This book is heavy. And haunting. It sheds light on a subject I knew little about and was a very difficult read. My heart was breaking through most ofThis book is heavy. And haunting. It sheds light on a subject I knew little about and was a very difficult read. My heart was breaking through most of it, but I kept on reading thinking there had to be a glimmer of hope somewhere. Dime's story is an important one and one that needs hearing. I loved her voice and her maturation during the course of the novel.
This book will stay with you for a very long time after you finish . . . Warning, the content is sexually heavy - not super graphic, per say, but the entire book focuses on human trafficking of very young girls which might not sit well with a lot of readers. ...more
Well, this was a disappointment too. I just finished reviewing Leaving Paradise and gave that one 2 stars. I would give this one 2.5 if I could only bWell, this was a disappointment too. I just finished reviewing Leaving Paradise and gave that one 2 stars. I would give this one 2.5 if I could only because I at least felt like I knew the characters a little bit better when I finished. Overall, the series fell very flat for me. The "romance" between Caleb and Maggie feels very forced . . . I feel like there is no chemistry there at all. I never felt attached to either character and really didn't care one way or the other if they ended up together or not. Caleb would act all angry and evil and then would do a 180 in 2 seconds when he was kissing Maggie saying all kinds of schmaltzy romantic cheese that did not sound like it should be coming from his mouth.
I am bummed that this was not as good as the Perfect Chemistry series. I am looking forward to number 3 in that series and am pretty certain it will be better than this! ...more
Wow. I was blown away by the beauty of this book. de Gramont is a gifted writer who so eloquently captures the thoughts of a 16-year-old pregnant girlWow. I was blown away by the beauty of this book. de Gramont is a gifted writer who so eloquently captures the thoughts of a 16-year-old pregnant girl amidst the backdrop of the beautiful Canadian wilderness.
The cover of this book does it such an injustice. It looks like some flakey teen romance which it is anything but. When we meet Sidney, she is a 16-year-old in trouble; a girl who has recently found out she is pregnant due to a fling she had with a boy from the "wrong side of the tracks." Her mother is tired of her rebellion (although she does not know about the pregnancy) and sends her to live with her father and her step-mother for a few weeks. Her father decides that Sidney needs some time away and sends her to the remote Canadian wilderness to take part in a rustic 4-week canoe trip. What follows is a coming-of-age story in which Sidney comes to terms with what she has done, where her life is headed and how she is going to confront the secret that only she and her best friend, Natalia, know about.
I loved the language in this book and how Sidney grows and matures as the story progresses. At first I thought "if I were pregnant at 16, I would be freaking out - how can Sidney be so calm?" But I see now that she knows exactly what she is going to do from the start and her personality is a lot calmer than that of those around her. Throughout the story, she struggles with her decision, particularly because of Natalia's influence. But in the end, she comes to terms with her decision and moves ahead, just as most teen girls would do. I liked the honesty in this book and how de Gramont does not necessarily shove one choice or the other down the reader's throat. All alternatives are looked at in respectful ways and in the end, Sidney chooses the option best for her.
The imagery in this book is lovely. It makes me want to travel to the Canadian wilderness with just a backpack and a canoe.
Well . . . I wanted to love this series. I just had just finished Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction and wanted more from Simone Elkeles. So IWell . . . I wanted to love this series. I just had just finished Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction and wanted more from Simone Elkeles. So I tried this and it was just OK. After getting swept up in the Rules of Attraction series and the Fuentes brothers, I was hugely disappointed by the storyline and character development in this book. The concept was kind of interesting: guy serves time for driving drunk and hitting girl, smashing her let, girl and guy hook up in the end. Aside from the concept, the story was dull. The characters were so unbelievable. I didn't really like either one of them. Caleb was kind of a jerk and Maggie just seemed blah and then all of a sudden they get locked in an attic together and are head over heels in love. Where is the build up? What I loved most about the Perfect Chemistry series was the sexual tension between the two characters that did not happen right away but slowly buildt up as the story progressed. This book did not have any of that and I missed it! I finished Return to Paradise too and am going to give it roughly the same review. Just meh....more
Simone Elkeles does not disappoint with this second installment of the Fuentes brothers' sizzling love life. These boys are bad and Carlos, the star aSimone Elkeles does not disappoint with this second installment of the Fuentes brothers' sizzling love life. These boys are bad and Carlos, the star attraction in this book, lives up to his bad boy reputation. In what some would see as an unlikely move, he falls for Kiara, the goody two shoes tomboy daughter of the family he is living with after moving from Mexico to Colorado to be closer to his brother Alex. Like Alex, Carlos has a sordid past that cannot escape him. Despite his growing relationship with Kiara, he can't escape the gang life that he thought he left behind.
