Monthly Archives: July 2014

Even In Paradise – Chelsey Philpot

Even In Paradise
By: Chelsey Philpot
Available Oct 2014

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do… or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

This Blonde’s Review:
Late one night Charlotte helps a girl she hears getting sick in the bushes and can’t help herself from going out to help her. When she meets Julia Buchanan Charlotte soon finds herself being called Charlie and dragged into Julia’s life. A girl no one knows soon finds herself as part of the infamous circus that is the Buchanan lifestyle.

As glamorous as their life might seem, being a part of Julia’s life is more complicated than Charlie expected. As dazzling and high as Julia’s life seems to be, there are lows to go with every high. The Buchanans have experienced tragedy but don’t know how to handle it. When they meet Charlie she seems like a breathe of fresh air to them, her practicality and her ability to see things is refreshing and new to them. She is soon treated like one of the family, with them expecting her presence at various events.

As happy and carefree as Julia can be, there is a dark and destructive side to her. Charlie knows it has something to do with the death of Julia’s sister but she doesn’t know what happened. Even though Charlie is often put in the role of caretaker for Julia the family still keeps secrets from her. She isn’t allowed into the inner circle. Anytime she steps past the line of what Julia or the rest of the Buchanans will allow her to know or do she can feel the ice. But somehow Charlie loves them anyway. Julia is her best friend, and Sebastian is her crush, but Charlie loves the rest of the Buchanan family as though they’re her own. And the more I read the more I cared about them too.

The family asks for a lot from Charlie, at first it seemed that she accepted and was okay with that and it was frustrating to me, that they’d put so much on her. The part that made me still care for the Buchanans was that they do care for her in their way and want to offer her opportunities that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. Charlie’s whole life was changed when she became part of the Buchanan clan. She was distanced from her friends and started to see the Buchanan lifestyle as normal.

I was surprised by the decisions that were made at the end of this book. I was sad for them, but also happy. Charlie’s life had been changed so much. It opened her eyes to things she wouldn’t have otherwise seen, and it gave her the strength to walk into the future that was best for her without fear.


Don’t Touch – Rachel M Wilson

Don’t touch
By: Rachel M Wilson
Available Sept 2014

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together… which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn’t sure she’s brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who’s fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.

This Blonde’s Review:
We all have thoughts and actions that we know don’t make sense, superstitions or habits that we can’t seem to shake. Most of them are harmless and may just cause others to shake their heads or chuckle. For Caddie it becomes something debilitating. She has the idea that if she can keep from touching other people somehow her family will stay together.

Caddie’s father has moved out and she’s scared her family will break apart. She knows that her thoughts about not touching others being enough to keep bad things from happening isn’t reasonable, but she won’t risk it. She starts to find that it is harder than she thought to not have to touch people. Keeping her distance and secrets from her childhood best friend, Maddie, that she is reconnecting with is difficult. Keeping her distance from Peter, the great guy she’s getting to know, is even harder.

Caddie’s struggles were hard to see and understand, but I liked the way the author eased us into it slowly with her. The way it started as something little she thought she could control and slowly grew out of proportion. How she could want touch but also fear it at the same time. Getting to see the way it worked in her mind made it easier to relate to what she was going through. It also made me think about how easy it would be for something to go too far that way.

I loved the other characters in this book too. Maddie accepted Caddie with her gloves and secrets, even though she obviously wanted to know what was going on. Peter was so great in his understanding and patience with Caddie, I really wanted her to be able to put everything aside so they could be together. The rest of the group was awesome too and I enjoyed getting to know them through Caddie, despite the distance she tried to keep from everyone.

I enjoyed getting to know Caddie. I could understand her desire not to tell anyone what was happening with her, but wished she was more open. My favorite parts of the book all happened after she finally opened up about it. Everything didn’t go away overnight because they really can’t, but seeing her try and seeing the things people were willing to do to help her was great.