Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis {Review + Giveaway}

Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis {Review + Giveaway}

Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis {Review + Giveaway}Title: Knowing Jack
Author: Rachel Curtis
Publisher: Self Published on January 17th 2014
Format: eBook, 165 pages
Source: AToMR Tours
3 Stars

The sum up

Despite my issue with the book, I found this a fun and sexy way to pass the time.

Summary

I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.

I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired.

I am not a drama queen, although everyone thinks I am now. When I got a few nasty messages, I just deleted them. When I got the threat, I assumed it was someone being stupid. I still think that’s all it was. My parents worry, though, so they hired me a bodyguard. Now Jack follows me around, intimidating everyone who approaches me and looking obnoxiously hot.

This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.

And I’m stuck with Jack.

He calls me “Princess,” but I’m not a princess either.

My thoughts

Chloe made a decision she’s still paying for. She doesn’t regret that decision (after all, they were both adults and technically, he wasn’t even her teacher at the time they began seeing each other), but she’s hating the backlash. She’s trying to stay strong and not let it get her down, but really, how much negativity can one person take?

Chloe was an interesting character for me. She was strong, in standing up to the bullies and staying at the school even though everyone hated her, but she was also basically a weakling when it came to Jack. She was on a break from men, but the second she had the chance, she was ready to chuck it all just to have sex with him. Jack was your typical strong and silent type. You knew he had a dark secret he was hiding, but it only made him more attractive.

The point of view switched every once in a while, but it never stayed with Jack very long, maybe a page or two. Just long enough for us to know how much he loved Chloe and wanted her hot bod, but also that he couldn’t be with her because it would disappoint his dad.

Chloe was a bit frustrating in that she wasn’t able to stand up for herself in a lot of ways until Jack and his magic penis somehow taught her to let go and own it. In fact, it was amazing the things his penis could do. It made her fall in love with him (and vice versa), it made her let go of her self-righteous determination to prove something and made him stop trying to please his dad in order to live his own life. It was miraculous, that penis.

So, as you may have noticed, I had a slight problem with the believability in this novel. BUT, other than that, I really enjoyed it. If you can set aside your disbelief in the magic of the sex, it’s kind of a fun story. It’s fast-paced, a little bit mysterious and a whole lot sexy.

About the author

Rachel is a writer, a teacher, a romance reader, and a dog-mom. She loves animals and art and hot men with soft hearts under a tough exterior. She tries to write love stories that feel real, even in unlikely circumstances.

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Penny Dreadful Books

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Betwixt by Melissa Pearl {Review + Giveaway}

Betwixt by Melissa Pearl {Review + Giveaway}Title: Betwixt
Author: Melissa Pearl
Publisher: Self Published on November 5th 2012
Format: eBook, 203 pages pages
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
3 Stars

Summary

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

My thoughts

Mean girl Nicole is actually mean to cover the pain from an incident a few years ago that left her sister dead. Instead of feeling the pain, she lashes out at everyone around her, including her parents. After insulting the scarred Dale in front of their classmates, she ends up getting hit by a car while walking home alone after a party. And wouldn’t you know, Dale’s the only one who can hear Nicole’s pleas for help. Can they work together to find Nicole’s body before she fades away for good?

Dale was the only likable character in the book.

Nicole wasn’t an especially likable character. She was going through something awful, carrying around the guilt of her little sister’s death, but she was so mean to everyone around her. Her parents already lost one child, and Nicole was making it darn near impossible for them to like her. Plus she was mean to the kids at her school, acting like the typical queen bee. Dale, on the other hand, was a great guy. He was kind, gentle and, lucky for Nicole, not at all spiteful.

Nicole’s boyfriend was a douchecanoe, the perfect companion to her mean girl. And her friends were just as mean, as demonstrated by their lack of concern after she went missing. Which Nicole witnessed, thanks to her ghostly presence. Really, Dale was the only likable character in the book.

There was tension, as Nicole tried to figure out where her body was and if she would even be able to stay alive until Dale could find her, and mystery as we wondered who hit her and if they would be able to finish the job.

The dialogue was a touch on the unbelievable side for me. I don’t think I can put my finger on it, but it didn’t ring as authentic to me. There was one thing that especially bothered me (slight spoiler): View Spoiler » The writing also seemed to lack something, maybe that little extra thing that makes the story come alive. The basics are there, but the story could use a little polish.

The sum up

While definitely enjoyable, it lacked a little something and had some plausibility issues.

