. That idea clearly came from Emma herself. I feel like I am ranting now because this book really did piss me off the more I think about it. More or less, Emma really pissed me off.

Anyways, I hope I didn’t offend anyone and if I did I am really sorry. Like I said in the beginning, I don’t agree with or encourage of bullying in any form and I do think there should be serious consequences when it comes to bullying. I guess to easily sum up this book, I feel like the author didn’t do a good job portraying the true story of bullying when it leads to suicide. When I have read real articles about young/teen girls and boys who have committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied, I always have such disgust and hatred towards the bullies. I feel like Tease was lacking that as the author pretty much made Emma the antagonist of the novel. There is another similar book that I am interested in reading called The S- Word by Chelsea Pitcher. In a way I feel like it is really similar and that it will also leave me disappointed, but I am going to give it a chance. I’d say give Tease a chance. I mean it definitely will give you some emotion, just probably not the kind you’d be expecting from what this book is about.

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

After reading and enjoying an advanced reader’s copy of Liz Czukas’ new book, Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless, I was eager to read Ask Again Later. I was expecting a lot since TTCYC was so good, but I was a bit let down and confused at the end.

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental

3stars

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Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all…

(Summary from Goodreads)

I feel like we have all seen a movie, TV show or read a book like this one. The main character ends up being asked to prom by more than one boy and the decision is just too hard to make. When I began reading this book I thought the reader was going to see what would happen had Heart’s choice been Troy, the jock and her choice if it has been Ryan, the theater geek and then in the end the two would tie together to show that the outcome would be the same either way. Well, that is sort of how the story went down. The chapters switched back and forth between “heads” and “tails” which made it more confusing than alternating chapters ever are. In the end the two stories did tie together for one overall outcome and the chapters were no loner alternating between “heads” and “tails”. What left me confused at the end was that Heart seemed to have actually experienced both proms. She would mention something that happened with her one date with Troy and her friends looked at her like she was crazy and then she would mention something that happened with her date Ryan and same thing happened. I have no idea who she actually went to prom with or how she somehow remembers stuff from both. I guess the point was that it didn’t matter what happened before, but what had happened after prom.

When it came down to the characters, I didn’t really like any of them too much. Heart was the most bearable but even then she still allowed herself to be pushed around and her attempts to stick up for herself were half assed. Troy was your typical jock, getting drunk at prom and trying to make his newly ex-girlfriend jealous, yet acting super immature. Ryan, okay maybe I liked Ryan the most. He was a sensitive sweetheart and even was there for Heart when she didn’t choose to go to prom with him (heads). He didn’t get all moody or cause any drama. Heart’s brother was a total asshole and it took her getting drunk at the prom afterparty to finally stick up for herself. At that point I was like, “Thank goodness!” and wished it had only come sooner. Schroeder (Chase) seemed okay at first, but right away it was so clearly obvious that he had a crush on Heart but was just too scared to tell her. Instead he decided to be rude to her all night and lashing out at her as if she should have just known without him telling her that he liked her.

The story line was ridiculous yet so realistic and perhaps that is why I couldn’t enjoy it as much. I graduated high school almost 3 and a half years ago and am over the drama and immaturity that came with high school. I wouldn’t say Ask Again Later was horrible, it just hasn’t been the best or my most favorite book I have read in the past few months. It was quick and easy to read and only took me a few hours to finish.