Book Review · Books

The Temptation Of Adam

We all have our addictions. Adam is addicted to porn. He gets put on school suspension for something he did in. During his suspension he is required to attend Knights Of Vice, an addiction recovery group that one of his high school teachers sponsors. Adam is not keen on going, but his dad offers to go with him to his first meeting. At this first meeting he encounters fellow member, Dez Coulter, who is a beautiful mix of troubled, beautiful, sarcastic and intense. Will this support group help Adam slay his porn addiction? Will the beautiful Dez pull Adam into the world of the living instead of the digital?

When I first started this novel I wasn’t that into the storyline, but once I got a bit deeper in I was hooked to find out what happens to Adam. Porn addiction is not hugely discussed in YA, but it’s a common addiction teens need help with, heck so do a lot of adults. The Temptation Of Adam deals with this important topic with grace, humor and raw honesty. No matter what your own addiction might be, we all just might struggle like Adam does.

I was sent a free copy of The Temptation Of Adam from SkyPony Press in exchange for my honest assessment. Thank you Emma for sending me a copy. This book is heartfelt, funny, sobering and enlightening. Thank you Mr. Connis for writing about a very taboo topic and bringing it out into the light.

Book Review · Books

The Border

This stunning cover beckoned to me from the shelf at my favorite indie bookstore. I read the back blurb and knew I just had to own this title. I was not disappointed one bit.

The Border is a YA novel about three friends: Pato, Arbo, Marcos and Gladys who live in Northern Mexico where their worlds are shattered all within the same night. They are wanted for reasons they don’t understand. These friends just know they have to leave Mexico. Where will they go? When you are on the run with no time to plan your journey, what do you do? Follow these three on their journey.

If you loved Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe then The Border will become a new favorite. The author, Steve Schafer, has a similar intriguing writing style as Benjamin Alire Saenz. If you want to look deeper into the topic of immigration and see what it’s like on the other side this book will change your life.

Book Review · Books

Fix Me

fdd4a838-fc50-4306-a95c-499f1e2234fd-12208-000005a1ff8aa5ac_file.jpgPenelope tells herself she’ll quit, but if she takes Fix one more time she’ll be able to see Nate, her imaginary boyfriend. She knows Nate isn’t real, but she senses he’s trying to tell her something. Fix is the popular drug at school. Her best friend Rose is her supplier and she doesn’t want to piss off Rose by quitting. Penelope has been dealing with the year from Hell. Her sister killed herself and her mom has a verbally abusive boyfriend. Fix helps her get through life. One night when Penelope goes to a party at Rose’s the night turns ugly after a bad trip on Fix. Should Penelope turn to her childhood best friend Jenelle for help?

This YA Thriller covers a multitude of important topics. Teen drug use is the major one. Mind altering antidepressant pills are popular. Relationships are another topic covered in this novel. Penelope is trying to navigate her rocky friendship with Rose and her ships in the night relationship with her mom. Then there’s Nate who seems to only come to her when she’s on Fix. Penelope did have a real boyfriend, but that’s in the past. Grief is another big topic covered. How we deal with the sudden passing of a loved one.

If you enjoy mysteries and thrillers I highly recommend Fix Me by Lisa Cronkhite. I almost read this ARC in one day. I was given this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my review. Thank you for an awesome read.

Book Review · Books

13 Minutes

img_2160.jpgBecca Crisp used to be one of the popular girls till her best friend Tasha dumped her. At least she had her boyfriend Aiden. He was her world. Becca was glad she had a new BFF. Hannah was attentive towards Becca. She could be a tad clingy, but that was better than having no friends.

Becca’s world is thrown for a loop when Tasha is found on the banks of the river. A dog walker finds her. Tasha was officially dead for 13 whole minutes. Becca is not sure if she should go visit Tasha in the hospital, but figures since they used to be so close she should at least reach out. For some reason Tasha seems to connect with Becca better than with the Barbies once she gets out of the hospital.

As Becca re-enters the world of the “Barbies,” as Tasha’s clique is called she recalls all the past closeness they used to all share. The other Barbies Jenny and Hayley are cold and cruel towards her. Becca can’t understand where things went wrong, why she was pushed out of their insulated nest? Jenny and Hayley seem jealous over Tasha renewing her interest in her friendship with Becca.

Solving the mystery of why and how Tasha landed in the river is filled with fits and starts. Becca thinks she has it figured out until something shocking occurs that rocks their whole town. Are the Barbies who they portray themselves as being?