About the author

Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November, 2011. Since then she has produced three more books with her fifth novel, Betwixt, due out in November 2012.

“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”

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What the Cat Read | Books 4 Tomorrow

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The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay {Review + Giveaway}

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay {Review + Giveaway}Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books on June 4th, 2013
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

My thoughts

You guys. You guys. This book. I just… I don’t think I have the words to express how much I loved it. Nothing I can say could possibly convey the amazingness that is this book. And the feels. My god, the feels!

Nastya is the new girl at school, and everyone wants to know all about her. But nobody knows a thing because not only does she dress like a prostitute, she doesn’t speak. Ever. What they don’t know is that something traumatic happened to her a few years ago, and her silence and provocative dress are her way of dealing with things and taking control of her life. On the other hand, everyone knows everything about Josh. Everyone in his family has died, one by one, until he’s all alone. Between those who are afraid his “bad luck” will be contagious, and those who just don’t know what to say to him, he has no friends, except for Drew, the slutty but honest guy he’s known forever.

From the very first chapter, I was completely invested in what was going on in these characters’ lives.

The point of view switched between Nastya and Josh, which I loved. We learned what happened to Nastya before Josh did, and I enjoyed seeing things from his point of view, as he struggled to understand what made her tick. I also liked seeing her point of view, as she let herself relax around him, and learned to face her past.

I really liked Drew, Josh’s friend, who also became Nastya’s friend. He was a manwhore, but he never lied about it to the ladies. He was always up front about his interests, and of course, there was more to him than met the eye.

The way the characters spoke to each other was so honest, nothing flowery or unreal. They always said what was on their mind, even if it didn’t make sense, or paint themselves in the most flattering light. But they were honest, and they respected each other for it. Drew was definitely the comic relief; he had a great sense of humor and knew how to make the other two take a break from their inner turmoil.

Katja Millay has a gift for writing honest and real emotions, and for making me care about the characters. From the very first chapter, I was completely invested in what was going on in their lives. And I wanted them to work out, I wanted them to heal and be there for each other. I wanted them to have a happily ever after. It mattered to me what happened to them.

Not since reading Where the Red Fern Grows as a child have I cried so much for characters in a book. I’m not talking getting a little teary-eyed, either. I’m talking full on ugly sobbing.

It’s a long one, at over 400 pages, but believe me, you won’t notice. In fact, as I neared the end, I started to slow down my reading because I just didn’t want the story to end. I am absolutely blown away that this is Katja’s debut novel, I never would have guessed that. She was born to write and I will, without doubt, read anything else she puts out.

The sum up

Heart-wrenchingly sad, but also hopeful and funny. It broke my heart, stomped on the pieces, then put it all back together again. Truly a book that everyone must read.

About the author

Katja Millay grew up in Florida and graduated with a degree in film & television production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked as a television producer and a film studies and screenwriting teacher. The Sea of Tranquility is her first book.

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We Still Read | Dear Author | Book Cracker Caroline

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TMI by Patty Blount {Review}

TMI by Patty Blount {Review}Title: TMI
Author: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire on August 6th 2013
Format: eARC, 336 pages
Source: Publisher
2 Stars
2 Stars

Summary

Best friends don’t lie.
Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online.

Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile.

When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony.

But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question:

Who is Ryder West?

My thoughts

Meg and Bailey have been besties forever. Through thick and thin, they’ve managed to stay close. Through Meg fending off the advances of the super nice boy next door, to Bailey’s abusive relationship, they know each other’s secrets and would do anything for each other. Even butt into each other’s lives if necessary.

This book was okay; it was a quick read and had some entertainment value, but I had a lot of issues with it.

The 2 main characters, Meg and Bailey, were supposed to be the best of friends, but they didn’t act like it. Throughout the book, they were friends, then they’d fight and be enemies, then they made up again. Friends, enemies, friends, enemies, over and over again. The flip flopping got old very fast. Also, they both seemed incredibly immature for 17 year-olds. I would have pegged them as maybe 13.

Meg was insanely driven to excel at everything. She had a focused plan and there was no room for anything else – no other friends, no boys, no subpar grades. She seemed to think that any deviation from her set plan would result in catastrophe. This was the reason she was avoiding any sort of relationship with the sweet boy next door who was very obviously crushing on her. Once the big reason behind her narrow-minded focus was revealed, I thought it was silly and not worth the build-up.

