Loann doesn't like herself. She'd rather be like her sister, Claire. She wants Claire's looks, her popularity and maybe even her boyfriend, Josh.
The sLoann doesn't like herself. She'd rather be like her sister, Claire. She wants Claire's looks, her popularity and maybe even her boyfriend, Josh.
The synopsis mentions betrayal. I did not see betrayal. I saw a teenage girl so in need of attention that she wasn't thinking at all. Loann was self-conscious, insecure and she had a serious case of low self-esteem (I blame her parents for that), but she didn't always let her fear keep her from speaking up when necessary. She was stronger than she thought she was.
It didn't take long to figure out what was going on with Claire. I wanted to know what was going to happen with her, but I was more interested in Marcus. What was going on in his personal life that he didn't want to tell? Wanting the answer to this question is what kept me reading. And then once I knew, I kept reading to see what Marcus was going to do next and how his relationship with Loann was going to turn out.
I liked this story from the beginning, even though it moved at a slow pace and took a while to pick up. Jaden did a good job of capturing the nervousness and awkwardness a teenage girl experiences when she doesn't know if a guy likes her or not. The author also tackles eating disorders and domestic abuse realistically. Her story gives teenage girls important things to think about concerning popularity, body image and premarital sex. It also has a lesson for parents who favor one child over another. As the author shows, it can cause serious issues in the life of the 'favorite' as well as the one who doesn't get enough attention.
Favorite Character: Marcus Favorite Line (sad, but says it all): Claire would always overshadow me. My life wasn't as important as hers. ...more
Fifteen year old, Diamond Winters, dreams of becoming a star. When she finds out about a teen competition, she’s eager to participate, but she can’t dFifteen year old, Diamond Winters, dreams of becoming a star. When she finds out about a teen competition, she’s eager to participate, but she can’t do it alone. Glory 2 God Productions is looking for a group, so Diamond has to convince her friends, India, Veronique and Aaliyah to sing with her.
Everything that happened with the Divine Divas was interesting; however, Victoria Christopher Murray touched on the topic of teen sex in a way that certainly got my attention, and that is why I liked this story. Diamond had feelings for Jason (aka Jax) Xavier. Would she put Jax before her dreams? Would she fall for his mind games? Would she compromise her Christian beliefs to please him? Wanting to know the answers to my questions is what kept me reading to the end.
I couldn’t really tell if Diamond was confidant or arrogant. What was clear: Even though she kept insisting she was a ‘mature fifteen’ she was not as mature as she thought she was. She was very naïve when it came to dealing with Jax. And she was way too trusting. Diamond also depended on magazines too much. She did learn from reading the articles, but I was surprised she didn’t think for herself more often instead of always looking to these print publications for answers.
The questions I mentioned were answered, but I was left with one more question. I know Jax was the star of the high school basketball team, but would a guy love the game so much that he’d carry a basketball around all of the time? He had it with him just about every place he went, and I wasn’t sure that was realistic.
Again, I liked the story. The lessons Diamond learned can definitely help each and every teenage girl – Christian or not – who reads this book. I have a favorite line: “Any relationship that makes you lie to your Heavenly Father or your earthly father is not a relationship worth having. And a favorite chapter: 31. And a favorite character: Aaliyah. I’m not sure if I’ll read all of the remaining books, but I plan to read Aaliyah’s story. ...more
The Need sends Charlotte Cassidy to places she hasn’t been to help people she doesn’t know. If she resists, she’s not able to for long. Her friends doThe Need sends Charlotte Cassidy to places she hasn’t been to help people she doesn’t know. If she resists, she’s not able to for long. Her friends don’t know about The Need and she can’t bring herself to tell them, because… well, what is she? A freak?
When angels come to mind, I don’t think fantasy or magical. I think of entertaining angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2) or guardian angels (Psalm 91:11). I believe in angels. Although I detected a bit of New Ageism as I read this book, there were quite a few moments when I thought of Christianity, of God and His marvelous Light and unconditional love. And there was also darkness. The second Onika was introduced I knew something was not right with this female. She was like Satan in the Garden of Eden. Her presence was bothersome. I did not like her. I did not trust her.