This novel goes into depth on the topics of friendship, control, relationships and how they aren’t always as neat as they appear on the outside. As children the status of being Best Friends Forever with a friend is a coveted role. It’s the highest pinnacle of a teen’s life aside from having an official boyfriend or girlfriend. When you gain that status is it truly forever?

If you enjoy YA that has suspense, mystery, drama, snarkiness then I highly recommend 13 Minutes.  This book sucked me in from the first sentence, though the use of the word shit was a tad overused. I received my free ARC of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Book Review · Books

Maddie & Sayara

Maddie And Sayara is about two young teens from different countries who meet while on vacation. The girls bond over their stuck up older sisters who just care about appearance and luxury. Maddie learns that Sayara’s female cousin has been jailed because she was caught driving which is forbidden in their kingdom. Maddie can’t understand why a young woman wouldn’t be allowed to drive. Sayara tries to explain why to Maddie, but Maddie can’t grasp that not all countries in the world treat women or girls as equals to men and boys. Maddie decides she wants to go help Sayara rescue her cousin. This novel follows Maddie on her journey into an unknown country to rescue Sayara’s cousin. Will Maddie be successful?

This book was given to me free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. While this book is considered YA I felt the tone of Maddie came across more of a middle grade age group than high school in her maturity level. This story was a nice overview of what other countries might be like where a women’s freedoms aren’t as free as in other countries. Topics of freedom in how a woman or girl dresses and what they are allowed to do is explored throughout this novel. I might recommend this book to a junior high or older elementary age girl as insightful and educational.

Book Review · Books

Words In Deep Blue

The cover called my name. Blue is one of my favorite colors. The cover is downright book gorgeous. I just had to buy it.

Words In Deep Blue is about used to be best friends Rachel and Henry. Rachel comes back to her home town to distract herself though she doesn’t want to deal with Henry after he didn’t respond to her goodbye letter she left him after she moved away with her family three years prior. Henry is a nerd who lives at his family’s used bookstore that has living quarters above the store. Henry has always loved Amy. Rachel used to love Henry, but Amy always kept coming back in the picture distracting Henry. She learned to get over him after she moved, but having moved back to stay with her aunt, Rachel realizes Henry still has his charm minus the problem of shallow Amy. Rachel gets a job at Henry’s family bookstore for the summer. Will Henry and Rachel get along working together? Can they mend their friendship?

Henry’s dad asks Rachel to catalogue the letter library. This section of the store is where people can leave their favorite books. These books other patrons can highlight favorite passages or leave letters for others inside their favorite books. This is a tedious process. Reading the letters left behind Rachel realizes different romances have blossomed and some people don’t realize who their admirers are.

This novel is sweet. It makes me miss working at a used bookstore. Bookworms are a unique bunch to work with and have as customers. We are quirky and march to the beat of our own drum. Used bookstores aren’t necessarily cash cows as a means to get rich, but the quality of connection between patrons and workers is priceless. Being around the mildew smell of old books is a perfume all on its own. There’s a peacefulness like walking into a church when a bookworm walks into a bookstore.  If you love books, bookstores, reading and friendship with a potential for romance then I highly recommend this savory read.

Book Review · Books

All Things New

All Things New  is a stunning novel about the power of faith when you don’t realize you have it, family that has been there waiting in the wings to be there for you and friends that aren’t superficial. This story is about Jessa whose life seems perfect in Los Angles where she has a great boyfriend who she thinks loves her. When the truth is revealed at a party Jessa is crushed. On her way home from the party she is hit by a red light runner. As Jessa is struggling to stay conscious she encounters a man who stays by her side to calm her down while she’s trapped in her mom’s car waiting for an ambulance. After the accident Jessa has facial scars from the windshield breaking. Her anxiety before the accident is intensified. Her dad comes to see her and tells her she’s moving to live with him in Colorado. She’s on board with it, but feels weird being back in her dad’s world after he left her and her mom a few years prior. Jessa has a fresh start in a new place. Will Jessa reach out and make new friends? Will she choose to repair her relationship with her dad? Will Jessa’s childhood faith be restored after all she’s been through?

If you loved The Fault In Our Stars, then, All Things New,  might become a new favorite. This novel has so much depth when it comes to talking about tough topics like self acceptance and learning to trust again when your heart has been broken. The cast of characters in this book are memorable, funny, sweet and raw. I received the ARC of All Things New by Lauren Miller care of NetGalley for free in exchange for my review. This lovely book comes out this Tuesday, August 1st. Don’t forget to drop by your local bookstore Tuesday and buy a copy.