Bailey was one of those girls who changed herself to be a boy’s ideal girl. Unsurprisingly, the boys never made her very happy. Her latest was on the controlling side and downright mean. I’m not sure what she saw in him in the first place. I think she liked him because he was popular. I questioned whether Bailey was Meg’s friend at all when she decided she would make Meg realize her feelings for the boy next door by dating him herself and making Meg jealous. What kind of friend does that?

I figured out the mystery of “Who is Ryder West” within a chapter of his first appearance on Meg’s radar, so no surprises there. The plot was an interesting idea, but the execution left me wanting.

The sum up

A great idea bogged down by very unlikable characters.

About the author


Technical writer by day, fiction writer by night, Patty mines her day job for ideas to use in her novels. Her debut YA “Send” was born after a manager suggested she research social networks. Patty adores chocolate, her boys, and books, though not necessarily in that order.
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45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson {Review}

45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson {Review}Title: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K.A. Barson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile on July 11th 2013
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Source: Book Divas
4 Stars
Summary

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

My thoughts

Ann has been overweight for a long time. She’s tried various diets and exercise programs, but none stick. When her aunt asks her to stand up at her wedding, Ann decides now is the time to get serious about losing weight. She sees an informercial for the Next Big Thing and decides that’s the key. As she’s trying to lose the weight, she’s also dealing with new friends, jealous friends, a new crush, her absentee dad, a new job and a very critical mother.

In the beginning, Ann was a bit of a non-character. Thanks to her mother’s constant nagging, and her own self-image, Ann was afraid to be herself, or to have much of a personality. She wanted to blend in and be unnoticed. As the story goes on and she learns to open up and make friends and talk to people, she really blossoms into a person whom I would totally be friends with.

One of her new friends, Raynee, was a great person for Ann to get to know and I liked her character. I also liked Ann’s crush, who was a cutie patootie and so nice (and forgiving!). Ann’s family was your average blended family and they were all believable, though the mom was a bit… off. Her issues weren’t the kind that would go on unnoticed in real life as long as they did in the story.

The plot was entirely (and unfortunately) believable. Who among us hasn’t, at one time or another, decided we needed to lose some weight? Thought that everything would get better if we could drop a few pounds? Imagined that this new diet is the one that will solve our weight problem once and for all? We know better, but Anne still believes, and it was painful to read as she learned the truth.

You know going in what the final lesson will be, but it was never got preachy. There was a lot of humor in the story; I loved Ann’s snarkiness, and her grandmother’s bad attitude. I laughed out loud several times. K.A. Barson not only writes the funny scenes, but she can bring the sad, too, without it being overwhelming. Ann’s inner dialogue was one I think everyone can relate to.

The sum up

I found this to be honest and fun; a perfect story for girls, both the young and the not-so young.

About the author


K.A. Barson graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She and her husband live in Jackson, Michigan, surrounded by kids, grandkids, unruly dogs, and too many pairs of shoes.

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Audio on October 18, 2011
Format: Audiobook, 12 hrs and 6 mins
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My thoughts

Sean and Puck both live on Thisby island, where the highlight of the year are the Scorpio Races. About the same time every year, lethal water horses swim up on shore to eat whatever animals or humans they can catch. And every year, riders catch the water horses and enter them in the race. Sean’s been in the races for years, and he usually wins. Puck wasn’t planning on ever racing, but family circumstances force her hand and the possibility of winning the prize money is too good to pass up.

Puck and Sean were both very strong characters. Neither had parents and had learned to rely on themselves long ago. Sean had no family at all and was living with the island’s richest family while working at their stables. He was self-reliant and kind, quiet and strong. His quasi-brother was such an a-hole to him, but he maintained the peace and I was impressed with his restraint. Puck lived with her two brothers, one older and one younger. Their parents had died not too long ago and Puck was leaning on her older brother while trying to stay strong for her younger brother. She was in a difficult place, especially as her older brother drifted away so he could do his own growing up.

I liked the secondary characters, they were all full of personality and added that special something to the story. The good guys were fun and the bad guys were real jerks.

Neither Sean nor Puck were very talkative, so there wasn’t a lot of witty dialogue. It was nice for a change, though. They didn’t speak unless they had something important to say, so you really listened to the words. There were a lot of comfortable silences.

There was no grand sweeping love story here. There was just a touch of romance, but it was sweet and innocent. It was the perfect amount; any more would have been out of place in the story.

The writing was absolutely fabulous. Maggie Stiefvater knows how to create a whole new world. The entire island was described in such detail and with such care that you can’t help but picture it perfectly. The bluffs, the trees and bushes, the beach, the houses, the horses, the shops; all of it in perfectly vivid detail. Really, I can’t say enough how much I loved the world-building.