As with Perfect Chemistry, I loved the changing perspective in this book. Carlos is bad with a capital B - much naughtier than Alex. Whereas readers could see the good in Alex from the start of Perfect Chemistry, Carlos distances himself from anything emotional for a good part of this book. The rare glimpses of his emotional, tender side are little treats that the reader is lucky to see as the story unfolds. I liked the supporting cast of characters in this one a bit more than the "extras" in Perfect Chemistry. The stuck-up girls in Perfect Chemistry were a bit over the top but Kiara's family and friends in this book are very real and down-to-earth.
I listened to the audio for this like I did for Perfect Chemistry and, again, loved the narration. I find that listening to the audiobook for books with dual narration is especially rewarding. The same narrators that read Perfect Chemistry also did the narration for this book. The female narrator is excellent at demonstrating vulnerability in her voice and the male . . . ay caramba does he do a great Latino accent. :) He too is able show a range of emotion in his reading that had me on the edge of my seat for most of the book.
Can't wait for book number 3! I wish there were more than Luis to look forward to ;) ...more
Why have I not read anything by Simone Elkeles before? I happened to stumble across an audiobook of Perfect Chemistry on my shelves in the Teen SectioWhy have I not read anything by Simone Elkeles before? I happened to stumble across an audiobook of Perfect Chemistry on my shelves in the Teen Section of the library where I work. It sounded interesting and I saw on Goodreads that it had received stellar reviews. Always a sucker for a good romance I dove in and couldn't get enough. I couldn't wait to get in my car every day to hear more from Alex and Brittany (BTW, excellent audio on this one - the narrators are great and really capture the essence of Alex and Brittany . . . right down to Alex's dreamy Latino accent).
This story is the perfect boy and girl from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love and have to overcome all of the obstacles that go along with it book. I think what I love most about this book is the way Elkeles flip-flops between characters so we really get into each of the main character's heads. Many times, the romance narration comes from the female's perspective but here I was able to see how Alex perceived the situation - big tough guy on the outside but swooning for the unattainable girl on the inside. I really cared about the characters and felt they were "real" unlike a lot of the fluffy stuff I have read lately with one dimensional characters. I loved Alex's complexity and Brittany's as well and think this book makes for good discussion about judging people from outside appearances without considering what might be going on on the inside.
Elkeles is a fabulous author and I felt like she was letting us take a peek in to Brittany and Alex's world. Reader beware, there are some steamy scenes in this book . . . probably best for ages 15 and up or so.
Loved it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the second installment! ...more
Lenny is reeling after the sudden death of her beloved sister. While she tries to sort out her feelings she finds herself involved in a love triangleLenny is reeling after the sudden death of her beloved sister. While she tries to sort out her feelings she finds herself involved in a love triangle involving her deceased sister's boyfriend and the new boy in town. Lenny's poems she writes and leaves floating around town on candy wrappers and paper cups steal the show here and reveal the true depth of her loss.
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a good depiction of the layers of grief and how wide-spread that grief can be after the loss of a loved one. Nelson does a great job of showing how Lenny heals as the book progresses. The audio for this book was fantastic. I am becoming a big fan of Julia Whelan's narration! ...more
I had heard rave reviews of this book and was anxious to read it for myself to see what the fuss was all about. After the first several pages, I was aI had heard rave reviews of this book and was anxious to read it for myself to see what the fuss was all about. After the first several pages, I was a bit unimpressed. The main character, Sam, was so self-centered - she and her friends such little witches - that I didn't think I'd be able to handle the rest of the book. I am pretty open-minded when it comes to reading edgy things in YA fiction, but Sam and her friends were such over-the-top prima donna bullies that it was making me almost sick to read it.
But that all changed as the book progressed and I wound up loving the change in Sam and her self-actualization as she relives the same day seven times over. Sam "dies" in a car crash after a wild day and a wild party and has seven chances to make things right with her life. What I loved most about Oliver's writing was that it was not completely in-your-face. Sam does not wake up on day number two knowing exactly what to do to better things. She learns along the way, sometimes making mistakes, but all the while digging deeper into her soul to understand who she truly is and what kind of impact she has on those around her . . . and not just her friends.
There are many poignant moments in this book. Sam's evolving emotions and self-awareness cause her to contemplate some of life's deeper issues in some very beautiful, thought-provoking passages. I was not expecting the ending. It is not where I thought the book was going to end up when I started it, but I found myself completely satisfied with where Oliver took the story.