When I Am Through With You

“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Title: When I Am Through With You

Author: Stephanie Kuehn

Series: Standalone

Publication: August 1st 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

Pages: 304

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.


A List of Thoughts:

  • I totally forgot how good Stephanie Kuehn is at being creepy.
  • Book starts off with a high school senior waiting to go on trial for murder… cue the doom music
  • The writing is infuriatingly addictive – You want to know what’s happening and why and Ben, the narrator, dangles it all just out of reach until he’s ready to tell you.
  • The characters are fantastically deep and multi-dimensional. Each individual has their own story, their own purpose, and their own key role in the narrative as it unfolds.
  • When I am Through With You pulls you in and makes you want to know why. You know what happened, but you want the why and the how and the when and ARGGGGH. So wonderful and frustrating.
  • This book keeps you on the edge of your seat even though you know the end game… or do you? IT’S SO GREAT, GUYS! I love it when books make me need to know what is going on. That’s evidence of a good story right then and there.

Basically, guys, read the book and strap yourselves in for one wild ride.


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The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash

 

When the song ends, we hold on to this moment that, in the space between, feels like a million electrodes have be- gun to rattle and vibrate. I feel it fuse to my bones. It connects us together, grounds us, right here, right now.

 

Title: The Inevitable Collision of Birdie and Bash

Author: Candace Ganger

Series: Standalone

Publication:  July 25th 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 320

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger is a beautiful, complex, and ultimately hopeful teen novel that will move you to the very last page.

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Rosie Girl

Title: Rosie Girl

Author: Julie Shepard

Series: Standalone

Publication: July 11th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Pages: 256

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

After her father passes away, seventeen-year-old Rosie is forced to live with her abusive stepmom Lucy and her deadbeat boyfriend, Judd, who gives Rosie the sort of looks you shouldn’t give your girlfriend’s step-daughter. Desperate for a way out, Rosie would do just about anything to escape the life she’s been handed. Then she finds a letter her dad wrote years ago, a letter confessing that Rosie’s birth mother isn’t dead, as she believed, but alive somewhere—having left them when Rosie was a little girl for reasons he won’t reveal.

Rosie resolves to find her birth mom, and she’ll put everything on the line to make that happen. She hires a PI paid for by her best friend, Mary, who turns tricks for money. Unlike Rosie, Mary’s no delicate flower and when she sees the opportunity to make some cash and help out her closest friend, she takes it. Romance blooms when the PI Rosie hires hands the case off to his handsome nephew Mac, but Rosie struggles to keep her illicit activities with Mary a secret. Things begin to unravel when Rosie starts getting creepy anonymous texts from johns looking for Mary. And then there’s Mary, the one person Rosie can count on, who’s been acting strangely all of a sudden.

As Rosie and Mary get closer to finally uncovering the truth about Rosie’s mom, Rosie comes face to face with a secret she never saw coming. With the ultimate unreliable narrator and twists and turns around every corner, Rosie Girl is an unforgettable tale of identity, devotion and desperation.


Thoughts:

  • Apparently, it is possible to still love a book while figuring out the plot twist from the book jacket synopsis.
  • Fabulous concept, original – at least in YA. I’ve never read another book like this before. Yay
  • Rosie has a fantastic voice. I didn’t think I was going to like her as much as I did, but she grew on me. Her persistence, drive, and humor never failed to impress me.
  • I will say this: I did not see the secondary plot twist at the end. I never even suspected it. This book goes a long way to illustrate both how dependent we, as readers, are on our narrators and how the littlest red flags can easily slip past our focus. It was mind boggling and amazing and I find myself, even now, very impressed.
  • Long story short, this is the kind of book you read once, want to reread, and then want to keep reading over and over again because more and more details appear beneath the surface.


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The Unlikelies

Title: The Unlikelies

Author: Carrie Firestone

Series: Standalone

Publication:  June 6th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 336

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.


Thoughts:

I’m just going to come right out and say it – I couldn’t finish this book. The sad thing is, it wasn’t the plot – not really. The characters were fine, the plot unrealistic but manageable, and the relationships and the character development were actually surprisingly good. What got me, however, was the writing. The writing wasn’t even bad, it was the structure of it. I could not get myself through the short scene to scene type writing. It was one short section, time skip, short section, time skip, short section, etc. There was hardly enough of the writing to grab hold to anything of importance. I couldn’t swallow it. I couldn’t read it. I found myself losing interest with every page as I glimpsed the small snippets of actual story awaiting me on each page. This review isn’t much of a review for one reason alone – I’ve really got nothing to review.

You might like it, go ahead and try it. The Unlikelies, in my personal taste, was simply not written in a mode that was engaging and, therefore, suffered. Oops.


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Trusting You & Other Lies

Title: Trusting You & Other Lies

Author: Nicole Williams

Series: Standalone

Publication:  June 20th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 304

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Phoenix can’t imagine anything worse than being shipped off to family summer camp. Her parents have been fighting for the past two years—do they seriously think being crammed in a cabin with Phoenix and her little brother, Harry, will make things better?

On top of that, Phoenix is stuck training with Callum—the head counselor who is seriously cute but a complete know-it-all. His hot-cold attitude means he’s impossible to figure out—and even harder to rely on. But despite her better judgment, Phoenix is attracted to Callum. And he’s promising Phoenix a summer she’ll never forget. Can she trust him? Or is this just another lie?


My Thoughts:

I am blown away by how thoroughly I enjoyed this book. I expected to like it. I expected to smile and laugh and swoon a bit. I did not expect the randomly laughing out loud in public, grinning like an idiot, and swooning so hard I reached space type experience from this book. Trusting You & Other Lies is one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read yet this year. It handles romance, sure, but it also covers family and trust and building relationships from the ground up. It’s heartfelt, funny, and surprisingly heart wrenching at times. Trusting You & Other Lies is one of those books I am damn sure happy I found and picked up.

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