The pace lagged a bit, there was a ton of build-up before anything substantial happened and it was way too long before the actual races took place. Quite a bit of that filler could have been cut out with no effect to the overall story. Other than that, I liked the general direction the story took. There was some mystery as we were kept in the dark about some details, and there was a lot of action, once it got started.

A word of warning for animal lovers – this story (obviously) focuses on horses (with a few other animals thrown in) and it’s not all sunshine and roses. The horses and the riders are hurt, sometimes graphically, and some die. If you have an aversion to stories where the animals suffer (as I normally do), then you’d do best to avoid this one.

Now I need to talk about the narrators. I adored them both, and I would totally listen to them read from the dictionary if they ever decided to do that. They embodied the characters completely and their voices were smooth and pleasant. They didn’t have to yell at the tense parts, they could change their voices to show the mood changes. They are my top two narrator choices.

The sum up

A unique and interesting story with action, adventure and a touch of romance. If you’re going to read it, I highly recommend the audio version.

About the author

maggie stiefvaterNew York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

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Novel Journeys | A Nudge In the Right Direction | Starlight Book Reviews

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Guest Post: What Parents Should Know About Bullying by Patty Blount {TMI}

Author Patty Blount is stopping by the blog today to talk to us about bullying, a serious and sometimes difficult subject. Unfortunately, she has personal experience in this area and can speak as someone who’s been there.

Technical writer by day, fiction writer by night, Patty mines her day job for ideas to use in her novels. Her debut YA “Send” was born after a manager suggested she research social networks. Patty adores chocolate, her boys, and books, though not necessarily in that order.

the busy bibliophile
I was stunned beyond belief the night my son cried he no longer wanted to live. I had no idea he was in so much pain. I didn’t know he was being bullied. I didn’t know it had started nine months earlier.

I didn’t know.

Ironically, the same thing on which I blame my ignorance is also the reason why my son’s classmates turned on him – he’d reached puberty. I thought hiding in his room and moodiness and anger were all due to the hormone surge. But the body hair, deep voice and growth spurt he experienced in sixth grade made him the odd man out. Five little boys, former friends, taunted him relentlessly about his bad skin, and body hair and it escalated. They called him names, told him he was a freak who didn’t deserve to live.

And I didn’t know.

I should have. I should have known exactly what was happening in my son’s life, but when I asked him questions like “How was school?” and he replied, “Fine,” I just dropped it.

My son’s story has a happy ending – sort of. I got him help. The school district was wonderful in how they responded. He’s now a college senior. But I can’t help wishing I’d pressed him a bit more. I wish I hadn’t lost touch with my own child.

Here’s what I know about bullying and I’m not an expert. I’m just a mom grateful she didn’t bury her son.

It’s happening earlier than you think. Middle school grades are the peak age for bullying, but it’s happening even in elementary school.

It could be your kid. In fact, odds are it IS your kid, so please don’t be one of those parents who closes their minds as soon as people make the suggestion. When my son, the same son who wanted to die in sixth grade, was accused of being the bully in seventh grade, I had to face that harsh reality.

Bullies aren’t all big scary jerks who steal your lunch money. Some bullies are pretty girls who talk about your daughter behind her back, spread rumors, or exclude her from popular activities. Called Relational Aggression, this type of bullying leaves deep scars. And some bullies do it for the attention, the laughs, the respect. In my son’s case, his bullies taunted him because they were jealous he looked like a man while they still looked like little boys.

Violence DOES have a place in this discussion. Your school administrator will disagree with me here, but when my child is physically threatened, I want him to defend himself. Let me emphasize: DEFEND himself. This does not mean sending him to school with a weapon. It does not mean stomping on someone’s head with steel-toed boots on, as happened in Florida. It means defending against imminent threat and for that, I see nothing wrong with lessons like karate or boxing because those disciplines will not only instruct the basics of combat, but also, knowing when to stop.

You may be the last to know your child is suffering. Understand that a bullied child is AFRAID. A bully is just like a terrorist – his or her goal is to instill fear. When you do learn your child is a victim, don’t make light of it, don’t try to underplay it, and if your child expresses ANY suggestion of suicide or threats to others, seek immediate professional help no matter what your mother or your next door neighbor or the people at work think about it. I didn’t think my sixth grader knew what suicide was and then I found out he actually considered it. If you tell your child to ignore the bully or laugh it off, you’re essentially telling your child you agree with the bully. Don’t do this. Your child’s psyche is already scarred. In our case, I asked my son what he needed me to do. He said he wanted me to help him clear up his acne. (I’d been ignoring it, figuring it was just puberty.) I took him to a doctor, put him on medication and that removed one of his bullies’ favorite subjects, plus restored some of my son’s lost confidence.