Curiosity kept the pages turning. Who was Charlotte going to save next and what was this person’s issue? I couldn’t understand, though, why this girl had Harlin on the brain. Yes, she was a teenage girl all infatuated or in love or whatever. But she clearly had something more important to be concerned about. Dealing with The Need was such a struggle for her. How could she focus on having a relationship?
Charlotte had a friend named Sarah. I wasn’t clear on Sarah’s home life, but it seemed she wasn’t getting much attention from her parents so she was seeking it elsewhere and in the wrong ways like some teenage girls do. She was in pain and I felt for her.
A Need So Beautiful was a good read. My favorite sentence: Monroe called this a blessing, but it feels more like a curse. The ending left me with an unanswered question, but the next book is titled ‘A Want So Wicked’ – I’m not sure at this time if I want to read it. ...more
Jaris Spain is a junior at Tubman High. It might not be the best school in the ‘hood, but Tubman’s not all bad and Jaris attends with his closest frieJaris Spain is a junior at Tubman High. It might not be the best school in the ‘hood, but Tubman’s not all bad and Jaris attends with his closest friends. Jaris works hard to get good grades and he also has a part-time job. He isn’t always happy with his home life, since he never knows what kind of mood his dad will be in and his parents argue all of the time. Gangs are moving closer to his neighborhood. But there is someone who makes life better, even if she doesn’t know how Jaris really feels about her. Will he ever find the courage to ask her out?
Jaris is a likeable teenage guy. Even though I didn’t think he should have spoken to his mother they way he did at times, I understood his concerns. He was very protective of his sister; I liked that. Although he was smart and talented, he didn’t have much confidence. I guess being around his gloomy dad had something to do with that, but then again, hearing his parents arguing all of the time wasn’t good.
Lorenzo Spain (Jaris’s Dad): After reading the book description, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this man, but I noticed what his wife just didn’t seem to get – Lorenzo was suffering from depression. Although I felt for him deeply, I believe letting go of the past would have helped him.
Monica Spain (Jaris’s Mom): College educated. An elementary school teacher and she loved her work. A mother and she loved her children. A wife and she loved her husband. I don’t think she was trying to be so hard on Lorenzo; she knew what a good man he was and she wanted him to see it.
Chelsea (Jaris’s Sister): This girl better be glad her brother has her back.
Alonee Lennox (Jaris’s friend): An intelligent, kind-hearted young lady. I was glad she was there for Jaris; he needed her encouragement and support. And I really like the words she spoke on page 107.
Sereeta Prince: The girl Jaris has had feelings for since junior high. I felt bad for her because of her family situation; divorce does affect the children.
Grandma Jessie: I don’t believe she was uppity. I think she just wanted the best for her daughter and grandchildren.
Trevor Jenkins (Jaris’s friend): I’d like to read his story so I can get to know the woman who raised him. It sounds like she’s a single mother who does not play.
Marko Lane: Bully
I like the small size of this book and I really like the cover. There are ten long chapters with no scene breaks. I don’t really like long chapters, but this story was so interesting that it didn’t bother me. Families, teenage love, friendship, bullying, education, dreams that have died and dreams still alive – these are all a part of this young adult novel. Outrunning the Darkness is Book #1 in Anne Schraff’s Urban Underground series. I’m not sure if I’ll read all fifteen books, but I plan to read the second one. ...more
Lacey is a fourteen –year- old girl about to begin a volunteer job at one of her favorite places, the Peace City Library. She doesn’t have a best frieLacey is a fourteen –year- old girl about to begin a volunteer job at one of her favorite places, the Peace City Library. She doesn’t have a best friend, but she’d like one. She doesn’t live a normal teenage life, but she’d like to.
Lacey had too much responsibility for a girl her age. She was carrying her mother’s burden with no help, and I really felt for her. It seemed her best moments took place in her mind and that was sad. It was also sad how she blamed herself for things that weren’t her fault.
