June 2013 Recap

Nicole Read

Ashley Read

Nicole's Favorite 

Ashley's Favorite 

Nicole's Challenge 

Debut Author Challenge

2013 Sequel Challenge

Contemporary Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

Ashley's Challenge 

Debut Author Challenge

Paranormal Reading Challenge

Dystopia Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

Stacking The Shelves (26) - June 29th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

This is what's on my shelf for upcoming reads:

What books are stacking your shelves??


Golden by Jessi Kirby

Title: Golden
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 288, Hardcover
Source: Library

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.


I can think of only a few times in my life that I have done something that my mom did not approve of. Or stepped completely outside of my comfort zone. I am a creature of habit. I stick with what I know. What is safe. Do I wish I was more spontaneous? Sure. Do I wish I had the courage to take more chances. Of course. But it's easier said than done. It's scary to do something for which you have no reference point. To put yourself out there. Completely vulnerable. With failure as a possibility. Having no idea of what happens next. 

For these reasons and more I could so relate to Parker. Her reservations to deviate from her path. To take a chance on a boy. To let down her mother. This is so me and my entire life. And when she did do something unexpected, rebellious even, it was like I was living vicariously through her. Testing out something new, something exciting. Her journey was inspiring. Her growth even more so. This story really demonstrates that it's ok to take chances. On that cute boy. On yourself. It's amazing how far Parker comes in the end. And even though we aren't all going to go on some crazy road trip to realize that, the steps in took for Parker to reach that point, and the lessons she learned, are all real and can apply to anyone. 

And Julianna's story is just as moving. Hers is more about falling in and out of love. How sometimes perceptions can be deceiving. How there are hidden depths to everyone. And how different people can bring out different sides of you. I think we can all relate to this. People are complex. Things aren't always as they seem. And who hasn't fallen in love (or felt like they were)? Julianna had insecurities. She had doubts. No matter the choice she makes someone will get hurt. And like Parker, she was also scared of deviating from the future she has come to accept. Then something terrible happens that you can never prepare for. And when your life gets flipped upside down, how do you handle it? 

I loved everything about this book. The writing was wonderful and I was completely invested in the outcome. The story within a story was fascinating. And both spoke volumes to me. Books like Golden are the reason I love Contemporary so much. They move you. They make you feel okay about decisions you've made. And they teach you how to deal with decisions you might some day make. They give you hope. They remind you that you are not alone. They are real.


REVIEW #125: Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

Title: Kindness for Weakness
Author: Shawn Goodman
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 272, Hardcover
Source: Library

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Catcher in the Rye.

A fifteen-year-old boy from an abusive home desperately seeking his older brother's love and approval starts pushing drugs for him and suffers the consequences.

The synopsis for this book does not reveal much so I didn't really know what to expect when picking up Kindness for Weakness. I guess my love of contemporary and male POV is what really compelled me. That, and what we do get in terms of a summary hints at a serious and thought-provoking story. Whatever the reason, I am so glad I read this book because it was every bit as eye-opening as I thought it would be. Shawn Goodman told a story that needed to be told. And it broke my heart. 

Meet James:
"I know how stupid this sounds, but I don't feel like a kid, at least not like the kind of fifteen-year-old kid who should be hanging out with friends and getting busy with girls. For one thing, I don't have friends. And there have never been any girls. But the main reason I don't feel like a regular kid is because I have to worry about so many things. I worry about Louis staying under the cops' radar. I worry about my mother paying the rent on time so we won't get evicted again. I worry about what I'm going to eat next, and if I'll ever have enough money to take a girl out on a date (assuming there will someday be a girl who would go on a date with me). But my biggest fear is that the world has made up its mind about me: I'm not wanted. I'm out. This is what fills my head when I walk the trestle that cuts through the backyards of other people' lives, people who are wanted. Those who fit in."
Doesn't your heart just go out to him? James is a good kid in a bad life. And in the life he lives, his Achilles heel is seeing the best in people. Despite evidence to the contrary, James believes that his brother Louis has his back. But when James gets busted for selling drugs for Louis, he finds himself alone, sentenced to a year in juvie.

James knows what he did was wrong so he understands and accepts his punishment but it is clear that he doesn't belong there. The other kids are filled with violence and hate. Everyone is always fighting and belittling one another to prove who is the toughest. And some get out only to wind up right back in for another offense. And the guards are even worse. They are corrupt and unforgiving. They use excessive violence to maintain order and are never held accountable for anything. Nobody is trying to help these kids. Nobody cares.

I have never read anything like this. Seeing juvie through James' perspective, the perspective of good, was both heartbreaking and condemning. James was so aware of himself and his surroundings. Despite the odds, he managed to stay true to himself. It wasn't easy. And there were bumps in the road. People tried to break him down. To make him like them. But James was better than that. He knew better than that. 

I am not a 15 year old boy from a broken home with no friends and no hope so I can't say that I could relate to James but I could definitely feel for him. His loneliness and simple desire to be loved could not be ignored. It was like a physical presence in this book. It's what got him in trouble in the first place.

At the beginning of the book, James had so much learn, especially where others were concerned. He wanted so much to be strong. To be able to do something about all of the bad in his life. To be a man. At first he didn't understand what that meant. At first, he looked up to his brother. But he slowly learned, with books to guide him. His journey to be brave and take control was inspirational. And he comes so far by the end of the book.  He deserves so much credit, so much more than he gave himself. He was an amazing kid.

The ending literally broke my heart. Shattered it to pieces. I am sure it will bring many of your to tears. But I am so grateful to Shawn Goodman for telling this story. Thank you!


I'm Waiting On Shadow of the Mark (Carrier #2) by Leigh Fallon

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

This week I chose...

Title: Shadow Of The Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Series: Carrier #2
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 9th 2013

Summary from Goodreads:

Leigh Fallon's Shadow of the Mark, the sequel to Carrier of the Mark, is a captivating love story set against the lush backdrop of Ireland. Megan knew she was destined to be with Adam from the first moment she saw him and now they are determined to be together. But Megan and Adam are Marked Ones, and a romance between two Marked Ones is strictly forbidden...and could cause worldwide devastation. Leigh Fallon's Shadow of the Mark is a great choice for readers who love Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush.

I really enjoyed the first book Carrier of the Mark, so I have been looking forward to this one! Both books are set in Ireland which is really awesome because I love reading books that are set in places I want to visit :) I think the cover is just gorgeous.

What are you waiting on?

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