SST: Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen Vath

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LALLU

Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.

When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.

Interview
Do you write best at night or in the daytime?
Day or night, I just strongly prefer to be alone. So, daytime if I’m at Starbucks or B&N cafe alone OR at night when my kids are asleep!

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved writing but never thought I’d be a published author. As a teen and college student, I’d write but never actually finished a complete book. But about 8 years ago, I began writing a book that would later inspire me to write another. One that I finally completed! That book was Liars and Losers Like Us.

Do you write with music or in total silence?
Silence, please. However, I LOVE listening to my book’s “playlist” before and after writing.

What has the debut author experience been like?
It’s been everything. Exciting, stressful, chaotic, surprising, amazing and very humbling. I’ll never, ever forget the past two years.

This book is set around prom night, how was your prom experience?
I went to prom my junior and senior year. To be honest, my junior prom experience was pretty mediocre. I’m grateful for it because it was when I was coming out of a pretty deep depression and it did give me an escape. However, the planning and prep was still high stress! But the guy who asked me was very sweet. I was a hot mess and he still wanted to go with me.

My senior prom was more memorable. I was in love and, sure I had a ton of anxiety, but it was super fun.

In the past 5 years, what books have been your favorites?
I’ve read so many that have been insta-faves but here are a few of the books I still think about. The Fix by Natasha Sinel, Fault Line by Christa Desir, Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen, Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul, Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian, Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Black Iris by Leah Raeder, American Girls by Alison Umminger, The Distance From A to Z by Natalie Blitt, The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi, Rules For Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

What has been the most surprising thing to happen since a release date was announced for Liars and Losers Like Us?
The amount of support from the writing community. From the writers I queried with, to already published authors to the book bloggers. Once again, I’m going to using the word humbling–it was totally unexpected and has been sincerely humbling.

What can we expect from you next?
Yay! Good question. I’m finishing up revisions on a book that will hopefully be ready for my agent before the world ends. (It’s taking me a long time!) Please cross your fingers that she’ll be able to sell it because this book has been a labour of blood, sweat, and more sweat. I’d hate to shelve it. ; )

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SST: The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

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TLTSTW
Goodreads

Synopsis (GR):
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Review
Guys, if this book is ANY indication of how awesome 2016 releases are gonna be, it’s going to be a GREAT year for books. Not so much for my wallet though.

Now the synopsis hints at something being “off” but I had no idea that it was a time travel book until I started reading. Come to think of it, I don’t think I even really read the synopsis before I started reading. I was thrilled that it was a time travel book because time travel is one of the most fascinating things to me in the world.

Natalie was instantly likeable to me and that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it takes me awhile to warm up to the main character. But not this time. I also really liked Grandmother, I found her to be fascinating and when Natalie would recount her stories, I found myself excited to keep reading. Normally having a character recount someone else’s stories would bore me, but not this time. Not with Natalie and Grandmother.

I loved that Natalie was adopted and that she was Native American. We don’t get a lot of Native American representation in YA, so this was really awesome to see. YAY for diversity! We definitely need more Native American representation in YA.

I was also worried that this book would focus “too much” on the romance aspect and that would ruin the book for me. I’m not one for the fluffy stuff. Yes this book had a lot of romance in it, but the time travel aspect of it made it much better. It was more compelling and I found myself excited to read and that’s a feeling I haven’t had lately.

I did like the romance between Natalie & Beau, but I didn’t love it. I know several people who mentioned the romance seemed a little insta-lovey. I didn’t see that, but I also felt like Beau’s development wasn’t as strong as it could have been. There were times that he seemed a bit bland to me. He was infinitely better than Natalie’s ex, Matt.

Matt was a piece of crap. Not only did he get physically rough with Natalie, but he also attempted to rape her. We later find out that he has issues, but that’s no excuse for the abhorrent way he treated Natalie.

