Summer Secrets by Jane Green
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 6/23/15.
I didn’t read Jane Green much until recently but I really enjoy her storytelling. This particular story is about Cat, who we see in the late 90s as a woman in her late 20s, who is discovering that she most certainly has a problem with alcohol. She knows she needs to quit drinking so much because she is tired of waking up feeling horrible and not remembering what happened the night before. She thinks she has finally found the reason to change when she wakes up in Jason’s bed (without Jason) and finds that he is a recovering alcoholic that is willing to help her. She starts to attend meetings and comes to term with just being friends with Jason until she can get her life together. In the process, she learns a secret about her father and travels to the States to meet the sisters she never knew about. She makes a huge mistake and betrays one of them, ruining any hopes of a good relationship with any of that part of her family.
Skip to present day, Cat has finally found the reason that she needed to change and is officially a recovering alcoholic, clean for longer than she ever has been and raising a daughter without her ex-husband. Cat is on the step in her program where has to make amends to those she has wronged along the way and finds it is finally time to travel back to Nantucket to salvage her relationship with her sisters. She is actually relieved when all seems to go well with the one she betrayed and is able to even form a relationship with the other sister, whom she thought would never forgive her just for existing. That is until she finds out the true personality of the one she thought she could trust…
I enjoyed how this story covered 2 different parts of Cat’s life, which really helps the reader to understand what happened and how Cat was thinking when she was suffering from alcoholism. It allows you to have empathy for her, even knowing all the bad things she did. I found most of the characters in this book to be likable and have already recommended the title to a few family members to watch for on release day. I am impressed again by Jane Green’s writing and will be looking into some of her past titles that I have missed…if this TBR pile ever seems to allow for that! 🙂
My rating: 5/5
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date: 6/16/15.
Sam(antha) is suffering from OCD and tries to hide it from everyone in her life, even her closest friends, who are kind of mean girls….until she meets Caroline and is introduced to the Poet’s Corner. Her new friends allow her to open up and feel more normal and healthy than she ever has. She even finds love with someone she would never expect. All is going well, until she discovers a horrible secret about her new friend, and herself, that she thinks will be the end of her new relationships and confidence, and possibly even her sanity. She has to come to terms with how to accept herself, flaws and all.
This is another important, impactful story about mental illness in teens. But, you don’t have to be a teen to enjoy and/or relate to the story. Everyone has something that makes them “weird”, so everyone can relate in one way or another to Sam. I will be adding this to the books I recommend for bibliotherapy and just for good reading. I have already added it to my “to-purchase” list for next school year and will be offering it up to students with my own personal endorsement.
My rating: 5/5
The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date: 6/12/15.
This is a fairy tale retelling, but one that feels totally different to me. Kat literally falls into an old book of the Cinderella story and wakes up as Lady Katriona in a whole different world that she dubs Storybook World. Her mission, given to her by a goblin named Krev, is to complete the story in order to return home to the modern world and her family. In other words, she has to get the prince to meet and marry Cinderella, named Elle in this book, so they live happily ever after. In the process, Kat finds herself appalled by the way children and women are treated in this land and becomes an activist for their rights. She also falls in love with the wrong person and has to decide if she wants to stay here or return to her family in her own world. I thought this book might be kind of silly, but I ended up really liking it. It was obviously a Cinderella story, but was told in a whole different way that made it truly its own story. I will be purchasing this one for my high school library and recommending it when school starts back in August.
My rating: 4/5
The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date: 6/2/15
The premise of this book kind of reminded me of some others I had read before, but it still intrigued me. Kate is getting married to the love of her life, Max, in Hawaii with all of their closest friends and family in attendance. On the night of the rehearsal party, he decides to tell her that he doesn’t think they should get married and that he is in love with one of their mutual friends. Kate is known for making her life seem perfect on Facebook and can’t bear the thought of disappointing everyone and posting a status about what really happens. So, she writes something else and then wakes up the next day to find that it is actually now 30 days before her wedding…she has been given the chance to do the last month over again and feels like her sole purpose is to fix whatever went wrong with Max. She finds that any status she makes on Facebook comes true, so she makes several frivolous wishes at first. She eventually finds that these things are starting to backfire and she is messing up her life, along with the lives of others, even more. She has a “guardian angel”, Ruby, that is appearing randomly and trying to give her advice. Will she change who she is to keep Max or was it meant to be that they not get married in the first place? Kate has to discover for herself if she can be happy without him and what to do with her last wish.
This was a cute, well-written story and a quick read. I found the style of writing and storytelling entertaining and I was interested throughout. Kate, and most of the others, are likable characters and easy to relate to. It is easy to imagine yourself in her situation not knowing what to do. I will definitely be recommending this book to some friends.
My rating: 4/5
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 6/2/2015.
I really didn’t even know what this book was about when I picked it from the massive list I had of books coming out on June 2nd, but I’m glad it is one of the ones I chose! This is an addicting story that was a quick read and kept me entertained throughout. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.
The book pulls you in from the beginning, where you are reading about the rescue of Frances from a cruise ship accident. When she awakes from her rescue, she discovers that her friend, Libby, did not survive, dying only moments before they were saved. Frances knows she has no one to go home to after the tragedy, so she decides, with the help of Libby’s father, to take on a new identity. She becomes Libby in order to protect herself from those involved in the “accidental” sinking of the Persephone. She goes off to boarding school to get away from it all and learn all about how to be a different person. Four years later, she returns home after Libby’s father’s death and puts a meticulous revenge plan into motion. Senator Wells and his son, Grayer, also survived the sinking, but have lied about what happened from the moment of their rescue, five days sooner than Libby and Frances were discovered. As the only 3 survivors, Libby/Frances knows it is up to her to uncover the truth. By seducing Gray, she is able to get him to trust her and the truth finally comes out. However, this truth does not keep her out of danger like she had thought.
Though the book is pretty fast-paced, the action really picked up once she discovers what really happened aboard the ship. I never really figured out who was responsible for the sinking, but it all made sense when it was revealed. I really enjoyed this book and think I will be recommending it quite a bit when school starts again. Though the character is technically a teenager, I never really saw her that way. I thought it read more adult, but definitely not inappropriate. Not only is this a good mystery, but it shows how a person can be a survivor as well. Though Libby/Frances wasn’t the most likable character at all times, I still found myself rooting for her. All around, a good choice!
My rating: 5/5