The author writes about mental illness; mostly depression, but it seemed to me Lacey’s mother was schizophrenic. Aaron Ririe was a godsend, because Lacey sure needed a friend. And it was nice how Lacey loved the library and reading. Other than that, there was nothing about this story that made me feel good. It was sad mostly. And when the story took an unexpected turn near the end, it got downright creepy. Actually, it was like watching a horror movie. I am not into horror, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep turning the pages, but I did. ...more
While London Lane sleeps, her day is erased and while she's awake she experiences flash forwards. She remembers what she's seen that will happen and fWhile London Lane sleeps, her day is erased and while she's awake she experiences flash forwards. She remembers what she's seen that will happen and forgets what already happened... unless she writes it down.
When I started reading this book, I had to read certain sentences and even paragraphs over again so I could be clear. By the time I got to page 30 I got the gist of what was going on with London. This teenage girl had a lot to deal with, especially when what she called a `dark memory' came. I wasn't sure, though, why the author used phrases like `forward memories' or `remembering the future'. Why not call it premonitions or psychic or even prophesy? I guess that doesn't really matter, but since memories are about `past' happenings I was just wondering. But then again, if London could only remember the `flash forwards' without having to write them down, they were the only memories she had.
What I thought about most as I read this story is how much I liked Luke. I'm sure there are teenage guys who wouldn't be as understanding about London's `memory issue' as Luke was. He was a mature young man with a good heart. London was an interesting character and I felt for her, because it took a lot of work for her to live her life. She had to keep notes; lots and lots of notes. When it came to `the present', reading was remembering. I was not happy with her, though, when she lied to Page. What she told one classmate could have started lots of trouble for another.
I don't believe London's friend, Jaime, was really angry with London, but feeling guilty about the choice she made. Why would she think her `friend' would go along with what she was doing?
London's mother, Bridgette: What she kept from her daughter, she should have told her. Not the entire story right when it happened, but later when London was old enough to handle the truth.
This book about a girl with `memory issues' turned out to be a `mystery & suspense teenage love story' that had me concerned for certain characters and kept me guessing. I didn't expect all the twists and turns!! The ending left unanswered questions and I would like to know what happened next. A sequel would be nice, but if there won't be one I'm fine with drawing my own conclusions.
Cat Patrick's story is a well-written, page-turner!! Forgotten would make a good television movie. I'd set my DVR so I could breeze right past the commercials and enjoy the show. Very nice debut!!! ...more
Santana Jackson is from the `hood and her boyfriend, Pharaoh, is a hustler. Dynasty Young has a hard life and what she wants most is to earn her way oSantana Jackson is from the `hood and her boyfriend, Pharaoh, is a hustler. Dynasty Young has a hard life and what she wants most is to earn her way out of the projects. Patience Blackman is the daughter of the famous Bishop Blackman. She wants to escape her sheltered life and have some fun for a change.
When I found out about this book and read the synopsis I immediately pre-ordered a copy, because I wanted to know Patience Blackman's story. She was not ready for the choices she made and the position her friend, Silky, put her in. (I don't know what in the world Silky was thinking) Patience was naïve when it came to dealing with certain people and knew nothing about the ways of the world. In fact, if it didn't have to do with church she was pretty much clueless. All I kept thinking was `Trill is not the one' and `I know she wants to experience life, but this is not the way'. I felt bad for her for a while there. I didn't feel bad for her when she was punished, though. Her dad may have been too strict most days, but she deserved that. However, God can work things together for good. If Patience hadn't been `sentenced to hard time' things would have probably turned out a lot differently for her.
Santana was a tough girl who could take care of herself and I liked her spunk. She wasn't too wise when it came to choosing a boyfriend, though, or when it came to choosing her friends. She needed to stop following after Meka and stay far away from her so-called best friend. She had a mother who needed to get her priorities straight. I thought I wasn't going to like Craig, her mother's man, but he turned out to be the kind of father figure Santana needed. It took her a long time to realize how good she had it.