Alice Chan was one of the side characters who was attempting to help Natalie figure everything out. I loved Alice. She was very fascinating and I found myself hanging on to her every word as she worked to uncover the reason behind Grandmother’s appearances and the reason behind Natalie slipping through time.

The writing was utterly gorgeous and I think that was one of the reasons I fell head over heels for this book.The writing helped pull me into the world that Henry created. The writing  actually made me want to STAY in this world. Well that and the cover. The cover is unique, eye catching and all around perfection. Whoever designed this cover is a freaking GENIUS.

Highly recommend this book. Pre-order it now.

About the Author:
Emily Henry is full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite.

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SST: The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson

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TPON
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis
Kim Culbertson is back with another fantastic new novel about what happens when you’ve been planning for the future, but everything falls apart now.

Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn’t plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-walk-out kind of meltdown. And she didn’t plan on a video of it going viral. And she definitely didn’t plan on never wanting to show her face again.

Mara knows she should go back, but suddenly she doesn’t know why she’s been overachieving all these years. Impulsively, she tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and wiht a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding the real world, Mara can figure things out.

Only Tahoe is nothing like she thought. There are awesome new friends and hot boys and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there are also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara stopping planning long enough to see the life that’s happening right now?

Guest Post
Inspiration is a tricky thing to pin down but, as I’ve spent the last eighteen years teaching high school, I know that much of my inspiration comes from my students. In my first novel, SONGS FOR A TEENAGE NOMAD, Calle has moved fourteen times in eight years so she keeps a song journal as her only constant. When she hears a song that reminds her of a time in her past, she writes down the memory that comes from hearing that specific song. My students are passionate about their music and this idea came from watching them work on a school project I’d given them to create a soundtrack for a book we’d read. My students have inspired parts of all my novels. I took sixteen students to Italy for a spring break and INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART grew out of that experience. I overheard a conversation with two of my students about fame and that became the spark of an idea for CATCH A FALLING STAR.

In my newest novel, THE POSSIBILITY OF NOW, the inspiration came from watching many of my students wrestle with stress and anxiety about their futures. I’ve seen them struggle to balance their emotional, social and family lives with the pressure of individually achieving for a future they’ve been told they want. I spent ten years as a college advisor and each year it felt like the process got even more intense. I’ve long thought that too much of our educational (and extracurricular) culture relies on external reward, high-pressure comparison, and the idea that young people should be certain about their futures before they truly know who they are or what they want. I’ve also watched the way online culture has impacted my students and wondered about the correlation to the rise in teen anxiety. THE POSSIBILITY OF NOW explores these themes against the backdrop of Tahoe, a place I often go to unwind, but that also has its own complex, specific culture.

Mostly, though, I’m inspired to write because it helps me to answer questions I have about human behavior. I’m fascinated by what makes us all tick. Ultimately, in all of my writing, I want to find hopeful, honest answers to my questions. Writing novels has been the window into some answers for me.

About the Author:
Kim Culbertson is the author of Catch a Falling Star; Instructions for a Broken Heart, a Northern California Book Award winner; and Songs for a Teenage Nomad. When she’s not writing young adult novels, she teaches high school creative writing. Kim lives with her husband and their daughter in Northern California. For more about Kim, visit http://www.kimculbertson.com.

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SST: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

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Hi everyone! Today I’ll be sharing the playlist for the upcoming novel, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett.

TASOAHBook Link: Goodreads

Synopsis
Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

My YA debut is a love story between two teen artists: a girl who geeks out over drawing anatomy and a boy who’s secretly spray-painting giant gold graffiti words across San Francisco. My characters are quirky and have their own individual tastes in art, style, and music, and this playlist reflects a little bit of both of them.

Playlist
“Kiss Me On the Bus” by The Replacements: Jack and Bex meet on a midnight bus known in San Francisco as the Owl. They’re both sneaking out, but for different reasons, and both trying to figure each other out. In the process, they find they’re wildly attracted to each other, which is something that’s never happened to Bex before. Spoiler alert: no kissing happens on that first bus ride, sorry folks.

