Posts Categorized: contemp

By Your Side by Kasie West

14 Feb, 2017 by in contemp, kasie west, YA fiction Leave a comment

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West is one of my go to authors for YA contemp. By Your Side features two high school students locked in the local library together. One by choice, the other not so much. The plot takes a while to progress as both characters are guarded. But, once it gets going after the lock in, there is a lot to love. I enjoyed the coming of age and progression both Dax and Autumn have to go through. Autumn suffers from an anxiety disorder which is inhibiting her everyday life, Dax, a foster child who has led a rough life. Both are perfectly flawed and learning to navigate their trials.

A clean teen read with some kissing and chemistry, this one is a great pick for Valentine’s Day! It teaches the importance of finding who you are and following your heart regardless of pressure from friends. about_ the_author
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson. _DSC6406

Divider

Beyond the Rising Tide Blog Tour

18 Jun, 2016 by in contemp, young adult 1 comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond the Rising Tide

by Sarah Beard
Published by Sweetwater on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Buy the BookGoodreads
Kai was seventeen when he died saving Avery's life, though he didn't have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it's been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death.
Avery doesn't know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer's body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.
Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai's half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will. Beyond the Rising Tide is a beautiful love story that explores life, death, and the gray places in between.

 

 

Be forewarned, that once you pick up this book, you will need to carve out a day to read it and a while to recover.

Loved: The cover, it is perfect! The setting also matches the mood of the book and as a California native, I can appreciate the ocean, the vineyards, the sand and the fog.

Pace: Because most of this book is munched into three short days, it does at times feel rushed and the relationship too fast. But it makes for a page turning read!

Issues: Beyond the Rising Tide may be a trigger for someone who’s survived mental illness or suicide. This has some mature life experiences like drug use, foster care, divorce, bi -polar disorder and grief. It’s not so heavy as to be overwhelming, but definitely a book for a mature, older reader. The main characters are 17 but have lived a lot of life through their parents’ struggles.

Overall: Beautiful, healing. You may be a mess of tears in some parts. Sarah Beard explores life after death and the in between, as well as learning to recover and live after losing something. There are undertones of the atonement and of how we have to accept the sacrifice that has been given. Christian themes are well- woven and not overtly mentioned.

What a good read!!

 

Blog Tour Schedule

June 14: Singing Librarian Books | Emmy Mom | Compass Book Ratings
June 15: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Cindy Bennett
Sweetly Made | Sorcery in the Bookshelves
June 16: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Geo Librarian
June 17: Heidi Reads | Kindle and Me
June 18: Fire and Ice
June 19: Inklings and Notions
June 20: My Book a Day
June 21: Bookworm Lisa | Min Reads and Reviews | LDS Women’s Book Review
June 22: Robyn Echols Books | Fantasy World | The Write Path
June 23: Wishful Endings | Getting Your Read On | Batch of Books
June 24: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts | Maybe Books Will Be Our Always
June 25: Charmed Haven Book Reviews | Just Commonly
June 26: Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 27: Literary Time Out | Book by Book
June 28: That Artsy Reader Girl | The Real Housewives of Riverton
June 29: Mel’s Shelves
June 30: Books Are Sanity | Fictionally | Read Headed Book Lady


about_ the_author

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels PORCELAIN KEYS and BEYOND THE RISING TIDE. She earned a degree in communications fromSarahBpic1cropXsmall the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is sarahbeard.com.

Divider

Breview: This Is My Brain on Boys~ by Sarah Strohmeyer

16 May, 2016 by in balzer & bray, contemp, ya Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Balzer & Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This Is My Brain on Boys

by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Balzer & Bray on May 10, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
three-half-stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love, at least for herself. A straightlaced, brilliant girl, she’s more interested in getting an A than falling in love. But Addie is determined to prove the science of love—because Addie Emerson does believe in science.

Science tells her that “love” is nothing more than the brain’s state under the influence of certain chemicals. And by artificially stimulating those chemicals, the brain can totally be tricked into falling in love. So Addie decides to apply that knowledge—and make her classmates fall in love—to win the coveted Athenian Award for Science in her elite private school. One way to speed up the process—adrenaline—she’ll put her classmates in dangerous, high-risk situations . . . and research the fallout.

But a mysterious new guy keeps messing with her plans. And she kind of can’t stop thinking about his gorgeous brown eyes. With backstabbing competitors—including her former lab partner, the preppy, wealthier-than-thou Dex—and more than one pair of star-crossed lovers—can Addie manage to salvage her experiment and win the Athenian? And what happens if she does the unthinkable—and falls in love?

Addie is on her way back to school on a flight gone bad. Her plane is about to go down when she notices the person seated next to her appears to be hyperventilating in panic. He looks vaguely familiar and he needs oxygen stat!

Kris is a world traveler/ humanitarian who just can’t relate to others his age after a trip to Nepal. So, in search of new neural pathways he transfers to a new top notch school only to find himself in trouble. Wrong group of friends, wrong girlfriend, and a summer to make it up to his dean.

Geek girl meets popular boy in Strohmeyer’s new YA contemporary.

The pacing is fantastic in the beginning and stalls a little though the middle, but in the end it right on track. I found myself smiling and laughing at Addie’s literal sense of humor plus the shenanigans she finds herself in trying to win a prestigious scholarship via science experiment. Overall, a clean teen read with fun characters and scientific jargon.

Content-some teen drinking and a few swear words

Author Bio

After being placed on other “must read” YA lists, SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT has recently been chosen by Texas school librarians for the 2013 Lone Star Reading List, a great honor since Texas is a BIG state. Thank you, librarians!

It’s also my fourteenth novel, but my first for young adults after writing mysteries and stand alones, one of which, THE CINDERELLA PACT, became the Lifetime Movie – LYING TO BE PERFECT. Of all these, SMART GIRLS has been my favorite to write because not only was I a “smart girl,” but so were my daughter and her friends who, like me, grew tired of playing second fiddle. I figured the time had come for our kind to receive the kudos, the attention and the boys. The bad girls had hogged center stage long enough.

Before I wrote novels, I was a newspaper reporter of questionable talent for twenty years, never quite serious or responsible enough for the duty of recording all the news that’s fit to print. (My definition of what was fit to print and my editors’ often clashed. Apparently, it was not necessary to describe certain cops as “super cute.”)

Some novelists begin their careers by winning literary contests or writing their first manuscripts while pursuing a masters degree. I began mine by placing Barbie in forty contemporary and historical settings with photos taken by my friend (and awesome photographer) Geoff Hansen. BARBIE UNBOUND: A PARODY OF THE BARBIE OBSESSION became a cult hit, landed me on CBS This Morning and USA Today. It was, briefly, the most shoplifted book in America.
After that, I wrote the Bubbles Yablonsky mystery series featuring a bubble-headed blonde ditzy – or is she? – hairdresser with a gift for gossip who becomes a newspaper reporter. Kind of like a memoir, sure. And then a bunch of novels about women.
Today, I live in Vermont with my husband, a lawyer, and son, Sam, an upcoming high school junior. My daughter, Anna, is a senior at Bryn Mawr College where there are A LOT of smart girls. Also, there’s Fred, my five-year-old basset hound and between you and me, the love of my life.

Divider