Dynasty was the character I liked most and I guess that's because she's the one I felt for most. She had it hard growing up, and then she had to put up with her Aunt Maybelline. Her relationship with Rufus was kind of unusual and, I'm sorry to say, began to annoy me after a while. It was great that she was there for him when he needed her, though.
Boyfriend Season was a good read, but I would have enjoyed it more if it didn't contain so much ghetto slang - some call it street speak or street slang or Ebonics (ebony=black and phonics= speech sounds or science of sounds). It was the character, Pharaoh, who kept the story from flowing well for me. Reading the words he spoke was like work - skreet instead of street, for instance. I had to ask somebody if there are people who really talk like that and the answer was `yes'. For a minute there I thought the author was making up words. I was glad when I came to page 190 - I totally agreed with Santana and I was so glad she came to her senses. I was also glad the author included a character like Gulliver. I liked him and the positive message his character sends to readers. ...more
Since fifth grade Sunday Tolliver knew she wanted to attend Spelman College, and the money she'd need took years for her mother to save. But then herSince fifth grade Sunday Tolliver knew she wanted to attend Spelman College, and the money she'd need took years for her mother to save. But then her mother's boyfriend needs a loan and Sunday's college fund is depleted. Will she be able to earn enough money so she won't miss out on a higher education?
Sunday is a likeable character and I felt bad for her when she found out about her college fund. She mentioned a `hood existence', making it clear that she wasn't happy where she was. Looking at her family situation I was glad that college was on Sunday's agenda. I'm not sure how she knew since fifth grade that she wanted to go, though, because - unless I missed something - I didn't see anyone in her life that would encourage such an important goal. Yes, her mother saved the money, but then she put a so-called man before her daughter and gave it all away. It didn't matter if it was supposed to be a loan and she expected to get it back. It was money to ensure her daughter could study entertainment law and she should have told Carlos to find another way or given him her retirement money instead if she was so concerned about his troubles.
Dreya (aka Drama) is something else! She needs all of the attention and she doesn't seem to care about anybody else. She can be loud and seemingly in control, but insecurity is what I noticed most. I won't say I didn't like her, but her presence was bothersome at times.
I'm not sure what's going on with Bethany - why she makes certain choices. I did notice the envy and jealousy towards Sunday, but I felt like something more was going on with this girl.
Sam was a good guy; talented and respectful of females. I liked him.
Music: I listen to different genres, but I know nothing about the music industry. Not a Good Look gave me a behind the scenes look; some of it was good and some of it was not. As I closed the book all I could think of was that I hope Sunday doesn't allow certain people to keep her from living her dreams. I plan to read All The Wrong Moves and Doing My Own Thing to find out what happens with this gifted young lady, and I'd also like to get to know Bethany better....more
David Albacore is a young man forced to grow up too fast. He’s a high school senior and he also has an after-school job in construction. He feels respDavid Albacore is a young man forced to grow up too fast. He’s a high school senior and he also has an after-school job in construction. He feels responsible for his sisters’ material and emotional needs since his mother died and he’s more like a parent to them than an older brother. When David’s mother was alive she made him promise to get a high school diploma. With so much going on in his life, will he make it to graduation? I liked David. He was wise beyond his years and a decent guy. I felt bad for him whenever he blamed himself for things that weren’t his fault. And the way he longed for his mother to still be around saddened me. I liked that he was sensitive to females needs and I’m sure that was because of what he experienced with his mom and sisters. He did remind me of a playa –something he said he used to be- for a moment there, but then the David I liked was back again. And I understood why David would question God about what happened to his mother, but here’s the thing: There is God and there is also Satan. Satan is the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy and his voice is the one David’s dad was listening to when he killed David’s mother. The author clearly shows the emotional damage that comes from losing a loved one to domestic violence and I hurt for David and his sisters, Barnetta (Barney) and Linda. David’s sister, Barney, was looking for someone to make her important and she thought she’d find that in a guy, but what she needed was a true friend. I was concerned for her when she started