“Hypnotic” by Zella Day: I think Bex would hear the lyrics to this and immediately think of Jack.

“Happy Birthday” by Concrete Blonde: The summer before her final year of high school, Bex turns eighteen. Her mother and older brother take her to an art museum to see a very special diagram of a heart that she’s been wanting to see. Something dramatic happens at the museum (you’ll have to read the book to find out just what that is), but it has to do with Jack, and things go from good to thrilling to I WANT TO KILL THAT BOY, which is pretty much how all good romances should start.

“Wild Woman” by Imelda May: Once Bex gets to know Jack, she finds out that he has a thing for Rockabilly music, both old and new. Jack would definitely dig Imelda May, and this song in particular, which speaks about a feral urge living under someone’s skin, itching to break free, would remind him of Bex.

“Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys:  Bex knows Jack is hiding dark secrets, but she doesn’t know how deep they go or why he pulls away from her. Before he tells her what’s going on in his family, this song captures Bex’s feelings.

“Artificial Nocturne” by Metric: Bex is a little bit damaged by her parents’ divorce, but she’s not completely broken. She’s coping with it the best way she knows how, and this song, to me, reminds me of her.

“I Think I Need a New Heart” by The Magnetic Fields: This is one of those songs that sounds happy, but the lyrics are really heartbreaking. It reminds me of a character on Jack’s side of the fence that I can’t mention by name (spoiler).

“Red Right Ankle” by The Decemberists: This has both nothing and everything to do with Jack and Bex, and I listened to it a lot when I wrote the book. My favorite lyrics is: “Whatever differences our lives have been/We together make a limb.” I think that sums up my protagonists fairly nicely.

About the Author
Jenn Bennett is the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series with Pocket and the Roaring 20’s historical paranormal romance series with Berkley. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two pugs.

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SST: This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup

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TOL
Book Link:
 Goodreads

Synopsis (GR):
High-school radio host Jasmine Torres’s life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health–not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.

Excerpt
“Seriously,” he says quietly. “Why?”

            “Why what?” I dig in my bag for the water bottle that caused me to lose my balance in the first place. My mouth is all Sahara desert and besides, I don’t want to talk about it.

His hand on my arm stops my rustling and when I look up he’s still staring at me.

“Come on,” he says. “Let me take you on a non non-date.”

            “No.” Screw the water. This whole thing was a mistake. I’m not ready for this. I zip my bag and push around him. The trail levels out and I pick up speed. His footsteps soon fall in step with mine, beside me. Infuriating.

            “What if it’s a really bad date?”

            “Nope.”

            “If I make it terrible, it will hardly count as a date at all, really.”

            I walk faster.

            “You can pay for yourself! Hell, you can even pay for me, if you want. It will be the non datiest date ever.”

            I shake my head.

            “What restaurant do you hate? I’ll take you there.”

            My lips betray me by twitching into a smile. Thankfully he’s behind me and can’t see.

            “We’ll even sit at different tables. You can pretend you don’t know me.”

            Giggles start to bubble up my throat, like some elementary school volcano science project.

            “You just don’t give up, do you?” I say, out of breath. I turn around with my hands on my hips.

            He trots up beside me, all smiling and disheveled from our trek and, thanks to me, tumble on the trail.

“I’m feeling a little hopeful,” he says. “Is that what I should be feeling?”

            I start down the trail again, more slowly this time. “I’m not going out to dinner,” I say.

            “Breakfast? Lunch?”

            “No. A meal is definitely a date. And don’t even think about suggesting a movie.”

            He hands me his canteen and I stop to drink the cool water. Instant relief. Never mind that my lips are touching where his lips just were.

            “Next weekend,” he says. “How about Saturday? I’ll come up with the worst plan ever. I promise.”

About the Author:
Award-winning author Jennifer Walkup is most often found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.

