Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Pub. Date: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: EgmontUSA
288 pages

A Really Awesome Mess is like The Breakfast Club for a new generation. It really shows how you never really know what other people are dealing with, or maybe even the extent of what you yourself are dealing with, until you take the time to ask the questions. Like the characters in The Breakfast Club, the A Really Awesome Mess characters have to work on breaking down their own prejudices, in order to find out how amazing their relationships with people they thought they had nothing in common with, can actually be. The two sets of characters rebellions against authority are pretty darn entertaining to.

The novel is told through the alternating perspectives of Emmy and Justin, two of Heartland Academy’s (or Assland as it is affectionately known) newest “students”. Emmy is struggling with anger and feeling she is unlovable, stemming from being adopted, and also from a recent breakup that affected Emmy more than she is willing to admit. Justin, after being walked in on with a girl mid sex act is sent to Heartland for Sexual Reactivity classes, and the fact that he attempted suicide by swallowing a

Review: Earthbound (Earthbound #1) by Aprilynne Pike

Pub. Date: July 30th, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
352 pgs

Before I review Earthbound, let me just say that I absolutely adored Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series, and I’m always afraid I’m not going to like the new, when I loved the old. Wings was something that I picked up a few years ago expecting a cute, fun, light read, and I found myself surprised by its complexity and world building. My feelings for Earthbound were thankfully the same. I’m not sure how Pike is able to seamlessly create an entire paranormal world with a complex mythology, while keeping the story straightforward, understandable and simple in its delivery. She amazes me, this book amazed me, and you should read it.

Tavia Michaels shouldn’t be alive. She was the only survivor of a plane crash that killed hundreds, including her parents. Now living far away from everything she ever knew, and trying desperately to recover physically and mentally from the damage done in the crash, Tavia questions just how damaged she is when she starts seeing things. Buildings appear and disappear, symbols start popping up everywhere, and Quinn, a guy she swears she has never met, yet feels she has known forever, keeps

Review: Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Pub. Date: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
320 pg.

Before I start my review let me just say that I acknowledge I am probably not the target reading audience for this book. Even still, I was completely drawn in, especially for the first few chapters, and I really couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen. The problem I guess is that I am the type of reader who always works at figuring out the mystery. With Undercurrent I figured it out in less than 100 pages. I don’t know about you, but once I put the pieces together, I have a hard time staying engaged, waiting for the characters to catch up.

Slowing waking in a hospital bed, at first being unable to move, speak, or blink, Callum Harris knows that something is wrong. People keep telling him that he should be dead, and not in a, you’re so lucky way, but an, if karma existed you would be dead, kind of way. Once he’s ‘home’ the wrongness of his life becomes more apparent. His once divorced parents are happily together, his books have been replaced by football trophies on his shelves, a box with a gun and hundreds of dollars is found in his room, people are afraid of him, and most significantly his older brother was apparently in an accident leaving him paralyzed years before.

Review: The Truth About Letting Go by Leigh T. Moore

Pub. Date: February 18th 2013
Publisher: All Night Reads
276 pages

Moore has created a realistic and beautifully crafted story about grief, and the way people work through loss. Full of (mostly) likeable characters, family conflict, and high school drama that we can all relate to, The Truth About Letting Go pulls at the heartstrings and doesn’t let go, even when you’re done reading.

Ashley Lockett’s father has just died from a short, severe, battle with cancer. He seemed perfectly healthy one day, then gone six months later. Ashley is struggling to understand how cancer could have happened to her family, and questioning everything she believed in before. Good-boy Jordan represents everything Ashley would have wanted before her father’s death. He is passionate about his faith, and confident that through faith and prayer Ashley will be able to heal, but the ‘new’ Ashley doesn’t agree. Bad-boy Colt represents Ashley’s newfound need to change. With Colt, Ashley is able to live dangerously. The grief and intense pressure she feels lessens when he pushes her out of her comfort zone, and distract her thoughts.

The thing I appreciated about this novel the most was the soul, and the purpose. While there was a love triangle element, family conflict and friendship conflict, the focus is always on Ashley’s struggle to

Review: Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

Pub. Date: July 9th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/ Gallery Books
336 pages

What could be better – friendship, romance, pie, and of course, the prospect of meeting Colin Firth.

