Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Girl from Charnelle by K.L. Cook

From Goodreads:

It's 1960 in the Panhandle town of Charnelle, Texas—a year and a half since sixteen-year-old Laura Tate's mother boarded a bus and mysteriously disappeared. Assuming responsibility for the Tate household, Laura cares for her father and three brothers and outwardly maintains a sense of calm. But her balance is upset and the repercussions of her family's struggles are revealed when a chance encounter with a married man leads Laura into a complicated relationship for which she is unprepared. As Kennedy battles Nixon for the White House, Laura must navigate complex emotional terrain and choose whether she, too, will flee Charnelle.

A heartfelt portrait of a young woman's reckoning with the paradoxes of love—eloquent, tender, and heart-wrenching—K. L. Cook's unforgettable debut novel marks the arrival of a significant new voice in American fiction.

My Thoughts:

I was surprised to learn that the author of this book, K.L. Cook, was a man. The story is told from a 16 year old girl's point of view, and he does an excellent job with it. This is the bittersweet story of a young girl growing up in the Texas panhandle in the early 1960's, who falls in love with a married man almost twice her age. A chance encounter brings them together on New Years Eve, 1959, and as that decade ends and a new one begins, they begin an affair that neither one of them could imagine the course that it would take. Laura's life at home is not one of a normal teenage girl, as she has taken on the roll of mother and caretaker to her brothers and her father, after her mother leaves one day, and never comes back. Dealing with the emotional shock from losing her mother and wanting to feel loved and appreciated, the affair that she has with John Letig fills the void of loneliness and loss for her. As anticipated, no affair can end without heartache and grief. Neither one of them is prepared for what the future brings.

Photobucket Very Good!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

After River by Donna Milner


Before River, everything was perfect. . . .

Growing up on a Canadian dairy farm less than two miles from the American border, fifteen-year-old Natalie Ward knows little of the outside world. But her loving, close-knit family is the envy of young and old alike in the nearby town of Atwood. Natalie adores her three brothers—especially Boyer, the eldest, whom she idolizes. But everything changes one hot July afternoon in 1966 when a long-haired stranger appears at their door—a soft-spoken American, a Vietnam War resister, who will test the family's morals and beliefs, and set in motion catastrophic events that will shatter Natalie's relationships with those she most dearly loves.

My Thoughts:

I didn't want this story to end. This is a beautiful coming-of-age story about Natalie, who lives on a dairy farm with her family in beautiful British Colombia in the 1960's. She is closest to her older brother, Boyer, whose love for knowledge and books mirrors her own. When a stranger shows up one summer day in 1966, Natalie's secure life is turned upside down, with feelings and emotions that she has never had before. The whole Ward family is taken with the stranger, and for awhile, things were good.

The story is narrated by Natalie as an adult, who is preparing to return home to Atwood, to her mother's bedside. She is dying of lung cancer. I was not disappointed in the end of After fact, I felt at peace.

Photobucket Outstanding!!

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061462993

I loved this story so much, I'd like to share it with YOU! I'm giving away my gently used copy of After River! To enter, please leave a comment below. Let me know if you are a new follower (1 extra point) and old follower (2 extra points) and if you blogged or tweeted about my giveaway ( 1 extra point). Giveaway ends on Thursday, July 7, 2011. I will announce the winner on Friday, July 8th. Good Luck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

We Have A Winner!!!!

The winner of my recent giveaway for my gently used copy of Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers is:


I have already contacted Abi by email, and have heard back from her.

Thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway. Please stay tuned for another contest, coming up SOON!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leftovers by Laura Weiss

From Goodreads:

A devastating novel of desperation and revenge from one of today's most compelling new voices in fiction. In this follow-up to her heartbreaking debut, Such a Pretty Girl, Laura Wiess once again spins a shattering tale of the tragedies that befall young women who are considered society's Leftovers.

Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it's like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she's forbidden to see. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today.

Are you ready?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story about two best friends with very dysfunctional families. Blair's parents are very well to do, and are never there for her....physically or emotionally. Ardith's parents are party animals, who behave just as badly as the teenagers that hang out at their house, partying by the pool. Blair and Ardith have no one, except each other. When their relationship becomes comprised, the girls must figure out a way to conquer the obstacles in their way that threaten to ruin their friendship for good.

Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Simon Spotlight Entertainment
1416546626 (ISBN13: 9781416546627)

Photobucket Outstanding!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

~Review and Giveaway~ Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers~

From Goodreads:

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be

My Thoughts:

I found myself gasping out loud more than several times while reading Some Girls Are. about a group of MEAN girls, these gals take the cake. I felt so sorry for Regina, who deserved none of the treatment that she was getting from Anna and her crew of meanies. Having been bullied in school, I could relate to a lot of what she was going through, especially the dread of going to school on the mornings after something particularly bad had happened the night before. I love Courtney Summers writing style! I was drawn into the story, and felt as if I knew Regina personally. I am looking forward to reading Ms. Summer's other books ~ They're already on my wish list!

I am giving away my gently used copy of Some Girls Are! Please leave me a comment to enter the giveaway. If you become a New Follower, you will get an extra entry. If you are an Old Follower, you will get two extra entries. Blog or Tweet about my giveaway, you will also get an extra entry.

Please let me know in your comment if you are a new or old follower, and if you have blogged or tweeted about my giveaway....and please be sure to leave an email address where I can contact you if you win.

Winners will be chosen by on June 24, 2011.

Thanks and Good Luck!


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