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SST: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

2289c-wylbBook Link: Goodreads

Synopsis (GR):
Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn’t Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions. Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

“Ryden’s story is a moving illustration of how sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to embrace the life you’ve been given. A strong, character-driven story that teen readers will love.”—Carrie Arcos, National Book Award Finalist for Out of Reach.

Guest Post
-What made you decide to write What You Left Behind?

Thanks for having me on your blog, Alexia! The idea for What You Left Behind was actually sparked by an article my husband sent me about a teenage girl who had cancer and was pregnant, and wasn’t allowed to make her own decision of whether she wanted to abort her pregnancy and continue her cancer treatments, or stop the cancer treatments and have the baby. Her parents chose for her (they chose stop cancer treatments and have the baby) and she died a couple days after giving birth, leaving the baby to be raised by her boyfriend. This isn’t exactly what happens in the book, but the issue of choice is one that is very important to me, so I wanted to write about that. And of course I was completely interested in the single teen dad grieving the loss of his girlfriend story.

I actually started drafting the book as a dual narrator (Ryden and Meg) story, while Meg was still alive. About 75 pages in, I realized that wasn’t the way to go at all (it would have been about a billion pages long, haha), and that this story should really be told by Ryden, and begin in the middle of his journey. I had to scrap those 75 pages, which definitely hurt, but it was absolutely the right decision.

About the Author:
Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at http://www.jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.

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SST: The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! This awesome idea was one that Nori of Readwritelove28 came up with and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
Today, I have Rachael Allen’s sophomore release, The Revenge Playbook. I reviewed this book last month, but in case you missed it, keep scrolling and you can read it below.
Goodreads

Synopsis

In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.

Don’t get mad, get even!

In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.


Brimming with sharp observations and pitch-perfect teen voices, fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp tale—by the author of 17 First Kisses—about the unexpected roads that can lead you to finding yourself.

Review:
I loved Allen’s first book, 17 First Kisses, and I wasn’t sure if this book would live up to it, but it did. In a really big way. Like with 17 First Kisses, I was expecting something light and fluffy, but what I got was a book chock full of girl power, and some hard topics of conversation.

It has always been a big complaint of mine that high school athletes get special treatment. They get a pass on bad behavior, they get extensions on homework assignments, even when the non-athletes have asked for them for a legitimate reason and they don’t get them. It’s like they get privileges that other students don’t get. 

Like they are the “golden boys”

Out of the four girls, Ana, Melanie Jane, Liv and Peyton, I think I liked Peyton the most. I related to her in a way that I couldn’t relate to to the other three. She had special considerations due to her ADHD and she constantly tried to alert the teachers and the rest of the staff that she needed the boys (the football players) to stop bothering her so she could concentrate.

Did they punish the football players? Of course not.

Did they punish her by making her move so she wouldn’t be so distracted? Absolutely.

I don’t think I’ve been this angry over a book in a very long time. I was livid, actually more than livid if there is such a thing. It was the treatment of Peyton that enraged me the most.

Then we move on to Liv who has not had sex with her boyfriend, but she’s still called a slut by a lot of the boys.

We have Melanie Jane who has sworn to remain a virgin until her wedding night. She used to be best friends with Ana until something changed between them.

Ana is hiding a secret. A secret that will devastate her family. She’s choosing to keep it from them because when she tried to report it to the school & the law enforcement officers, she was told that she needed to keep it to herself or else one of the boys would lose his football scholarship.

When I read that part, I was furious. This is why so many high school girls are terrified to report any incidence of assault. They know that nothing will happen to the football players and other sports participants because they are athletes and are exempt from punishment. Schools need to stop treating these boys like they are a gift to mankind. Treat them as you would any other student, even if that means *gasp* punishing them.

These four girls have some similarities, but also a lot of differences, but the way they come together to fight back against the sexism and the misogyny surrounding the school, and most specifically the football team. They wanted nothing more than to beat the boys at their own game, even embarrassing them.

