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review 2017-01-14 00:00
Aspen
Aspen - Rebekah Crane Aspen - Rebekah Crane Another great book from Rebekah Crane who also wrote The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, a book I absolutely adored. With this second book (which actually came before the first one I read), Rebekah Crane has become an auto-buy for me. Her characters always have a certain degree of quirk, but also possess a richness and depth that make them so real and draw the reader into their story.

I can't really say a lot about the book without giving things away, but suffice it to say that Aspen is a regular kid who blends into the background of high school until she is suddenly thrust into the forefront, quite literally by accident. She has a hilarious supporting cast of characters: A pot-smoking, free-loving hippie mom and two besties: Kim who throws the f-bomb around like confetti and Cass who is as obsessed with sex as any teen-aged boy who's never had any can be.

The book eloquently portrays how trauma can affect our perception of events and how the secrets we keep can compound that trauma. And how sharing our truths can heal and strengthen relationships.
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review 2017-01-10 00:00
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland - Rebekah Crane Welcome to Camp Padau—‘Crazy Camp’ or, as the brochure proclaims, a camp for “kids with heightened mental or emotional states.” This book is a journey through the emotional landscape of kids who see the rough side of life far too early. Kids who have endured things that can and do break most of us at any age. I think this book put me in a heightened mental/emotional state as I went from fits of uncontrollable laughter to bouts of reading with tears rolling down my cheeks. And what an amazing experience it was.

The author has a smooth and easygoing writing style that gently pulls us along for the ride, occasionally slinging us into a wall of teenage emotions. The story is told from Zander’s POV—the girl who isn’t there for depression, or cutting, or suicidal tendencies, or an eating disorder, but because “my parents signed me up.” The truth is that the kids are there for any number of reasons, some because they have to be and some because they want to be.

There’s Grover Cleveland, a tall, lanky boy, named by a father who talks to dead presidents and who just so happens to have a fortuitous last name for christening his son appropriately. Grover is maddeningly captivating as a boy who lives his life by the odds… or maybe he’s just acknowledging them. And there’s Cassie, a girl who has spent her life shuffled from foster home to foster home who wears sarcasm and contempt like high tensile barbed wire to keep people from getting too close. And adorable Alex Trebek, the pudgy kid, who has a penchant for compulsive lying… except when it comes to love. It’s a wonderful cast of characters that will steal your heart, break it, and patch it back together again.

I can’t say it enough—read this book. It’s a journey. It’s life. We’re all broken and that’s okay, because we survive… sometimes against the odds.
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review 2017-01-10 00:00
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland - Rebekah Crane Welcome to Camp Padau—‘Crazy Camp’ or, as the brochure proclaims, a camp for “kids with heightened mental or emotional states.” This book is a journey through the emotional landscape of kids who see the rough side of life far too early. Kids who have endured things that can and do break most of us at any age. I think this book put me in a heightened mental/emotional state as I went from fits of uncontrollable laughter to bouts of reading with tears rolling down my cheeks. And what an amazing experience it was.

The author has a smooth and easygoing writing style that gently pulls us along for the ride, occasionally slinging us into a wall of teenage emotions. The story is told from Zander’s POV—the girl who isn’t there for depression, or cutting, or suicidal tendencies, or an eating disorder, but because “my parents signed me up.” The truth is that the kids are there for any number of reasons, some because they have to be and some because they want to be.

There’s Grover Cleveland, a tall, lanky boy, named by a father who talks to dead presidents and who just so happens to have a fortuitous last name for christening his son appropriately. Grover is maddeningly captivating as a boy who lives his life by the odds… or maybe he’s just acknowledging them. And there’s Cassie, a girl who has spent her life shuffled from foster home to foster home who wears sarcasm and contempt like high tensile barbed wire to keep people from getting too close. And adorable Alex Trebek, the pudgy kid, who has a penchant for compulsive lying… except when it comes to love. It’s a wonderful cast of characters that will steal your heart, break it, and patch it back together again.

I can’t say it enough—read this book. It’s a journey. It’s life. We’re all broken and that’s okay, because we survive… sometimes against the odds.
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review 2014-08-13 15:40
NICOLE'S REVIEW: Aspen by Rebekah Crane
Aspen - Rebekah Crane

Honestly, if you put a pile of books in front of me, this one included, I probably wouldn't pick it up. Even if it were displayed among dreaded medical textbooks or math books. I'm really just not that into contemporary. But I was offered an eARC of this book and I thought, why not? I liked the author's previous book well enough.

 

Aspen is suffering from PTSD after her involvement in an accident that took away the life of one of her classmates. She just wants to get through her senior year, figure out why Katelyn's ghost is stalking her and try to keep her mother in line. It doesn't help that Ben, Katelyn's boyfriend, sits next to her in class and looks at her with eyes that seem to know just exactly what she's going through.

 

Aspen feels genuine. A normal girl trying to find her way, trying to move on from the accident that changed her life in an instant. She's struggling to deal with the people in school, her family and Katelyn's ghost. The ghost isn't particularly malicious but that doesn't mean it's not creepy. Aspen is also lucky in that she's got a mother who, despite being irresponsible, truly loves her and friends who care about her. She's stubborn and all she wants to do is forget.

 

Then there's Ben. He's sweet and nice and charming and good for Aspen. He's making her remember things from the night that she'd rather forget. And he's making her feel things she's not sure she should. But hey, he needs her and she needs him and they're perfect for each other.

 

The pacing for this book was just right, showing readers Aspen's snarky side and her humor. Her interactions with all the different characters and the final moment where Katelyn's side of the story is revealed and Aspen learns to let it go. (Cue the Frozen song, just because)

 

This book is heartfelt. A story of letting go, acceptance and the fact that life goes on whether you want it to or not. I may not have bothered to pick this up if it were dangled in front of me but I'm glad I did. Maybe next time I'll try not to judge a book by it's cover.

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review 2014-05-04 09:41
Aspen
Aspen - Rebekah Crane Aspen - Rebekah Crane

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

 

When I first started reading I was no longer sure why I had requested it. This book is far from my comfort zone, but somehow when I saw it I wanted to read Aspen. I'm glad I did, for it was a very nice surprise to me! 

 

Aspen's senior year is not like everyone else's. Still haunted, quite literally, by Katelyn, a popular soccer player - and, thanks to the car crash Aspen was involved in, dead. While she tries to continue her life as normal as possible and to forget, everything seems to have changed.

 

This isn't an action packed book, and despite the fact that Katelyn isn't quite gone, it doesn't feel paranormal either. It's the -surprisingly- witty account of Aspen's senior year, her life with her somewhat strange mother and friends and I didn't even mind the romance, because I felt like it fitted in this book. I was positively surprised and would recommend this book as a light read, although it also focusses on coping with guild and someone's death.

 

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