Fred's Reviews > Grounding Quinn

Grounding Quinn by Steph Campbell
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Mar 24, 12

Recommended to Fred by: Chrystle Woods
Recommended for: Fans of Lauren Strasnick, Jennifer Jabeley, Kody Keplinger
Read from March 23 to 24, 2012

For those of us who prefer dysfunction to dystopia, relationships to spaceships, cupid's darts to bows and arrows, and real emotions to EMOTING, this is an awesome book. When we first meet MC Quinn, she's in the principal's office, sneakily blacking out her father's smarmy class photo smugface with a sharpy. And Quinn spends most of the rest of the book trying to obliterate herself, as well. She's actually doing a pretty good job of it, too, what with the prescription drugs she steals from her wacked out mom, her "fake it till you make it" relationships with various frenemies and faux boyfriends, and sliding through school with the minimum possible effort (and results). But then this guy Ben shows up ...

Ben is a wonderful male YA character. He's open and vulnerable, without being a creampuff, thoughtful, creative and kind of innocent without being naive. Ok, he's not without his flaws, he's a bit dominated by his GCB mom, and he lets Quinn pull a lot of shit that maybe he should have called her on (I'll grant that I'm not exactly sure how, but still). Quinn is also an awesome character, possessed of a wry, sarcastic wit - she really knows her way around a smart-ass quip, that's for sure - but those of us equipped with internal dialog vision know that she's not without her softer side as well. The first half of the book is really fun, clever, funny, warm and even sweet. Thank goodness we've already fallen in love with Quinn's self-destructive little self by the time she steers the ride out of the Tunnel of Love into the House of Mystery, because it gets pretty darn dark in there. There's one moment in particular (trust me you'll know when you get there) where you want to reach in and shout, "Quinny, no, don't, you're already regretting this!" But alas, she didn't listen, to me, or even to her broken little heart.

The basic story is not unfamiliar to YA readers, especially the "I'm too effed-up for you to love me," theme. But in capable author Stephanie Campbell's hands, it's treated so cleverly, with such literary skill and depth, and with such warmth and compassion towards her characters, that it glows like a nightlight in a dark place. The kids in this book are like many of the kids I know in real life. They are so privileged in so many ways ("You don't know how good you've got it," Quinn's father screams, just when she's at her lowest), but still bereft, after so many nights of "working late," parental affairs and alcohol issues, that they are hollowed out inside. This is a look at how some of them, sometimes, find their way out, despite all that. Stephanie does a masterful job of portraying them, and their world, with humor, style, warmth and compassion for her character and the reader. There is catharsis here, although it's a night light, like I said, not an all consuming sunny glow. And that feels real, just like the rest of this extremely well-done and lovely book.
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Quotes Fred Liked

Steph Campbell
“No way, that would kill my diet for the week. I don't know how you can stand to eat so unhealthy, Quinn.

Just consider it an amuse-biatch.”
Steph Campbell, Grounding Quinn


Reading Progress

03/23/2012
40.0% "This is a powerful book! Quinn started out so sarcastically funny, now seeing how broken she can get. Sad, but so good!"
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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Kelly Wow! Cannot wait to get started on this book based on your review, Fred! Will let you know what I think.


Fred Thanks! You really are too kind. This was one of my fav books so far this year, I do hope you like it!


message 3: by Kelly (last edited May 08, 2012 11:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kelly No, you have a great way with words and your reviews are brilliant. I have followed your reviews so I am sure I will have a few more books on my TBR list soon!

Ps ... have followed you on twitter too, hope you don't mind!


Fred Thanks again, Kelly, I checked out your reviews too, and looks like a lot of good stuff there, also, I like your taste, kind of contemporary but not completely angsty and all. Hope you don't mind I friend requested you, I know it's creepy sometimes when guys do that, please don't if you feel uncomfortable, no worries!


Kelly No, that's fine, honestly! I am new to goodreads so a friend to follow would be good! I used to read a lot (pre 3 children in quick succession!) and I'm really loving getting back in to it, a kindle for my 30th birthday last summer helped.