The presence of a list was also made known to the girls. This list is written by the BMOC (Big Man On Campus) Chad McAllister. It informs the rest of the football team that certain girls aren’t worthy of them for various reasons (all of which have to do with either their looks or the fact that they haven’t put out)

Barf.

Basically if you have a girlfriend who is on the list, you need to cut her loose. For the good of the team & its image of course. This was another scene where I had to literally get up and walk away from my Kindle because I was literally shaking with rage.

I loved the friendships that developed in this book. I loved how Melanie Jane wasn’t ridiculed for being a virgin. I loved how despite their different home lives, and interests, they still managed to form a friendship. This entire book was awesome, but the ending was amazing, and I cried buckets because of certain things that happen at the end that I don’t want to spoil for those of you who haven’t read it yet.

Just please read it. I actually feel like this book needs to be in classrooms, especially high school classrooms. It’s a must read for all teenagers and even school faculty. I loved this book for the messages it sent and for the powerful friendships that developed. I’ll be giving it 5 stars and I cannot wait to get a finished copy of this book.

Author Bio

Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, two children, and two sled dogs. In addition to being a YA writer, she’s also a mad scientist, a rabid Falcons fan, an expert dare list maker, and a hugger. Rachael is the author of 17 FIRST KISSES.
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SST: Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! This awesome idea was one that Nori of Readwritelove28 came up with and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

Today, I have Corey Ann Haydu and her new book, Making Pretty on the blog. You may recall that I posted a review of this book a couple of days ago, but in case you missed it, go ahead and read it now. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

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Goodreads Link: GR


Synopsis (GR): 
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life. With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust. In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life? 

Review:
How does Corey Ann Haydu do this? 

She creates wonderfully real, flawed characters that you don’ t always love, but you root for them. She creates real life situations that would make most of us ragey, frustrated and sometimes downright angry.

I’ve never been the type of person who needs to love or even like the characters in order to like or even love the book. That was a much needed realization as I dove into this book. Montana did not make the best decisions in her life. She makes questionable decisions throughout the book. Some of her decisions made me want to put my head through a wall. I literally had to remind myself that she was a teenager. Teenagers are pretty much known for making questionable decisions.

She struggles with wanting to belong, and while that is definitely a teenage thing, I think that’s also something that comes with having extremely limited contact with her mom and her dad basically treating marriage as unimportant as he marries them, talks them into a lot of plastic surgery and then eventually divorces them. I understand Montana’s unhealthy approach to relationships and love.

That’s why I didn’t mind her relationship with Bernardo too much. Yes, the guy had red flags all over him, and yes, I didn’t like him very much. However Montana just wanted to be loved for who she was. She wanted someone to want to stick around for her. Bernardo was that guy. He made her feel loved, adored and cherished. 

Yes she had her friend, Roxanne and her older sister Arizona, but there was distance between them. Both Roxanne and Arizona were in college and Montana definitely felt left out.

This was where Karissa came in.

Karissa was one of those “bad decisions” She seemed to use  Montana, drugs & alcohol as a way to deal with her rough life. In toxic friendships, the toxic one usually pulls the other friend into things so quickly and so fully that it takes awhile for the non-toxic person to realize that the toxic person is not all that great.

This book was intoxicating. I was absolutely addicted to this book and I was so curious to see how things would turn out by the end. I wish we had gotten a bit more in the end because I really wanted to see how certain things played out. I did love this book though and will happily give it 5 stars.

About the Author: 
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD LOVE STORY, LIFE BY COMMITTEE, MAKING PRETTY and her upcoming middle grade debut, RULES FOR STEALING STARS. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009. In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Junior Library Guild Selections, Indie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections. Corey also teaches YA Novel Writing with Mediabistro and is adapting her debut novel, OCD LOVE STORY into a high school play, which will have its first run in Fall 2015. Corey lives in Brooklyn with her dog, her boyfriend, and a wide selection of cheese. 

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