The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer: Review

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This review was originally published on 2/20/15.

Allow me to paint another picture for you. Seventeen year old Jordan in her parent’s living room watching rerun upon rerun of Laguna Beach and vigilantly trying to make all of heroutfits for school look as similar to Kristin’s (because obviously LC was overrated) as humanly possible for the upcoming week. I am a nothing, if not a reality television junkie. This is much to my mother’s dismay, but hey…RHONJ is better than 90% of any scripted drama on television. Seventeen year old Jordan LOVED this book, almost as much as twenty four year old Jordan did. 

So many times in the past two or three years I’ve gravitated towards books labeled YA (Young Adult) that have such adult-style content, that I feel they’ve been improperly labeled. There has been some peculiar shift where so many YA books have main characters that are sexy, risky behaving “young adults” that are beyond the reach of many students/young adults gravitating towards YA on shelves. My favorite thing about this book, is how realistic and flawed the main characters are. Not once in the entire day or two I spent reading this book did I feel like I was reading a romance novel, a heartbreaking cancer ridden story, a dystopian trilogy, or something that I think is standard YA.

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At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen: Review

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  This review was originally published 3/12/15.

*I was given an Advanced Release Copy of this title by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, find At Water’s Edge on shelves everywhere March 31st* 

Well everyone, I think that I have a new love. Sara Gruen truly captured my heart with Water For Elephants, but I will admit she and I are back in a love-love relationship with this book. Immediately, I realized that I wasn’t going to be entertained with fantasies of circuses and performers. This would have disappointed me, if my curiosity wasn’t quickly sparked with the discovery that I’d be reading about the Loch Ness Monster.

The story opens on three financially privileged young adults getting roaring drunk at a war time New Year’s Eve celebration. Ellis and Hank have been left behind from the war. Ellis for being colorblind, Hank for his flat feet.

“If Hank was Clark Gable, then Ellis was a towheaded, clean-shaved Errol Flynn.”

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: Review

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This review was originallly published on 4/2/15.

*I was given an Advanced Release Copy of this title by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*  

As a devout Dessen fan, I had a complete stage five melt down when I read on her blog a while back that she had “abandoned” her current book and we may not be seeing a new release this summer, then I realized that Saint Anything was in fact on the way, and I knew I had to get my hands on it before it released. Because of you wonderful readers, and my students, I got to review the title early!

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite girly YA writers. Many people are claiming that Dessen has abandoned her traditional storytelling, and I wouldn’t entirely disagree. If like me you fell hard for love stories like Macy and Wes, Remy and Dexter, Annabel and Owen, or Eli and Auden you likely won’t be head over heels for Saint Anything. However, if you were like me and while you loved the first romance tales but LOVED the devastating heartbreak brought to us by Dessen in Dreamland you’re going to be a complete fanatic over this darker coming of age story.

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You by Caroline Kepnes: Review

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 This review was originally published on 1/14/15.

You, was easily my number one book spot of 2015. Although this declaration may seem quite premature, I completed this book almost one week ago and still find reasons to discuss it with EVERYONE, everyday. Allow me to preface this love letter to this novel with the fact that You is quite possibly one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read.  It’s also very sexually explicit, so that can be a bit much for some readers. You was funny, romantic, twisted, deplorable, and aggressive all in one effortlessly combined package. It certainly is not a book I find myself recommending to people that found Gone Girl disconcerting – but to the select few that I know share an affinity for the darker plot lines in life, I’ve been berating them with the need to read this book. The ones that have—all adore it as much as I.

I also feel the need to say that I have absolutely no problem admitting that throughout this book, I was equal parts petrified, and enchanted by the main character. You see, Joe is an expert stalker. Not the kind of boy that lounged about near your locker in high school, hoping that you would notice him. That is simply child’s play compared to what Joe is capable of. Joe’s the I-hide-in-your-closet-and-watch-you-breath type of stalker.

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