hanging with the wrong group of students. Her brother had her back, though, which was admirable. But the game she and David were playing; there was something too weird about that. Malik Kaplan wasn’t a likeable character at all. He’s the kind of guy girls need to stay away from… far away. And Yolanda Dare: Her choice of friends wasn’t the best, but she had more common sense than anyone would think. It’s respect for herself that she was lacking. Even though she was strong enough to speak her mind she didn’t seem to care enough about herself to not allow Malik to use her. She also had very little confidence in her creative abilities and that was a shame, because she was talented. When I think of this character I think of how appearances can be deceiving and I don’t mean in a bad way. David had his reasons for taking The Sociology of Marriage and Family class and, again, I felt for him. I liked the assignment the teacher, Mr. Martin, gave David and Yolanda to work on together. And I really liked something Mr. Martin said to the class: “You guys keep wanting to grow up too soon. Slow down; be glad you live in a time and place where you’re allowed to still be young. Adulthood will catch up to you soon enough.” B.A. Binns wrote an interesting story that made me shake my head with disbelief at some of the things certain teen characters chose to do; the main thing being the mention of a threesome. It was disappointing to even think something like that is happening with teenagers today; I was glad there were no vivid details. The story did get me to laugh a bit, but it would have been more entertaining for me if there hadn’t been so much profanity. I was surprised that David used profanity as much as he did. He was a responsible, intelligent young man; certainly smart enough to express himself without using vulgar words. And I was surprised and disappointed when Coach Kasili used profanity while speaking to David. Does that happen in the real world? If members of school faculty are cussing when they talk to students, they shouldn’t be. Thinking about quite a bit of the dialogue: Pull is too gritty for my taste, but once I started the story I wanted to finish because I liked David and I had to know how things turned out for him. I’m not sure how I feel about the choice he made in the end. ...more
Christine Lee is a Sophomore in high school. This young lady has a love of art and she wants to be a famous painter one day. It's been a year since ChChristine Lee is a Sophomore in high school. This young lady has a love of art and she wants to be a famous painter one day. It's been a year since Christine Lee's mother died in an automobile accident and even though she no longer acts out by dyeing her hair bold colors she is still grieving. Christine's dad is about to marry Candace and the last thing Christine wants is for another woman to take her mother's place.
This is the second book in The Miracle Girls series. In the first book, Zoe was the one who thought it was important to start The Miracle Girls, but in this book it's Christine who seems to care most about the group. She sees them as the only family she has since her mother died. It's the first day of school when the story begins. The Miracle Girls enjoyed each other's company over the summer (So here are the Miracle Girls, after an incredible summer together, parked under the big "Sophomores" sign/pg 1), and, according to Christine, they were close then. But since the authors didn't let me in on what happened with Ana, Zoe, Christine and Riley during those months, I couldn't really get how The Miracle Girls became closer since the first book. It would have been nice to know exactly what it was that made their relationship `special' as Christine called it. In the first book they had just become The Miracle girls. In this one they don't spend as much time together as I thought they would.
When Christine referred to Candace as a `Bimbo' in the first book, I thought that was unkind but then I figured she must have had her reasons; maybe she was being mistreated. That wasn't the case at all. The madness at home seemed to be in her own mind, because she didn't like that Candace was there. But Candace seemed to be doing what she could to get along with Christine. Now, I did understand the pain Christine was feeling because she had lost her mother. And I could understand that she didn't want another woman to marry her father, but Christine could be so cruel. What she talked Emma into helping her with when they were at Bloomingdales, for instance. Christine thought it was funny but I was not amused. All I could think of was how hurt Candace was going to be when she found out what they had done and I felt so bad for this woman. It seemed Christine wasn't clear how her actions affected other people. I didn't think I'd feel this way, but I liked Christine better in the first book when she wasn't talking much. She wasn't putting up with Candace in this story; Candace was putting up with her. Christine claimed to be an adult, but she was acting like a child. She needed to learn that everything is not about her.
