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Kendra, fifteen, hasn’t felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can’t remember the most important detail– her abuser’s identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it’s her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who’s becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra’s abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl’s frightening path to the truth.Watch the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF5xEK…
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield Reviewed November 2010
I recently heard the following statistics: 1 out of 4 girls are sexually abused and 1 out of 6 boys are sexually abused. Scary numbers indeed! Scars is an important, emotional story about sexual abuse and cutting. It is hard to read, but even harder to put down. Whether you or someone you know has been abused or whether you want to understand the physical/spiritual/sexual/emotional impact, this novel is IT! There is a lot of intrigue and questions as the reader is led on a journey with the MC to discovering her perpetrator so that she can move forward on her path to healing. This novel will haunt you long after you put it down. Truly memorable. A must read!
View all my reviews
Can an atheist be saved? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of faith and forgiveness with brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance.“There is no God, no benevolent ruler of the earth, no omnipotent grand poobah of countless universes. Because if there was…my little brother would still be fishing or playing basketball instead of fertilizing cemetery vegetation.”Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question
Thanks to Heidi at YA Bibliophile, who received the ARC from Simon Teen and passed it on to me, knowing that I am a huge Ellen Hopkins fan. Thanks, Heidi! Another powerful, impactful novel by the brilliant Ellen Hopkins. RUMBLE opens your eyes to religion,it’s influenceon dating, sex,homosexuality.Family broken.Love a token.What if Dadfelt trappedto marry? Notfor love. Guess why? Would you protect,support, defend,your gaybrother?Would you standagainst bigots?Religious zealotsdetermined to shutyou up? Slapyou down?Twist your beliefsinto evil? Banningbooks for content?Could it be truelove? Premarital sex beautiful? Orfor sluts?Affairs. Hate.Prejudice.Guns. Doyou have faith?No hidingfrom toughsubjects whenbrilliantEllen Hopkinsshakes up the soul,makes you think,and creates quite the RUMBLE!
The First Book I Ever Wrote: Was in third grade. It was titled: “The Book of Swear Words,” where I wrote down every curse word I could think of, along with a carefully crafted definition. I showed it to my teacher, beaming with pride. He sent me to the principal’s office and called my parents into school. I was banned from the playground for two weeks and my book was destroyed. It obviously didn’t kill my writing ambitions.
Author’s Note: Can be read as book three of the First Comes Love series, or as a standalone .
College baseball player, Gray Thomas, had to go far out into left field to find a girl like Dylan, the ex-love-of-his-life. More than a year later, literally at a crossroads, they find each other together on a journey that is a pause between a painful past and an uncertain future. In this sexy and offbeat summer read, Gray and Dylan discover that a destination isn’t always a place. More often, it’s a person. Now it’s time for them to finally decide, is this forever?
Finally, Forever is the third book about Gray and Dylan by Katie Kacvinsky, but can absolutely be read as a standalone novel. So, don’t think, “Oh, I can’t read this (yet) because I haven’t read the first two books.” Nope, that’s not at all necessary. Katie does a fabulous job bringing readers into the story without any need to summarize what’s going on. Jump right in!
And let me tell you, I love these characters. They are as opposite as day and night, yet their differences bring out the best in one another. I also love that they have an appreciation and respect for those differences. They know each other so well and are so connected, that apart they’re like two people submerged in water, fighting their way to the surface to breathe. Ahh, this is romance/love at its finest.
Dylan (named for Bob Dylan – her mom’s favorite musician) is one of the quirkiest, free spirited, delightful characters I’ve ever read. The fact that she falls for Gray, a more straight-laced, down-to-earth, baseball player, and he falls for her, is . . . well . . . a perfect pairing!
There’s a wonderful cast of secondary characters. Almost immediately, we’re introduced to Nick, who jumps right in as Dylan’s boyfriend. The tales we weave! Then there’s Dylan’s unwed pregnant sister Serena, who adds quite a bit of sparkle to the story. So does Rachel, Gray’s coach’s daughter. I’m being vague, but don’t make any assumptions here. Remember that phrase – If you assume you could make an ass out of you and me? Then there’s Mike, the comedian, Serena’s older-by-ten-years boyfriend.