This one’s tough. At some point, you will have to notify the right people and your child is going to hate you for it. You may have to talk to the bully’s parents. You may have to deal with an ineffective school administration that does inane things like punish BOTH kids involved in a fight when one clearly attacked the other. You may even need to call the police. When you’re ready to go public, look for allies. Can friends partner up to make sure your teen is never alone? Can teachers keep a closer eye on accused bullies? Can you contact witnesses to bullying?

There are dozens of websites dedicated to stopping bullying and one of the best is the Bully movie organization at www.thebullyproject.com. I encourage all parents to seek more information, even if your child is not a victim. In fact, such parents are our best shot at ending bullying forever – statistically speaking, your child has either seen bullying or knows about it, and probably wants to do something about it, but doesn’t know what. The Bully Project focuses on turning bystanders into upstanders.

I hope my experience and my list of tips helps. If you’re the parent of a bullied teen, how have you helped him or her cope? Tell me in the comments.

the busy bibliophile photo 9a7bf740-41c3-4997-bcde-70b49a041fd8_zps71846441.jpgBest friends don’t lie.
Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online.

Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile.

When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony.

But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question:

Who is Ryder West?

the busy bibliophile

Oh, Patty, what a sad story. Thank goodness your son finally opened up to you and told you what was going on. I shudder to think what might have happened otherwise. And thank you for sharing something so personal with us. As the mom of a teenager, I know I will be keeping these tips in mind.

If you’d like more information about Meredith or her sophomore novel, check out the links below:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Publisher: January 24th 2013 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Book Divas
Series: Slated | Fractured
5 owl rating

Summary

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost forever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

My thoughts

In the U.K. in the near future, teens who have been convicted of crimes can be slated, or have their brains wiped. They forget everything about their past: who they were, their personalities, their families, everything. They literally become blank slates. They are then placed with new families who raise them as their own. The slated are like toddlers, just learning about the world and their place in it. To help with the transition, those who have been slated wear bracelets that monitor their brain activity. If they get too sad, angry or aggressive, their bracelets alert the wearer so the offending behavior can be fixed.

This book turned out so differently than I was expecting from the start. At first, the writing bothered me a bit; there was a serious lack of contractions. It was weird, a conversation would be going along fine, then someone would say something like “It is obvious” or “It is fine.” It was kind of jarring and I just knew it would ruin the story for me. But then I really got into it and soon I didn’t even see those little annoyances anymore. Let me assure you, this is a fantastic book.

When I started the book, I wondered why Kyla was so compliant about the slating situation. Where were her parents and why didn’t she wonder the same thing? How could she just go to a new family and act like it was no big deal? What happened if she didn’t fit in? Though these questions were answered eventually, they were slow in coming. There was no big info-dump in the beginning, I just had to read along and wait for the information to be revealed.

I really enjoyed all the characters. It’s hard for me to describe them, though, without revealing some secrets. One of the best things about the book is how I never knew who was trustworthy and who wasn’t. Someone who was a stereotypical bad guy could be secretly good and someone who appeared so good you knew they must be evil, may actually be good. Truly, I never knew what to think about them, and I absolutely loved that.

There wasn’t a lot of action, as far as fight scenes or chases, but there were a ton of tense moments, and Teri Terry really knows how to write them. They were subtle and gripping and I literally held my breath many times throughout the story. Sometimes it was as simple as 2 people having a conversation, but it was written in such a way that you could literally feel the uneasiness between them, even if one of them didn’t.

Finally, the ending frustrated me because it didn’t feel like an ending. It wasn’t that it was a cliffhanger, it just… ended. Almost like Teri Terry had to edit the book down in size, so she just opened a page, pointed and said “Here. Here’s where it will end.” Of course, that just makes me anxious for the next one, so maybe she did it on purpose!

The sum up

I loved every bit of it and can’t wait for the next one.

Connect with the author

Website
Facebook
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Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository
Amazon hardcover
Kindle

Other opinions

The Book Rat
Booked Up!
The Diary of a Bookworm

This book review originally appeared on BookDivas.com

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