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Search tags: ya-let-s-get-real-shall-we
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review 2015-09-03 00:59
Mid-book thoughts
Charlie, Presumed Dead - Anne Heltzel

Started it yesterday & can't put it down!  Both equally likable & devious, Aubrey & Lena have some major secrets.  What they could be and what they could have to do with their boyfriend Charlie's (presumed) death remains to be seen.  Compelling read!

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review 2015-08-31 16:59
Awake - Natasha Preston

This book has received rave reviews from many reader.  It is destined to find a beloved home on many a bookshelf and reading list.  I'll even be recommending it to my YA audience when the need for thrillers pops up in October.  But here's why it's not bound for my personal favorites list:



In this YA romance/cult thriller, 16 year old Scartlett has no memory of life before the age of 4.  Hunky Noah moves into the neighborhood and suddenly, she falls in love and begins to have fleeting visions of her past.  Trick is, Noah is really part of a cult with a link to Scarlett's past and bad intentions for her future. 

The less than stellar bits: (Let's get this out of the way, shall we?)  Sporadic plot rate.  (You know, the pace at which a plot builds, climaxes, and falls.  Plot rate.)  Both the romance between Noah & Scarlett and the return of Scarlett's memories are instantaneous and contrived.  Neither event has any real build up or believable trigger.  Just BAM!  We're in love.  BAM!  Memories back.  


The quite enjoyable bits:    Everybody loves a good cult story!  This one's pretty high up on the list of 'crazy beliefs.'  The cult members and rituals are rather scarily believable.  Awake makes you take a long pause to think about loyalty, family, betrayal, and forgiveness.  


So, while not the top of my list this fall, it's combination of romance, suspense, and cult oddities will certainly entertain.  And make you get to know your neighbors just a little bit better.      


3.25 stars. 



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review 2015-08-06 16:36
A strong voice for those who might not be able to speak for themselves
M Is for Autism - The Student Of Limpsfield Grange School,The Students of Limp,Vicky Martin

This collaborative narrative from author Vicky Martin, illustrator Lunarez Visairas, and students from Limpsfield Grange School gives a voice to individuals facing the everyday challenges of life with autism. 


This book introduces us to "M," (a self-chosen moniker picked because, just as the letter M is stuck, squeezed in the middle of the alphabet, so she feels stuck, squeezed in the middle of a "tipsy-turvy, wobbly world") a 13 year old girl facing the everyday challenges of school, parents, boys...and autism. 


While this label brings comfort to those in her life, M realizes that knowing "what's wrong with her" doesn't make life any easier. With the help of an understanding counselor, M begins to accept that she is a strong individual, not a diagnosis.  She is encouraged to explore techniques that allow her to feel more control during the vicious, unpredictable moments in life.  


The pages are enhanced with colors, textures, and non-traditional print, giving readers a glimpse of how loud and distracting the world can be.  The first person narrative allows the reader to see M as she sees herself and the challenges and anxiety she faces each day.      

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review 2015-06-26 19:44
Faking Perfect-An authentic look at strength through a character's imperfection
Faking Perfect - Rebecca Phillips

Thanks to @KensingtonBooks and @NetGalley for the ARC.


Faking Perfect took me by surprise.  Expecting the typical 'good girl falls for bad boy' plot line, I instead met Lexi-an admittedly flawed, but strong, independent young woman who

discovers her own inner strength through her own (and others') imperfection. 


Less a story of inter-personal relationships than a heartbreaking coming of age realization from the mouth of a non-conventional heroine.


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