I can’t begin to tell you how many yummy moments there are in this novel. Like the time Dylan and Gray get caught in a horrific storm, or Dylan picking up a hitchhiker, or the hospital scenes when Serena gives birth. There are moments when you’ll feel your heart jabbed with a icepick and so many more when you’ll be sighing with joy! And yes, you will laugh! If you don’t, well . . . let’s talk. For those who are really into music, you’ll appreciate all the musical references.
This book is geared toward young adults eighteen and older. But there are plenty of young adult novels that are much more graphic than this. So if you’re in high school and have read books Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, then you’re fine. There are details of childbirth, sexual references between soul mates. You decide!
Dylan and Gray definitely make my list for favorite book couples.
If you love a romance with characters with personality, then you’ll love Finally, Forever!
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Monday, April 28 Kimberleyfaye Reads FF playlist/teaser
Tuesday, April 29 Waiting For Wentworth Post/discussion
Wednesday, April 30 Liza Wiemer (author) Post/discussion
Thursday, May 1 Book Nerds Across America Post/discussion
Friday, May 2 Actin’ Up With Books 10 Facts About Gray and Dylan
Saturday, May 3 Please Another Book Character interview
Monday, May 5 Heidi McLaughlin (author) Review/Post
Tuesday, May 6 A Booklovers’ Review 10 Facts about Finally, Forever
Wednesday, May 7 The Reading Date Guest Post about cover design
Thursday, May 8 Good Choice Reading Post/Discussion
Friday, May 9 Katie Kacvinsky, Release Day
Monday, May 12 Reading Teen Teaser/Giveaway
Tuesday, May 13 Stuck in YA Books Post/Discussion
Wednesday, May 14 A Backwards Story Post/Discussion
In the follow-up to Lisa Desrochers’ explosive New Adult novel A Little too Far, Alessandro Moretti must face the life he escaped and the girl he loved and left behind.
Twenty-two year old Hilary McIntyre would like nothing more than to forget her past. As a teenager abandoned to the system, she faced some pretty dark times. But now that’s all behind her. Hilary has her life on track, and there’s no way she’ll head back down that road again.
Until Alessandro Moretti—the one person who can make her remember—shows up on her doorstep. He’s even more devastatingly gorgeous than before, and he’s much too close for comfort. Worse, he sees right through the walls she’s built over these last eight years, right into her heart and the secrets she’s guarding.
As Hilary finds herself falling back into love with the man who, as a boy both saved and destroyed her, she must decide. Past or future? Truth or lies?
If you’re looking for something different in NA, then pick up the next book in Lisa Desrochers’ second novel in her A LITTLE TOO FAR series. This novel is filled with some very difficult and painful life experiences for Alessandro (a young man who was close to becoming a priest, but decided against it in A LITTLE TOO FAR) and Hilary, a woman who has spent most of her young adult life numbing herself from the horrible experiences she had during her childhood. Sex with her live-in pseudo boyfriend is one of those things she uses to keep a wall around herself. It’s not love; it’s purely physical. But Alessandro enters Hilary’s life, reigniting the pain Hilary’s tried so hard to keep buried in her past. His presence also starts to knock down her defenses. There are many twists and turns that will surprise readers. Given all that Alessandro and Hilary have gone through, readers will be sympathetic and root for these two to find some peace and happiness. It’s not easy. Their future will be shaky, because no matter what, they’ll still have the past creep up on them. Hopefully, together they can get through it. Painful. Powerful. Memorable. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.
Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
Astonishing, breathtaking. Deeply moving. I can’t say enough about how incredible I thought this novel was. It’s one of those books you may want to read twice, just to take it all in.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for an ARC.
Seventeen-year-old Callie has had the childhood from hell. For at least ten years, she traveled from town to town to town with her mother. But life changes with the flash of blue lights and a trip to a police station. I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone, so I won’t say more about this. What transpires after is an incredible discovery of what it means to be loved by family, friends, and an incredible young man who has his own demons to face.
I loved this story.
1. Callie’s brave ability to take life on and not apologize for what she’s been through or who she is, but only for how her actions hurt others – it shows how she takes responsibility and how she has had to grow up way too fast. I admire her strength.