Fred Haha, it's amazing how the Kindle has changed my reading habits, it reminds me of when i-tunes sort of replaced all my cd's, I started listening to music so much more it was so easy. Honestly, I am super flattered to be your first friend, I didn't realize that till you mentioned it. I'm gonna recommend some friends to you, too, again, please don't feel obligated, but I think you'll like them, honest!


Charles Sheehan-Miles This describes me pretty well... "For those of us who prefer dysfunction to dystopia, relationships to spaceships, cupid's darts to bows and arrows" Hope you don't mind I'm going to follow your reviews


Fred Charles wrote: "This describes me pretty well... "For those of us who prefer dysfunction to dystopia, relationships to spaceships, cupid's darts to bows and arrows" Hope you don't mind I'm going to follow your re..."

"Hope I don't mind... " On the contrary, I'm delighted! I enjoyed your review too, isn't this just a really good book? And good news, My Heart for Yours by Jolene B. Perry the new one that Steph has just co-authored with Jolene B. Perry is really wonderful too, atmospheric and emotionally satisfying. Check it out! Always glad to meet a fellow YA aficianado who falls outside the demographic! Thanks!


Michelle Mankin Thanks for the recommendation, Fred. Loved it!


message 10: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Michelle wrote: "Thanks for the recommendation, Fred. Loved it!"

Yay! This is really one of my favs of ths year, although I guess it's really from last year. And Stephanie is a really delightful person, too!


Michael Burhans Just added this to my to-read shelf. I think anyone even remotely interested in YA lit should follow Fred! I'm new to the genre, and am just filling my Kindle with it. I started reading YA looking for stuff to put on my daughters Kindle, but found that it is a much better genre than it was back in the old days when I was a young adult.

Fred will point you to good reading for sure.


message 12: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Michael wrote: "Just added this to my to-read shelf. I think anyone even remotely interested in YA lit should follow Fred! I'm new to the genre, and am just filling my Kindle with it. I started reading YA looki..."

Hey, thanks Michael! I totally agree with you, YA is where the good stuff is happening now. And thanks for your kind words! You always wonder if anyone will read these, so I appreciate it!


Michael Burhans I always read yours. I'm amazed at how good YA is these days. A number of authors I rally like, and a couple up and coming ones I am following.


message 14: by Charlotte (new) - added it

Charlotte Fabulous review, Fred. You always make me want to read what you review. This is going onto my tbr, but I'm waiting for December so I can read through both books. :)


message 15: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Charlotte wrote: "Fabulous review, Fred. You always make me want to read what you review. This is going onto my tbr, but I'm waiting for December so I can read through both books. :)"

That makes sense, but if you get stuck in a book slump before then, I'd recommend this one asap. Heartwrenchy times!


Michael Burhans Fred wrote: "That makes sense, but if you get stuck in a book slump before then, I'd recommend this one asap. Heartwrenchy times! "

Just started this one on your recommendation. LOVED the last one (Easy) I picked because of your review.


message 17: by Charlotte (new) - added it

Charlotte Fred wrote: "Charlotte wrote: "Fabulous review, Fred. You always make me want to read what you review. This is going onto my tbr, but I'm waiting for December so I can read through both books. :)"

That makes s..."


Fred, Heartwrenchy with out the immediate gratification of the followup book?? I'm too chicken for that. ;) I'll keep it high up on the list just in case though.

Michael, glad you LOVED Easy. I did too and I get so excited when I see people loving Tammara Webber's work. She's amazing. :)


Michael Burhans I'm going to see to it Ms Webber's work gets added to our local library. These are stories that deserve to be read.


message 19: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Michael wrote: "I'm going to see to it Ms Webber's work gets added to our local library. These are stories that deserve to be read."

Michael, you are on it, buddy! Go get 'em!


Feu d'Issey (Laura) Still love your reviews Fred, and you've just lead me to another book to add to my list!


message 21: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Feu d'Issey (Laura) wrote: "Still love your reviews Fred, and you've just lead me to another book to add to my list!"

Thanks Laura! This is a really good one, too!


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