Bitter Candy by Lily Ableman

Hi guys, today I am here to promote a book from a fellow past inkie/Wattpad author. While I haven’t read the final, published version, I remember liking it in its early stages. Fans of Gossip Girl and similar books would probably enjoy it.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads,com
Picture Source: Goodreads,com

Bitter Candy by Lily Ableman
Published September 16th, 2014

Goodreads   |  Amazon

Hilarie Walsh fits in with her high school about as well as a Satan worshipper at a Christian book club. Not only is she the sole middle class girl in a sea of filthy rich kids, but – thanks to her ex’s lies – everyone also thinks she’s a slut. As a result, she’s completely given up on her love life.

Enter senior year – and Eric Lawington, the arrogant but incredibly sexy son of a billionaire.

Let the sparks fly…

Excerpt:

Yet again, Eric was throwing a party for people he couldn’t care less about. He’d only been at Edith Wharton High School for a day, but already he could tell the students there would be carbon copies of people at his old boarding school: vapid, shallow, and pretentious. People who pretended to have a passion for politics and Vladimir Nabokov when they would rather piss their parents’ money away on drugs and alcohol than pick up a newspaper or Lolita.

Why do I keep providing superficial teenagers with free booze? he thought, wrinkling his nose when he saw a wasted girl throw up into a priceless Ming vase and an intoxicated boy stick his tongue into an apathetic blonde’s mouth. The pathetic answer—to be liked, popular. Which was an incredibly idiotic reason considering he didn’t especially want to be friends with these people and the “friends” that he’d had at his old boarding school were dull douche bags who had dropped him like bad weed when the stain of scandal had fallen upon him.

Needing a drink, he walked to the refreshment table. A curse left his mouth when he realized all of the chardonnay bottles were empty. Sigh… He guessed he would have to be content with a glass of red wine.

As he poured himself a glass, his eyes caught a girl—a beautiful girl. She had one of those maddeningly perfect, Snow-White-esque, innocent-looking faces that couldn’t be achieved with either any amount of plastic surgery or makeup. The girl possessed skin like flawless, unblemished porcelain; eyes the color of a warm, sparkling ocean; and lips as red as—you guessed it—a rose. She also had a delicate little body like a doll and long, shiny blond hair that flowed down to the small of her back.

Hello, scholarship girl, he thought, thinking of his nickname for the pretty—if slightly irritating—girl who’d called him a douche. Hilarie Walsh. Her bold insult had sparked his curiosity and—to be honest—kind of turned him on. Something told him that she wasn’t like his other guests; she seemed like she had some depth and had more on her mind than the latest designer handbag or newest luxury car model.

He cocked his head, continuing to stare at her. The girl inspired a strange mix of feelings in him; both lust and tenderness filled him. Her beauty and apparent innocence made him want to tear off her clothes and ravish her, but they also made him want to cradle her fragile little body in his arms.

The sight of her, all alone with a sad look on her face, for some reason, caused him to feel lonely too.

But who says we have to be lonely? he asked silently with a smile on his face, making his way to Hilarie Walsh…

jncname

Book Recommendation: Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

br14

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

 

 

This week’s book recommendation is Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler. You may know her as the author of the famously banned book, Twenty Boy Summer. While I enjoyed that one, I absolutely loved this one. If you’re looking for a book with great characters and development, relationships, and family secrets, this might be right up your alley.

 

Intrigued?

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery

 

 

 

jncname

Book Recommendation of the Week: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

brtw

Hey guys, apologies for the hiatus. Have had some real-life stuff going on plus I am also working on revamping the blog design some. Thank you for your patience. Things should go back as usual now.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

 

 

This week’s book recommendation is Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield. If you like small towns, beautiful writing, deep and complex characters, and mystery, this is the book for you.

 

Intrigued?

An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent.

Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town–and Becca–into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson’s life are intercut with Becca’s own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia’s death.

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

brotw

 

This is the 33rd book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

17290286
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell
Published October 1st 2013 by Harry N. Abrams

Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith.

With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself. Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters.

 

 

——

 

While this wasn’t a book that was difficult to put down like my last read, I really enjoyed this one and nearly ran over my lunch break trying to finish it.

I admit, the concept of bucket lists have always intrigued me. You can tell a lot about a person from their bucket list. So it was pretty neat reading a book where someone tries to complete another person’s bucket list.