2. Callie’s dad is flawed and awesome and real and kind and fumbles his way with enough love that it radiates off the pages.
3. Alex – he is sooooo misunderstood, but not by Callie, and, in turn, he understands Callie and doesn’t judge her. Just loves and appreciates her and RESPECTS her for who she is. It’s beautiful.
4. Yiayoula – Grandma – she’s a tough old bird who could kick some major ass with her sharp tongue. She’s got unwavering love that is a lesson for everyone.
5. Ekaterina (Kat) BFF – Oh yeah, this is who a friend should be . . . Kool, Kind, Kreative, THE BEST!
6. Tarpon Springs, FL (Yup, I want to go and visit. NOW.)
7. A big Greek family. Lots of love and fights and some yummy food.
8. Sponges – okay, you have to read the novel to understand this one.
9. Callie’s ability to love and hate her mom and the same time, yet let love rule.
11. Callie and Alex. <3 <3 <3 <3
12. Two adorable little brothers.
13. The story is so beautifully written, honest, and shows the characters’ vulnerability.
14. Even minor characters like Ariel are special and noteworthy. Theo too. Very cool. 😀
15. The mention of the novel, MANDY! It’s one of my ALL-TIME favorites, too.
Put this on your MUST read list! I have a feeling it’ll be on many top ten lists.
Giveaway is US and Canada only.
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For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now… not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?
Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.
And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them…
Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.
The intensity of love, finding your soulmate and fumbling through that deep connection.
This is a novel about the confusion of what it takes to get to know a person whom you not only find attractive, but touches your soul. Trust, faith, true love, sex. A forever relationship.
THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US was a strong story from the perspective of what it takes to fumble in a relationship and to forge the bonds emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. In order to forge those bonds to have a forever relationship, it takes a lot of work!!!!!!!! (Forever is my term. There is no promise of that, but I think it’s implied that this is what Wren and Charlie are trying to build/create with one another.)
There is a tremendous amount of value to this novel for both girls and boys who feel unsure of their connection with a person that they love. When do you take the next step? How do you know you’re ready? What does it mean to be soulmates? Do you believe in soulmates? (For the record, I absolutely do!)
Strengths of this novel:
1. The way Wren and Charlie communicate with each other. It’s not perfect, they make mistakes, but I think it’s authentic and a lot of YA can learn from them.
2. Wren’s overpowering parents and her incredible determination to step out of their shadow.
3. Charlie’s “unique” family.
4. Learning to accept a person’s strengths and weaknesses and to be honest about your own.
5. The beauty of the soul, the beauty of the body – one that shouldn’t be “shared” lightly. Sex is a very powerful connector. It also can be very damaging and unhealthy. I think the distinction is made very clear in this novel.
6. Charlie’s brother is an amazing person.
7. The tough decisions Wren has to make about her future.
8. Charlie finally realizes that he deserves true love in his life. It’s an important message.
9. Relationships–soulmates, family, friendships–can be messy. But with true love/ a soulmate, one can overcome a tremendous amount of pain and difficulty.
10. I admire that Wren asked Charlie to go get tested before they took the next step in their relationship. And that she took responsibility for the birth control.
In my opinion, THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US is a healthy novel that will help many YA who don’t have anyone to discuss finding a soulmate, true love, the mechanics of sex etc. It’s only one perspective. Could it have be done differently? Sure, and it has. There are many amazing books about true love and soulmates and sex with a different storyline. (Some of the best, in my opinion, are EASY by Tammara Webber, PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK, and Katie McGarry’s novels PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO, and IF I STAY, WHERE SHE WENT, and JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman. There’s also Susane Colasati’s ALL I NEED or STAY by Deb Caletti.)
The point is, THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US is its own story and will speak to YA. But it’s not for everyone and that’s okay. There’s more to gain than to lose and if it makes people uncomfortable, I think it’s good that it evokes healthy discussion about relationships and sexuality, with or without reading the novel. I hope parents will take notice and discuss love, sex, soulmates, relationships in a positive, less clinical way that is often heard in sex-ed classes. You don’t have to read this novel. That’s the beauty of living in America and free speech.
