Posts Tagged With: realistic fiction

Review: Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends coverMacallan and Levi have been friends ever since his first day at her school, when they discovered that they both loved the same obscure British television show. She stays at his house after school, their families have Sunday dinner together, and they know each other better than anyone else. Although people constantly assume they’re together, they would rather be best friends—family, really.

But somehow, their friendship seems to keep messing up their relationships with other people. From cheating at parties to a disastrous double date, it seems like no one wants to date a person whose best friend is the opposite gender.

Finally, in high school, Levi realizes that he and Macallan are meant to be together after all. But Macallan isn’t so sure that a relationship is worth risking their friendship. Are they better off friends?

This book will be a big hit with fans of Sarah Dessen and teens who enjoy realistic fiction focused on relationships. Although the comparison to “When Harry Met Sally” is going to be made, for obvious reasons, Better off Friends is not a simple revamp of the story for teens. Levi and Macallan are strong, believable, realistic teens who are trying to figure out themselves, what they want in a relationship, and their place in the world.

Recommended for grades 6 and up – no language, a few kisses

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry and Pete Clark

Katie and George’s first  meeting is not the stuff dreams are made of. Instead of their eyes meeting across a crowded room, their hands meet on a copy of their favorite game–a copy that neither of them is willing to give up, having waited in line at the midnight release to buy it.

From this inauspicious beginning grows an unlikely romance. Despite the awkward efforts of Jeff, a first-person shooter devotee and wannabe blogger with a crush on Katie, and the near-constant presence of Lanyon, George’s best friend, George and Katie get to know each other, in-game and in real life. And the more they know, the more they like.

Backward Compatible is laugh-out-loud hilarious to anyone who is a member of “geek” or “nerd” culture. The references fly fast and furious, but are used with an authenticity that keeps them from being cliched name-dropping. I have read books that claim to be “nerdy” or “geeky” romances in the past, but their sole concessions to the culture were to have characters that, in addition to being unnaturally attractive, were very smart. This book does not fall into that trap. The characters are living, breathing people, instantly familiar to anyone who has ever identified as a geek or a nerd. I felt like I had been transported back to my college and young adult days while reading Backward Compatible, and at certain points I was laughing so loud I thought I would wake up my sleeping baby.

Highly recommended for older teenagers – frequent swearing and sexual insults. No on-camera sex, but frequent references to it.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

Big Fat Disaster coverColby has never been like her mother, a former Miss Texas, or her  sisters, Rachel and Drew. She takes after her dad, the former college football player turned investment banker and political candidate. But when Colby discovers a picture of her father kissing another woman on the same day that the FBI investigates her father for stealing from his campaign and his clients, her world comes crashing down.

Now Colby, Drew, and their mother are stuck living in a tiny trailer in a tiny town in East Texas. With the stresses of adjusting to a new life, Colby’s eating gets even more out of control. And when a perfect storm of school bullies and family cruelty strikes, Colby decides that maybe this life isn’t worth it, after all.

Big Fat Disaster is a powerful book. It was very difficult for me to read at times because of my own history with disordered eating habits, and as a mother, Colby’s relationship with her mom broke my heart. This book is emotionally gripping and almost impossible to put down. .

Big Fat Disaster will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and Maureen Johnson. It would be great as a book club selection; there’s so much in this book to discuss and build on.

Highly recommended for grades 9 and up – swearing, bullying, verbal abuse, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

 

 

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Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Cover image for HeartbeatHow do you let go of someone who isn’t quite gone?

Emma’s mom wasn’t there when they found her on the kitchen floor. Her brain was dead. But her heart still beats, and, thanks to Emma’s stepfather, it will keep beating for as long as it takes to keep the baby inside her alive. Emma knows that her mother wouldn’t have wanted to be kept alive like this, but her stepfather refuses to listen.

Before, all Emma knew about Caleb was that he was trouble, stealing cars, maybe doing drugs. Now, she knows the real Caleb, someone who understands the kind of loss she’s dealing with. Someone who understands how hard it is to let go of someone you love.

Old Emma would never have seen past Caleb’s reputation to the pain he carries with him, but Emma isn’t that person anymore. She is someone new, someone who has to find a way out of  the maze of pain and and anger she’s trapped in. And somehow, she has to find a way to grieve for her mom…even when she can still hear each beat of her heart.

Heartbeat is scheduled to be released on January 28, 2014.

Highly recommended for grades 8 and up – some sexual references

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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