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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 - 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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review 2013-03-26 00:00
Playing Nice - Rebekah Crane Playing Nice - Rebekah Crane Here's an age old adage when it comes to writing:Show, don't tell. Show, don't tell.Even though I'm the nicest person in Minster, I don't have a gaggle of friends. I've found that most people like to be associated with me and the things I do, but very few actually want to get to know me. That's okay.SHOW, DON'T TELL.I would have liked to 'see' the way Marty was 'nice' and Lil was not so much - but in a first person narration it just felt that Marty was being a braggart about her and a judgmental b*tch about Lil.That was one of the two issues I had with this book. The other being the way the characters were stereotyped. Marty is nice - nice, virgin, studious, nice, wearing cotton dresses, virgin, nice again. And in the first few chapters that was the depth of Marty's character. And Lil wears black, smokes, listens to good rock music, talks back so Lil must be 'bad'. It felt awfully cliched and a few chapters in I was not really sure if I would like the book.But Crane's writing won me over eventually as the book progressed. I really love reading a book where character development is well shown - and I could actually see Marty, Lily as well as secondary characters like Sarah or Alex-of-the-great-boner (exactly what the name says!) and Matt Three-Last-Names grow as the story progressed. I even liked Marty's mom the way someone would like Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter books - by wanting to throttle her because obviously that is the reaction the author wants us to have. In some ways Playing Nice is a typical story. There's a good girl who does not want to be good anymore. There's a bad girl who is befriending the good girl. There is drama, b*tchy High Schoolers, awkward crushes, drama, emotions. The book is basically what one can expect from the blurb. But what is better is that the sense of reality Crane has been able to infuse into the pages. Once you get over Marty's rantings of how she is nice and wants to get over her virginity (which does get kind of annoying) there is a flow and gradual growth in the story. Even Marty's poems show that growth in her as the story moves forward - I like the latter poems hell lot more than the earlier ones.But most importantly what I like the most is the way Crane has left some open questions in the story that she expects the reader to answer themselves, Who is Lil's father? Is it Mr. Hart - given his initial reaction? Did Matt really like Marty at all or was he just playing her from the start? Not only did they make me feel closer to the characters, questions like this made sure that the book stayed long in my mind even after I finished it.The fact that I still have 'One Love' by Bob Marley stuck on my head still is another plus!2.5 Stars This ebook was provided to me by the publishers in exchange of an honest review
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