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Set Me Free

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Aaron Ledbetter’s future had been planned out for him since before he was born. Each year, the Ledbetter family vacation on Tybee Island gave Aaron a chance to briefly free himself from his family’s expectations. When he meets Jonas “Lucky” Luckett, a caricature artist in town with the traveling carnival, he must choose between the life that’s been mapped out for him, and ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published June 9th 2016 by Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  28 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Lisa The Novel Approach
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars ~ It was the cover of this sweet little YA novel that grabbed my attention. The boardwalk…the pier…a carnival in a small, seaside town…two boys possibly finding love…the scene just blossomed in my mind. That is, in fact, the setting of Set Me Free, a novel by Kitty Stephens on Interlude Press’ new YA imprint, Duet Books. It’s a classic tale of a white, privileged kid trapped in the life his parents are forcing on him, falling for a working class kid, whom his parents won’t approve of. ...more
Suzey Ingold
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A beautifully tender book—I was transported into a gentle, summertime setting and introduced to characters who by the end of the book, through the wonderful writing, felt like friends, as though I was with them there. The story feels timeless and classic without being predictable or boring in the slightest. A great YA read for the summertime!
Aug 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alysia Constantine
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Aaron Ledbetter is supposed to marry Lyn; their parents, both heads of wealthy families looking to further their own power, made the decision long before Lyn and Aaron could talk. It’s a good thing Lyn and Aaron have grown to be best friends. All this would be fine (well, not fine, but tolerable), except that Aaron’s gay and both he and Lyn have their own plans.

Enter Jonas “Lucky” Luckett, who’s scored a job as a caricature artist at the carnival on Tybee Island where Arron’s and Lyn’s families
Molly Lolly
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Original review on Molly Lolly
Four stars!
I truly enjoyed this story. I liked the Journey Lucky and Aaron went on as they figured out how to be together openly and honestly. Through all of their ups and downs you could tell these two truly loved each other. Even if they both had problems to overcome to get there, their love came shining through this story.
I really liked Aaron. My heart hurt for him and all the pressure he was under to live up to his dad’s expectations. Everyone around him had pla
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set Me Free was a beautiful coming out/coming of age M/M romance with complex characters, a storyline that will both tick you off and having you sighing at the sweetness, and an ending that will leave you with a satisfied smile on your face. For a first novel, Kitty Stephens really did a fantastic job.

Lucky is optimistic, friendly, and ready to experience everything the world around him has to offer. He is comfortable with who he is, and is amazingly talented to boot. Aaron comes from a society
Stella ╰☆╮╰☆╮
REVIEW @Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Set Me Free is Kitty Stephens‘ debut novel, in my opinion a very well done young adult story. Two things conquered me, the characters and the writing.

Lucky is eighteen years old, his highschool teacher found him a summer job to a carnival off the coast of Georgia. He is nervous, knowing this is a great chance for his future in an art college but it can’t wait to start enjoying a summer doing what he can do best.

Aaron is looking forward his three months o
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Aaron and Jonas "Lucky" come from two different worlds. Aaron's parents are well off and live in a gated community in Georgia. They vacation at their beach home every summer, on Tybee Island.

Lucky is poor, raised by his single mother who works to support Lucky. Lucky is headed to the carnival on Tybee Island to work as an artist for the summer before he heads to one of the top art schools in Chicago.

Hanna Nowinski
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book a lot. I'm so sad it's over, this goes right on the re-read list.

I don't even know where to start - everything was amazing. Most of all, I fell in love with the characters.

Lucky is amazing. I just wanted him to succeed from the beginning, to have all the good things and to find what he's looking for. The way he felt about art made me wish I could draw myself, it just sounded so great, the way he loved it.

Aaron is so incredibly well written. This was a take on a character from a
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kitty Stephens’ debut novel Set Me Free embraces the essence of summer: freedom, joy, and the desire for it to never end. Aaron Ledbetter and Jonas “Lucky” Luckett, the two delightfully sweet protagonists, may not have planned for romance, but it finds them nonetheless. Set in the picturesque Tybee Island, the clear descriptions will have readers feeling the sand beneath their feet and enjoying the sweetness of cotton candy from the local carnival. Perfect for a casual, relaxing summer read, rea ...more
Naomi Tajedler
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Set in the summertime, this story captured my heart and didn't let me go until I reached the last page (and not even then if I'm being totally honest).
Its greatest strength is the characters that live and love and grow in it.
i could see a bit of myself in lucky, in the way he sees the word through the prism of his pen.
i could see a bit of myself in aaron, in the careful way he navigates the role he thinks is his until he just can't.
this story of first love is an hopeful, gentle, yet realistic on
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won this book.
This is not my usual genre of choice, but the plot sounded interesting (and I won it) so I gave it a try. The story caught my attention quickly, then seamlessly eased me into the story. Somehow, the author managed to capture growing pains, teen angst, being different, family expectations, etc. in a fairly light hearted, almost feel good, novel. It was a surprisingly enjoyable read that pulled me in so smoothly that I never even noticed how much time had elapsed while I was engros


I loved this book a lot. Aaron and Lyn are stuck in a twisted, sexist, conservative plan their parents created for them the minute they were born. Lucky isn't as wealthy as them, so he works during the summer to gain more experience in the art-world.

But Lucky is free. Aaron isn't.

When they meet, Lucky introduces Aaron to a free version of the world, where Aaron can do whatever he wants, and where he can love whoever he wants.

This was a wonderful coming-to-age story, with an unexpected end
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book because it was all about finding out who you are and who you love as you grow up.
Jules Lovestoread
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars!! Sweet YA. <3 Full review coming to
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
***3.5 Stars for this Sweet Young Adult Novel***

Lucky is a sweet teen with an innate talent that the people in his world have been careful to nurture. Given an opportunity to spend the summer working at his craft for pay, he jumps at the opportunity, even though it means leaving his beloved mother far behind and standing solely on his own two feet.

Aaron is hiding some very painful truths from his family. Expected to fall precisely in line with their plans, Lucky is most certainly a deviation tha
Jennifer Dykhouse
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic story about fully fleshed out characters that you couldn't help but identify with and root for. Even the background characters left you wanting more, desperate to know what they're story was, and also to see where the characters went to after the story ended. I cannot wait for her next story!
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Kitty Stephens
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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