Christine used to go to church regularly, but after her mother passed she had a problem believing in God. Or did she? At one point she wished she believed in God and about one-hundred fifty pages later she says that God enjoys watching us suffer. First of all, that's not true. But didn't she say she didn't believe in God? She also said she hates church. It seemed she was angry at God and that happens. This too shall pass, I hope. I also hope that she will stop calling herself a freak and that she will work on her relationships with her father and her new mother and her new sister, Emma, and not keep believing The Miracle Girls is her only chance at having some kind of life. It's great to have friends -even though I really didn't see the closeness of these four girls until the end of the story - but Christine will never need The Miracle Girls the way she'll need her family; particularly her father. No, James Lee didn't have a clue about what his daughter needed for a while there but he's working on it.
I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about Christine and, even though I didn't like some of the things she did, I can't say she's an unlikable character. She's a teenage girl with issues and I hope she'll be able to work through them. Now, Ana. I don't know about this one. There's a time to speak and a time to be quiet. Ana wasn't clear on that in the first book and she still doesn't get it. And does being a part of The Miracle Girls mean that one can run another's life? In the first book Ana had problems with her mother, but she seems to be just as controlling. I'll have to buy the next book to see what happens next with these girls....more
Z is different because he has a great imagination. Ella is different because she’s the only black student in the school. All they have is each other,Z is different because he has a great imagination. Ella is different because she’s the only black student in the school. All they have is each other, the only two at a table in the cafeteria and no other kids to walk with after school. There used to be three of them, but, Millie, the girl they grew up with, went her own way after grade school and found a place among the popular crowd in middle school. Z doesn’t care about being popular, but Ella wouldn’t mind sitting with the popular kids at lunch or socializing with them outside of school. Will wanting to become part of a group become so important to her that she abandons Z? Bailey James is used to being the new kid at school because his family moves around a lot. He’s accepted by the popular crowd with no problem, but he’s nothing like the ones who bully Z and Ella. He likes Ella and wants to be her friend, but that might be difficult, seeing that Z has claimed her as his own. Ella’s friend, Z, spent most of his time in a fantasy world, using his imagination to escape reality and this made him look strange in the eyes of everyone else at school. I liked that he had a great imagination; actually, a gift is what I’d call it. And it’s okay to pretend, but escaping reality all together, that has to be a sign that a serious problem needs to be addressed. I was scared for Z sometimes, expecting someone to do more than throw food on him. Ella quickly came to his rescue when others bullied him and she joined him in his fantasy world because that was what he needed from her. She’d answer to milady and pretend to ride a horse because she truly cared about Z. And even when she was frustrated by the way he’d withdraw into his imaginary world when it was important to her that he deals with reality, she couldn’t stay angry at him for long. Ella knew what it meant to be a true friend to Z, and I loved that. It’s a shame, though, that it took a big scare before his issues were taken seriously. Ella was the only black student in the school before Bailey came along, but I don’t think that’s the reason she was bullied (not that anything justifies such cruel behavior). And I don’t think it was only because she was Z’s friend. I think the discoloration of her skin was what made her a target, because that was what really made her appear different to other students. Her face was described as dark brown in some places and light brown in others. I figured this discoloration made her feel bad the way a case of acne would affect a teenage girl’s self-esteem, but after reading chapter four, I could see that it was much more serious than that for Ella. She was so disgusted by her face that she could barely look in the mirror, and I hurt for her. I’m not sure she would have wanted to leave the house if it wasn’t for her mother and her Grammie. She received lots of hugs and encouraging words from these two strong, hardworking women. She knew she was loved unconditionally and that was beautiful. Bailey was a likable guy. He was there for Ella the way she was there for Z. Even though he was the popular basketball player, he was dealing with his own issues and in the end it turned out that all three – two unpopular, one popular – had more in common than they thought. Camo Girl is a well-written story with short chapters and clever sentences. There are parts that saddened me and parts that made me smile. It is entertaining and insightful. ...more