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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Don’t Breathe A Word – Holly Cupala

Don’t Breathe A Word
By Holly Cupala
Available January 2012

Description:
Joy Delamere is suffocating…

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From dangerous Ashlyn, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take her cruel words until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

This Blonde’s Review:
We often hear about physical abuse & can find examples of many of it’s forms in books. I’m sure you can think of a few you’ve read. We also read about emotional abuse and how the victims allow their abusers to isolate them or become physical. Joy’s story gives us a look at another type of unhealthy relationship.

Joy is severely asthmatic and had been hospitalized for it at an early age. It has impacted her life to a high degree and the lives I of her family too. She feels suffocated by their attention. Her boyfriend had been given the role of her caretaker, but things aren’t quite right in their relationship.

When she lets her boyfriend push her past the point she can handle, Joy realizes she needs out. She doesn’t feel she can turn to her family so she runs away. She turns to a boy she met once and had offered to help her. She finds herself living on the streets and trying to avoid being victimized there.

Creed never expected Joy to go to him, to run away from home. But once she’s there he takes her under his wing to join the group of runaways he lives with. Each member of the group has demons of their own to fight, and a past they’re running from. As Joy becomes accepted into the group there are lessons she learns that she never could have learned at home. While she battles her asthma and tries to stay alive, she can also find out who she is and how strong she can be.

I really enjoyed this book. It gave us a look at a life we know exists for runaway teens, but most people don’t acknowledge. I love that Joy’s abuse isn’t what you might expect at the beginning of the story. You think you know what an abusive relationship looks like, but it’s not always the same. I think the ending was great too, but I won’t spoil that for you.

If you would enjoy a YA book with emotionally damaged teens you will start to care for then you should pick this up. I really enjoyed it and I’m sure you will too.

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Fury – Elizabeth Miles

Fury
By Elizabeth Miles
The Fury Trilogy – Book One
Available Now

Description:
Sometimes sorry isn’t enough….
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better–the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

This Blonde’s Review:
In Fury we meet Em, a nice girl with a great life. She has a great best friend, a good friend in the boy next door, she’s well liked, and the boy she likes is noticing her back.

Except that the boy, Zach, is her best friend Gabby’s boyfriend.

When her Gabby goes out of town she lets things happen she would have avoided otherwise. Believing he’ll break up with Gabby when she returns, Em makes excuses for what happens with Zach.

We also have Chase. He’s a popular preppy boy, but he’s also poor. He does everything knowing that if his image is shattered he won’t have anything to fall back in like the other guys in his group. When he hears what happened to his childhood friend Sasha, a girl who had fallen from grace & was an outcast, he struggles.

After Sasha’s incident there are 3 beautiful girls in town. Chase is quick to become obsessed with one. Even though she toys with him and the things she makes him do get back to his friends, he can’t let go.

Em starts having problems of her own, but through it all she has her neighbor, JD, standing by her side. Even though he disagrees, he’s still her friend.

When Chase and Em’s social lives crash down around them, they turn to each other and build a friendship.

I didn’t love or hate this book. It was ok, but I didn’t feel like I came out if the book with anything beyond knowing the girls were Furies and that they punish people. Basically the same information I assumed at the beginning.

I didn’t like that I had no idea what made these characters the ones worthy of punishment without more people being punished for other things. Chase had a hand in something terrible and Em made a common mistake. I can see one similarity that I won’t spill, but again… It seems like the furies would be showing up more often.

Wanting answers kept me reading, so the author did well there, but I didn’t like how many questions I still had.

If the description sounds good and you want to read it I am not saying don’t pick it up. I know many people who loved it, and it isn’t a bad book in my opinion. I believe that I am reserving judgement until I see what more we learn I’m book two. There is still potential for a great series.

 

Glow – Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow
By Amy Kathleen Ryan
Sky Chasers Book One
Available now

Description:
What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them…

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.

This Blonde’s Review:
Here on Earth we are encouraged to wait until we’re older and ready to have kids. Waverly has the opposite problem. As the first generation to be born in space she is encouraged to marry and have children young. They are the people who will be populating a new world and are expected to multiply sooner rather than later.

She has been with Kieran for a long time and it is expected that they will marry. When he proposes she is less than sure. Kieran is a great guy, almost too perfect, and in line to become the next captain of the ship.

When their ship is attacked by the other ship heading for a new planet they are taken by surprise. Most of the adults are killed, including the captain. This leaves Waverly to attempt to help the small children while Kieran tries to figure out what to do to protect the survivors.

When Waverly and the other females are taken to the new ship we get to hear both of their accounts of what is happening. Kieran attempting to run the ship without time to learn it all. Dealing with the bodies of the people killed, and attempting to keep the other boys alive. He is soon resented and overtaken as leader. He struggles to survive and keep hope that the girls will be rescued.

Meanwhile, Waverly and the other girls were taken to the New Horizon. She struggles to keep the girls from giving up in light of the lies they are being told by the leader of the ship, a woman who comes across as very caring. Waverly does not trust her and believes there is more to the story. When she discovers why the girls are really there she is horrified and angry.

I don’t really know what I thought of this book. At times I liked it, other times I didn’t really care either way. I liked Waverly’s spirit. Kieran was so good that you can’t help but like him. Seth is a boy we learn that Waverly had been interested in right before she started dating Kieran. Waverly is still a little interested in Seth too. Seth sets himself up as a rival of Kieran’s at every opportunity, obviously resentful of him. Yet his past, makes me want to understand him and hope he isn’t really the guy he seems to be.

There are a lot of deaths in Glow and so much is left unsaid. At certain points I wasn’t sure if the section I read really involved death or not. At the same time, the teenagers don’t really know everything that’s going on, including death counts and who survived on a smaller ship. So it was hard for me to decide if I was annoyed by the lack of clarity or if it fit the story.

This is one of those books where I need to read the next one before I can really know how I feel about the first. My overall opinion: I liked it. Very middle of the road not love not dislike.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. The concept is a good one and the series could still be great depending on how the second book goes.

If you like the description and believe you’d enjoy a story set in deep space with teenagers left to fend for themselves you should give it a try. I’ll definitely be picking up the second book to find out what happens next.