While the plot was fun and the writing was good, it’s really the characters that made the book for me. I loved the characters and all of their little quirks. The relationships between “Rebel” Blue and the other characters were also interesting. I adored the love interest and the fact that the relationship was far from perfect. I’m also a sucker for anyone who likes and does art. The sea-glass frames Rebel makes sounded really cool.

This was a fun yet somewhat deep read. Was a little disappointed with the ending as it felt rushed, but overall I wouldn’t change much about this book. Will definitely be looking into more books by this author.

 

 

4halfstars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

brotw

 

This is the 32nd book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

12819342

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Published October 9th 2012 by Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

 

 

——

 

This book had me hooked almost from page one. It reminds me a lot of Speak, but at the same time is very different. I loved the main character, Sid. She was far from perfect but was really easy to connect to. I ached alongside her and felt my heart warm when good things happened to her. She’s also got a lot of Irish in her, which I can also relate to as my great-grandparents immigrated from Ireland and we still observe several of the traditions.

The topic is handled well throughout the book though I’m undecided on whether or not I like how the secret gets told. It seemed a bit rushed toward the end.

I also really enjoyed the side characters–Sid’s mom, little brother, friends, and lovable dog, Ronan. The love interest won my heart over, though in a lot of ways he’s kind of too perfect. Too understanding. Or maybe guys like this are just extremely rare?

Anyway, the romance melted my heart. The story was good enough without the romance, but very hard to put down once it was added to the story. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I’ve had trouble putting down.

Is the book perfect? No. But when I encounter books with great characters, emotion that grabs my heart, an interesting story, a swoon-worthy romance, and good writing, it’s hard to pick out the flaws. Definitely looking into seeing if Colleen Clayton has any other books. If not, she should. And I’d really, really love to hear more about Sid, Corey, and the rest of the characters. Definitely recommend!

 

 

 

5stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

brotw

 

This is the 31st book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald
Published March 8th 2011 by Candlewick Press

Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy – some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.

 

——

 

I wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as I did. Especially after reading the first chapter, which is from Bliss’ POV. While I felt bad for her, I also didn’t really like her too well. But then I met the other two characters, Jolene and Meg, and it started to get better.

Meg is my favorite of the three girls simply because I could relate much better to her. Next I liked Jolene, who was interesting, sassy, and had a big chip on her shoulder. Bliss is my least favorite but I ended up liking her much better toward the end.

This is a fun read with a scavenger-hunt like feel. It’s always impressive to find a book that only takes place within a day or two, and this one did a great job. The plot was fun and fresh. But the girls also had some issues so there was also some emotion to what would have otherwise simply been a “fluff” read.

The romances were really cute, too. At least the two that worked out, anyway. Especially Scott.

If you’re looking for a fun read involving prom, revenge, unlikely girls becoming friends, and a night of wild and possibly illegal activities, this is the book for you. I’d love to see what happens to the girls after the night is over.

 

4halfstars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

brotw

This is the 62nd book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

7963255

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Published March 1st, 2010

Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town.

While Toby can’t see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it’s up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block.

 

—-

The Sky is Everywhere is a nice debut from author and literary agent, Jandy Nelson. The book was a little slow getting into, but once I was in about five chapters, it was harder to put down. It was a really neat idea with a great cast of characters. Death and grieving over a loved one is nothing new, but the approach the author took in this YA book was more original than most.

The characters obviously made the story work. Lennon (named after John Lennon), the main character, was pretty likable, easy to relate to, and three-dimensional. I liked hearing the story through her point-of-view. I also enjoyed Lennon’s family, particularly her grandmother, who is a wild spirit kind of person.

Love triangles are a hit and a miss with me, but this book did a pretty good one. I liked Joe and Lennon a whole lot better than Toby and Lennon, but the author made me understand why Toby and Lennon had such a complicated relationship. Joe and Lennon were pretty freaking adorable. I could read about them and their blossoming love all day.

I liked how this book wasn’t only about boys, but also about Lennon’s inner feelings and conflicts. Her back story is fascinating and another thing I could have read about all day, particularly when it comes to Lennon and Bailey’s mom.

Definitely an amazing read. It’s not perfect, but it has a great story, intriguing, likable characters, good setting, and I really like the scattered notes (and how they are printed on various items). Not your typical YA book on death, grieving, or love triangles.

 

4stars

 

jncname