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review 2018-03-17 05:16
‘Time Bomb’ is like ‘The Breakfast Club’ with an awful school bombing; suggests teens might just be ticking ‘time bombs’
Time Bomb - Joelle Charbonneau

This was an extremely fast read for me; I flew through ‘Time Bomb’ in a matter of hours, and it almost felt like I was following a similar clock to the one that was ticking away in the book. Six exceedingly different students, not unlike seen with the setup in the movie ‘The Breakfast Club’, find themselves trapped together because of the horrific circumstance of someone having set off bombs at their school (although, conveniently, school isn't quite in session yet, so there aren’t mass casualties).
The wrecked and damaged school that has them stuck inside, suspicious of each other, is a reminder of all the problems that schools represent for schoolchildren today: the gun debate because of the mass shootings inside schools, bullying, kids and their constant need to live up to certain standards, whether it’s their own or others’, unchecked mental illness, prejudice of others based on appearances...and by bringing ALL of this up in the teens’ conversations and through their own perspectives, Charbonneau makes the novel about more than just the bombs going off at this high school. The different stereotypes that the kids all fit into, serve to remind us that, right up until the end, when we find out ‘whodunnit’ all these kids are essentially ticking ‘time bombs’ waiting to go off. If not then, they could at some point. I think it’s easy to focus on the event of the bombs in this book, and kind of ignore that it’s all emblematic of the tumultuouness of teenagehood.
While ‘Time Bomb’ held my attention all the way through, I think this all could have been delved into in a more concrete way, because there were a lot of open doors to explore the hard issues that these teens were going through. Overall though, it’s a definite page-turner as far as the story and action go, with a surprise twist at the end.

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review 2013-10-23 16:22
ARC Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Roomies - Sara Zarr,Tara Altebrando

This book gave an interesting perspective into the thoughts and apprehensions of two teenage girls about to embark on college life, and how to find common ground even when your lives are almost complete opposites.


Assigned to be roommates at Berkley, Lauren and Elizabeth begin corresponding in email over the summer as they get ready to leave for college, find love, confront their fears and learn to see beyond their own noses. 


In the hands of a teenager who could commiserate with them, this book would find a perfect home. In the hands of a middle-aged mom who's over the whining of teenagers about how hard their lives are - well, let's be nice and say it was wasted on me.

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review 2013-10-19 00:05
ARC Review: Safe by C. Kennedy
Safe - C. Kennedy



I wanted to love this, really, I did. The premise is great - two seniors in high school who've been best friends since they were 10 years old, who've become boyfriends a while ago, who love each other deeply and who are faced with with hate and abuse from one of the boys' father. They're counting down the days until they can escape to college and be free to love each other the way they want.


Life wasn't informed of their plan, and thus throws in a wrench when they're caught kissing before school and are ratted out. All hell breaks loose.

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review 2013-10-10 14:18
ARC Review: Intervention by Mia Kerick
Intervention - Mia Kerick

GAH!! Where to start? First off, trigger warnings! There is mention of non-consensual sexual violence in this book, though none of it is explicit. Also, please have tissues handy - you will need them. 


This was a beautifully written story, pulled me in from the word go, with a voice that sounded authentic and believable. 


Kai is a high school senior working as a musical performer at a coffee shop/hang-out and otherwise flirting and shmexing any boy who catches his eye. Not interested in a relationship, he hones in on one of the waiters at the shop, only to be harshly rebuffed by whom his friend Mandy, a waitress at the same shop, calls Pretty Vacant. 


Jamie, the waiter, has a reputation of not connecting with anyone. He's nice enough to the customers and good at his job, but doesn't hang out with his co-workers or seeks out any friendships. A loner for quite some time, he's been written off by most of his peers. 


Clearly, something is going on.

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review 2013-10-09 00:56
ARC Review: The Sacrifices We Make
The Sacrifices We Make - Sophie Bonaste

Well...I don't really have a lot of good to say about this book. It's chockful of simplistic writing, telling rather than showing, and stiff characters that had no depths and became caricatures rather than actual people. 


I can see where this is supposed to be a book that tries very hard to become something geared towards LGBT Youth, but it fails to deliver on that promise. The harsh, super extreme religious themes, with the strict upbringing Adam has, ticked me off from the start. While it's certainly possible that households like Adam's exist, with a patriarch at the helm requiring unquestioning and immediate obedience, with bible study and such things, I found it too extreme to be a good example. The Camp Revelation where the kids are supposedly sent if they step out of the good Christian line also seemed a bit extreme. Again, sure, this stuff probably does go on, but those are fringe groups, I would think.

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