I have a feeling that this novel will make some adults very uncomfortable, a lot more uncomfortable than teens. That’s too bad. I hope adults will read it. After that, if they’re not comfortable having their child read it, then talk with their YA about the issues that come up in this book: true love, soulmates, sexuality. Sadly, I expect, like Myracle’s other novel SHINE, there will be people who will want to ban it. Go for it. Teens will want it more than ever. Thank G-d I live in America!!!!
To learn more about Lauren Myracle, check out here website.
I WAS DEEPLY TOUCHED by Lauren Myracle’s response to this review:
@LizaWiemer what a thoughtful review/analysis. Odd as it may sound, you made me see Infinite in a new way. Made me feel pretty proud—so thx!
— Lauren Myracle (@LaurenMyracle) July 30, 2013
@LizaWiemer what a thoughtful review/analysis. Odd as it may sound, you made me see Infinite in a new way. Made me feel pretty proud—so thx!
— Lauren Myracle (@LaurenMyracle) July 30, 2013
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Note: There also is a helpful publisher’s readers guide in the back of the book. The questions created by me were done before I saw the guide. Use them both.
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…
He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…
The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.
Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.
To see my Goodreads review, click here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/443052366
(Mature Young Adult/ New Adult)
I personally know three young women, teenagers actually, who have been raped.
Each knew the perpetrator.
Only one involved alcohol. Poor judgment – yes. But to say that a young woman has no right to “cry date rape after you sober up the next morning” is ridiculous. This is what American University’s Alex Knepper said in his controversial article published in AU’s The Eagle, titled Dealing with AU’s Anti-Sex Brigade.
Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.
To see the full article, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ycnup39
Alex Knepper is an articulate young man. Few would want to face him on an opposing debate team… He has a way of twisting words to make what he is really saying into something else, and I think most people would have a tough time arguing against his points. This doesn’t mean that he is right. Not even close. He responded on national TV, addressing the firestorm of controversy. See the following video of how, in my opinion, he twists his written comments to justify his words:
Watch CBS News Videos Online
It is absolutely ridiculous that Knepper asserts that a female who goes back to a guy’s room is “indicating” that she is interested in having sex. He stated in his TV interview that he said “indicating” because “men cannot know what women don’t tell them” and “at anytime a woman can say no.” “At that point it constitutes rape.”
Many of these sexual encounters don’t take place in someone’s bedroom. Sadly, these events are often public displays. If a girl is so drunk, does she even know where she is?
Another obvious problem with Knepper’s statement is that if a woman is so inebriated it is impossible for her to give consent. Without consent, then any intercourse is rape. He mentions five glasses of jungle juice. Is the guy standing there counting? Is he handing them to the girl and watching her drink? Even worse, is he slipping something into her glass so that she won’t even remember? Unfortunately, this takes place every single day and the lines have been blurred so much that women in this situation are often not believed. Take a look at this article titled: Hook-up Culture At Boston University Leads To Skepticism About Sexual Assault – http://tinyurl.com/ykbphxt
Drinking and driving do not mix. Sex and being wasted do not mix either. The consequences can be dangerous and life altering. I’ve written about this before in Binge Drinking, Hook-ups, and Self-Esteem http://www.whorublog.com/?cat=74
We need responsibility. We need to think about our actions. We need to think about the consequences.
We need respect.
Rape is not okay, with or without alcohol.
Okay, I’ve been thinking about this for quite awhile and decided I just had to blog about it!
Who or What is Driving You?
Lately I’ve been hearing more than the usual from teens and YA about the binge drinking that has been taking place on campuses and at high school parties.
Here’s what several eighteen-year-olds have told me.
Some of you love to drink. You love the feeling of getting buzzed; you love having the pressures taken off of you by drinking, and though you end up spending the night throwing up in a toilet, it is still worth it. It’s worth it, even if you sleep it off the next day, all day. You’ve told me it is a right of passage and a personal entertainment choice, something to do with friends. I can’t say this makes me happy. I wish you would find other, more healthy ways to entertain yourself. On a side note – I just learned in my CPR class (January 26, 2010) that those who are vomiting after binge drinking should be watched carefully. There is a higher chance of choking on vomit under these circumstances, and if you are alone, you may not get the care you need!