In Finding Colin Firth, the events of a few weeks are told from the perspective of three different women. Bea Crane finds out at 22, a year after her mother has died, that she was adopted and decided to seek out her birth mother. Veronica Russo famous for her ‘elixir’ pies, dreams about opening her own pie shop, but her fear of failure is overpowering her aspirations. Gemma Hendricks has just lost her job, and found out she is pregnant – two pieces of information that her husband will use to convince her they should move out of NYC, and to his suburban hometown, even though he knows that’s not what she wants. In a small span of time, the lives of the three women intermingle in surprising, funny, and heartbreaking ways. A Colin Firth movie may in a way bring the women together, but their connection and their willingness to support each other in discovering what they really want out of their lives and relationships, is what will keep them together.

I have no complaints or things that I would have changed about this novel with two small exceptions.

1000+ Page Hits

Hello Readers,

Confessions of an Adult Teen Reader has just surpassed the first major milestone - 1,000 page hits (1,107 to be exact)! Thank you so much for reading and coming back to check out the new reviews as they are posted. A bunch of changes are going to be coming to the blog in the next little bit - but some new developments have included the creation of facebook and twitter accounts so be sure to check those out. Be sure to like/follow the blog to ensure you're one of the first to know about new reviews, up-to-date news, and more random things. I currently have 32 novels just waiting to be reviewed, so much more is to come!

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 - The Adult (aka Laura)

Review: White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub. Date: July 9th, 2013 (first published in 2012)
240 pages

I had such mixed feelings about this book. The things that I loved, I thought were done really well, while the things I didn’t love, I didn’t feel got the treatment they deserved.

Cass Daniels is perpetually down on her luck. Working as a waitress to support herself, and her mother, and her boyfriend Jax, is neither inspiring, nor fulfilling. She carries the weight of their needs, and her own disappointment about her life, on her shoulders. Cass is not only providing her family with a roof over their heads and food, but she is ultimately supplying them with the money they need to keep their increasingly severe drug habits going. When Tucker White walks in to Cass’ diner, he represents things that Cass doesn’t understand. Most significantly Cass doesn’t quite get why he’s so interested in her. Tucker has a lot of secrets, but in Cass he sees someone that would not only understand the bad in his life, like his childhood, but someone who wouldn’t be overly influenced by the good, namely his growing fame and wealth. Cass and Tucker’s relationship makes both want more out of their life, and through each other they find the strength to demand more.

Cass’ character is one of the things I loved about this novel. Voices and experiences like hers I feel are underrepresented (appropriately) in fiction. She is ultimately a very strong character, who grows a lot, and who I admired in terms of her resilience. But, Cass and Tuckers relationship is something I had

Review: The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer

Pub. Date: June 27th, 2013
Publisher: Speak
400 pages

The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is utter perfection. There were no events, words, or sentences that didn’t have a purpose. At first I was slightly put off by the more serious tone and the slower pace, but I quickly realized that that was because of my own idea of what I should expect from a Robin Palmer novel – an interesting realization given that so much of this novel is about abandoning your perception of how things or people should be, and accepting them for what they are. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story, but I think I needed the time to allow myself to become attached to the characters. Once I was attached, there was no putting the book down.

Annabelle Jacobs has more pressure and responsibility on her shoulders than any 16 year old should. Her mother, once an A-List actress, left a successful TV-show for bigger and better film roles that never came. Now her mother is not only a self-obsessed actress, but also utterly dependant on pills and alcohol to make it through the day. After being called in the middle of the night to bail her mom out of jail for a DUI, no one would have blamed Annabel for completely giving up hope that her mom could ever be the mom she once knew. But, The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is not about losing hope; it is about finding hope.

Review: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Pub. Date: July 2nd, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
320 pages

Brooklyn Girls features a quirky cast of five twenty something’s – Pia, Julia, Coco, Madeleine and Angie - who take a lot of missteps, trying to figure life out. Having just moved into Rookhaven, an old brownstone, Pia wakes up after a housewarming party with a massive hangover, Madeleine’s brother in her bed, and pictures of her flashing partygoers on Facebook. She is promptly fired from her new PR job and cut off by her parents. After a single hilarious night as a waitress, and a few chance encounters, Pia comes up with an idea for a food truck. Borrowing $10,000 from a loan shark to buy the truck, and using her roommates as resources to plan a menu, Pia sets out at record speed to make a profit to pay the loan shark back. Chaos inevitably ensues.

Brooklyn Girls is a very character centered novel that epitomizes how your 20s are the time to take chances, get out of your comfort zone, and learn to live for yourself.  Pia, initially, is truly unlikeable.