Genre: Young Adult

Thief of Happy Endings…by Kristen Chandler

Thief of Happy Endings…by Kristen Chandler

  ‘Thief of Happy Endings’ is a young adult contemporary  with a huge twist. The story centers around, Cassidy. Cassidy is sent to a youth mustang training camp in Wyoming . Cassidy is there because she is having a difficult time with her parents’ recent separation. The catch is that she hasn’t ridden a horse since she was bucked off as a child. Things get more complicated when she meets junior wrangler, Justin. I loved ‘Thief of Happy Endings’. Not only is it a huge departure from most young adult romances, but it also takes on the plight of the mustang in the west. The story also demonstrates how the Bureau of Land Management really has a hard time figuring out what to do with the mustangs. Loss of freedom is a main theme in ToHE. While the loss freedom of the mustangs is the main loss , this loss is also felt with the teenagers. The teenagers have lost many of their own freedoms and independence being sent to this camp. Cassidy and Jason were some of my favorite characters of all time. Jason really personified a young troubled cowboy. Cassidy is your typical good girl with troubles at home. […]

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Confessions of a High School Disaster…by Emma Chastain

Confessions of a High School Disaster…by Emma Chastain

Confessions of a High School Disaster is the first installment of the Chloe Snow series. I read the second installment first and enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back and read ‘Confessions of a High School Disaster’. In this book Chloe is just about to start high school. Her immaturity definitely shows through in this book. This makes sense as she is just at the beginning of both high school and her parents divorce. The combination of these two things definitely would push Chloe to concentrate on more important things than basic teenage stuff ( i.e. being a kissing virgin). I think divorce is an important topic for YA to tackle as its something many teens must work through and I think COAHSD did it well. One of the most eye-opening aspects for me was Chloe was how her opinion of her mother’s actions changed throughout the story. In the beginning Chloe made excuses for her mother’s actions. Later on she realized that her father is the one who stayed and her mother was the irresponsible one. I also really enjoyed Chloe’s relationship with her dog. I love YA stories that include pets. I also loved that this […]

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Anne of Green Gables By L.M. Montgomery & Tom Sawyer By Mark Twain

Anne of Green Gables By L.M. Montgomery & Tom Sawyer By Mark Twain

  This year I gave myself the goal of reading more classics. I’ve heard many wonderful things about Anne of Green Gables and everyone knows how amazing Tom Sawyer is. I thought I’d compare the similarities of each novel. I also want to discuss what makes each novel a classic and what I enjoyed about each story.   Anne and Tom as characters have a few similarities. Both are orphans who make the most out of their lives. Neither child has an easy time of it but both use their vivid imaginations to expand the world around them. Tom and Anne are adventures and fun-loving. Where Anne sees the life as amazing, Tom sees the world  an adventure. This makes both characters are endearing timeless.   Even though both novels are classics they are very accessible and easy to read.  They  give us a snapshot of what life was  like in a particular region at a particular time. History books tell us about important world events but they don’t give us an accurate picture of what domestic life was like. If it weren’t for contemporarily written novels such as Anne of Green Gables and Tom Sawyer, we really wouldn’t know […]

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Stumped…By Kate Larkindale

Stumped…By Kate Larkindale

Ozzy has everything a teenager could want, good grades, a hot girlfriend, and  successful high school swimming career. When a car crash leaves him without legs  he stands to lose everything. The story begins with Ozzy planning his first intimate outing with his girlfriend, Lainey. The outing goes array and as Ozzy is driving home he gets into a devastating car accident. ‘Stumped’ has a unique take on someone dealing with a disability.  Some of the issues Ozzy goes through is truly eye-opening. One of the biggest obstacles he has  to overcome is the way others treat him. Some people in his life are really terrible to him, like his girlfriend and friends. The story left me wondering if it is because they are teenagers and they don’t know what to say and how to act or if is it just that the characters are terrible people. Ozzie then learns to find comfort from a support group for teenage amputees. Since Ozzy is a teenage boy his sex drive takes on a life of its own. One of the main focuses in the story is Ozzy’s interaction with sex workers. ‘Stumped’ takes place in New Zealand and prostitution is legal […]

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Sneaking Out…By Chuck Vance

Sneaking Out…By Chuck Vance

‘Sneaking Out’ is the first installment in the ‘Chase’ series. The setting is an élite New England boarding school. Oliver and Luke are roommates at said school. They sneak out one night to meet up with girls. During this meet-up they witness a murder. They can’t confess up to what they know without being expelled for sneaking out (hence the title). The setting of a  boarding school in New England really intrigued me. It is interesting to take a peek inside their rules and routines. I hadn’t realized that boarding schools were so strict. The students have to have quiet time and are expected to do things like dress up for formal dinners. The whole atmosphere of the school seemed really rigid and creepy. The murder mystery storyline is interesting. Although I guessed the identity of the murderer early on, I still second guessed myself all the way through. I really didn’t connect with Luke’s back story. It just seemed farfetched and distracted from the storyline. I realize his back story experiences helped him solve the mystery but I could have done without this part of the story all together. I also found it hard to believe that teenagers would […]