From several teens and young adults (ages ranging from fifteen to twenty) you shared the following situations with me:
You drink so much that you don’t remember what happened to you. Your friends (who can still stand) take care of you, bring you to the bathroom, clean you up, and make sure you get food in you. Some of you are hooking up, and you don’t even remember them. You drink so that you can hook-up, because without the alcohol you would never do it. Unfortunately, the morning after leaves you feeling empty and lost.
I’ve been privileged to talk with you about it and it’s clear your self-esteem is so low, that it breaks my heart.
It breaks my heart because I think you’re amazing. I think you’re beautiful – inside and out. I think that you are incredibly bright, gifted, and have so much to offer this world, but are making bad choices – especially when it comes to drinking.
A few of you have been raped. A few of you lost your virginity in ways that you have said were totally degrading. (In the bathroom at school – not cool. Or, at a party with others watching.)
The lipstick rings placed on the guy’s penis while others watched and cheered? You barfed in the toilet shortly afterward… That brought tears to my eyes… You felt totally degraded, but pressured into doing it.
You got so drunk that you couldn’t move out of the snow bank. Thankfully, a friend found you before you froze to death.
A few of you have gotten into a car with a drunk driver – and you lived. I am so glad that you are alive, because you have so much living to do. If you hadn’t been drunk yourself, you never would have done something so stupid.
I wish I were making this stuff up. I wish that I could magically make it all disappear, but I can’t.
Here’s what I can tell you. It’s time to put this behind you. It’s time to stop, and it’s time for you to know that you have control of the choices you make, and you don’t have to repeat them.
You tell me that you have a reputation now – one you can’t live down – so you just continue with the same behavior, because that is what is expected of you. But I have to tell you that I know you’re better than that, much, much, much better. I’m not saying that it is going to be easy. It’s lousy and unfair. But it also is life.
The only way to change is if you make a choice to take action by not participating, by saying no. Respect yourself because you deserve it!
If you need someone to listen or if you have questions, please e-mail me. I will, G-d willing, be here to cheer you on! Because no matter what, I believe that you are truly amazing. whoRuBlog@aol.com
To learn more about self-esteem issues, please click on the following link: http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=79 or if you would like to learn more about the five barriers that can influence your life, please click on the following link: http://www.whorublog.com/?p=12
Youtube Video of American Idol\’s General Larry Pratt – Pants on the Ground
General Larry Platt, 62, hit American Idol by storm last night and made viewers smile with his original song, Pants on the Ground. There’s no doubt he has an opinion about what some teens and young adults wear, and he sure doesn’t like it! But what made his “message” effective was that this wasn’t some shlup doling out fashion advice – The General has the moves. Did you see him breakdancing? Amazing!
So, here’s the question. If your pants are on the ground, are you really looking like a fool? Like many trends, those who dress with their pants on the ground will most likely say in ten years, “What the heck was I thinking!” Does is it matter? Shouldn’t what you wear be a personal choice? Or should there be guidelines for what teens can and cannot wear?
Nicolet High School in Glendale, WI instituted a dress code for the 2009-2010 school year, which forbids students from wearing their pants on the ground (sagging pants). The administration and school board said that students who wore these pants are constantly hoisting them up. (One student told me that kids who wear these pants sometimes grab the fabric by their crotch to pull up them up, and some see it as a sexual message.) The school also placed a ban on midriff tops, showing cleavage, pjs, and halter-tops, to name just a few. Many saw these types of clothes as giving off a clear S-E-X-U-A-L message.
The bottom line is respect. Our bodies are beautiful. We should respect them and appreciate them, not as objects, but as vehicles to make this world a better place. Huh? What was that?
Let me explain. If you see yourself strictly as a body, then what you do has little meaning. If, however, you see yourself as an individual who has a soul, who has a mind, who has a heart, then the body is no longer an object to be used, but a vehicle to accomplish dreams, use talents, and make a difference to improve this world. The heart, mind, and soul need a body to accomplish dreams. The body puts everything into action. When you look at yourself as more than a body, then you can understand how what you wear can truly say a lot about who and what you are. Everyone needs to decide for him or herself what that message is. Make sure it’s one you feel really good about and reflects your true beauty – the inner-self that should shine forward at all times.
I’d love to know what you think about this too!