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The Year of Living Awkwardly…by Emma Chasten #blogtour

The Year of Living Awkwardly…by Emma Chasten #blogtour

  “The point of the musical is that Nellie’s racism is disgusting and that you can be a cute, fun girl everyone considers so nice and still have this snake coiled in your heart. “   “It’s like Tris let go of his trapeze and he’s falling through the air, waiting for Roy to catch him, but Roy is outside the circus tent making out with the lion tamer.”   “It was a perfect fall afternoon. Cool air Lavender sky. Leaves the color of cherries. Smell of wood smoke. Sometimes New England is so New Englandly.”      Chloe Snow is a high school sophomore who is struggling with the abandonment of her mother. She also is absorbed in taking her PSA, school, boys and friends. She must keep it all together to make it through her sophomore year.     I really didn’t know much about ‘ The Year of Living Awkwardly’ going into it. It is book #2 in the Chloe Snow’s Diary series. They synopsis made Chloe sound very angsty. As I read though the diary (the story is told in diary format) I realized Chloe is typical of how many teenagers truly are. I haven’t been […]

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Burning Bright…by Chanda Stafford

Burning Bright…by Chanda Stafford

Sam is haunted by her parents death. She is at fault for what happened to them. Her punishment is to live with abusive foster parents that only care about the stipend she brings them. Sam’s life changes when she meets California boy, Ben. Ben is the son of movie star turned animal conservationist parents. What will happen when Sam becomes wrapped up in Ben’s world. To me there is two separate plots to, ‘Burning Bright’. The first is Sam’s gritty struggle to survive. She lives in a tent so as not to have to live in her foster-parents house. She is in constant fear of her foster-father. Sam also has to work in a second-hand store in order to pay for essentials such as clothing and food. She sees this as a penance for what she did to her parents. What happened to Sam’s parents is not revealed until the end of the book but it is implied that she is someway caused their parent’s deaths. This section of the story was my favorite. It delved into the world of foster care. It felt real and different and it kept me wanting to find out how  the story turned out. I […]

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The Unusual Suspects…by Dominic Carillo

The Unusual Suspects…by Dominic Carillo

Fourteen year old Bulgarian, Nia, is attacked while taking a train across Europe (she is going to face her cheating ex-boyfriend in Berlin). She is rescued by Kurt, an unlikely hero.  Kurt is a eighty-nine WWII American war veteran.   The premise of this story fascinated me from the start. I mean how often do you read a story about an eighty-nine year old man and a fourteen year old girl who become international crime suspects. It also is an amazing idea to flip points of view between Kurt and Nia. It is interesting to see the same situations through the eyes of two vastly different people.   I really love the personal and historical background that is sprinkled throughout  ‘The Unusual Suspects’. I really fell in love both Nia and Kurt. The flashback of Kurt’s budding romance with his wife is one of the sweetest love stories I have read in a while.  Kurt is one of my favorite characters of all time. He exemplifies the friendship you can develop by getting to know someone who is totally different from yourself. Nia’s character shows amazing growth along the trip, both from her own experiences and from spending time with […]

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22 Scars…by C.M. North

22 Scars…by C.M. North

Amy leads a tortured life. She has a monster for a father and a distant mother. Amy self-harms and has suicidal tendencies. Then tragedy in her life leads her in a dangerous direction.   ’22 Scars’ highlights  mental illness in teenagers. With recent events, I think a young adult book that focuses on mental health is an important thing. ’22 Scars’ did an excellent job taking on this difficult topic. I did read ’13 Reasons Why’ and found it somewhat lacking. Not only was the plot unrealistic and contrived, I don’t think that it really approaches the underling mental illnesses that drives someone to suicide. I think ’22 Scars’ approaches this subject better. Not only is Amy’s deep seeded problems explored but it also shows how her mental illness progresses through time.   ’22 Scars’ has two storylines. The connection between these storylines is not realized until late in the book. I found both storylines interesting although I did find that the one not involving teenage Amy more interesting. The main issue I had with teenage Amy’s storyline was the plethora of characters, especially Amy’s friends. There were so many I could not keep them straight. Also, the character of […]

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We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

Zara feels shut off from her Bosnian born mother. She knows that her mother survived some horrible things in the Bosnian war but Zara wants desperately to understand who her mother is. So when Zara, her mother, and her little brother are victims of a tourist attack, Zara begins to understand what emotional and physical trauma can do to a person and a family.   I really love a good historical fiction. Good historical fiction is entertaining while at the same time teaches us about significant events. I have noticed that much of the historical fiction out there covers the really well-known periods of history. For example: the Tutor period, the American Civil War, WWI, and especially WWII. I really love it when I find a  novel that explores world events that are lesser known . When I read the synopsis of, ‘We Are All That’s Left’, I knew this was a book that I had to read.   ‘We Are All That’s Left’, alternates between Zara dealing with the aftermath of a present day terror attack and Zara’s mother, Nadja, living in war-torn Bosnia in the past. Going into the story, I did know a little about the Bosnian […]

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