When Forever Changes by Siobhan Davis

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When Forever Changes by Siobhan Davis tells the story of Dylan and Gabby and how their strong relationship withered and ultimately why. Vulgar language irritated me and distracted from the characters and plot. Dylan changes drastically in a short amount of time and cheats and shows deviant behavior. They break up and go their separate ways until Dylan has a seizure and discovers why his personality changed. After Gabby broke up with Dylan, she moved on, but when she discovers she’s pregnant she feels the need to make peace with Dylan. I felt a little thrown into the messed up parts of their relationship and I would have liked to have gotten to know Dylan and Gabby during their good, happy times before things went haywire. This would have built up my investment with the characters even more. When Forever Changes is a bittersweet tale full of wisdom in hindsight, second chances, love and loyalty. 4 stars for this new adult realistic fiction story!

Mean Little People by Paige Dearth

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Heartbreaking realistic fiction.
Thanks to NetGalley, Fiction With Meaning LLC and a Goodreads giveaway for the ARC of Mean Little People by Paige Dearth.
The prologue broke my heart with the bullying of a seven-year-old boy. Tony was severely bullied by children and then he went home after being saved by a passerby and was bullied horribly by his father. The story continues on as Tony grows up, makes friends, loses friends and stands up to his father. The story jumps through Tony’s life and is somewhat choppy for a while but then finally settles and flows better. Once Tony becomes a teenager, the jumping stops and the story continues on with the tragically sad, horrifying and heartbreaking events that he’s living through. Tony sees his friend Salvatore harm someone. Vincent and Salvatore run away but Tony stays to help the injured person. A witness sees Tony by the person and tells the police that Tony was the killer when the person dies. Tony ends up in a juvenile detention center where he’s abused beyond comprehension. The only reason he was arrested is because he wouldn’t tell on Salvatore. Salvatore’s father is the mob boss but he’s cold and uncaring so he doesn’t help Tony as much or as quickly as he should. The mob eventually kills the witness and Tony is released. Now he has nowhere to go because his wretched father refuses to let him stay at home because he’s a “criminal”. He’s homeless. Tony finds a friend in a male drug addict and they share a room in an abandoned apartment building. This is the first time that he feels safe and isn’t harmed by someone he’s trusted. He also meets Donata, who owns a bakery that Tony frequently visits on the rare occasion when he has money. Donata and her granddaughter Ruth become family to Tony. His addict friend freezes to death and Tony is left on the streets alone and terrified of freezing to death too. He ends up joining the Slayers, a violent gang, just so he has a warm place to sleep. Through all of this, Salvatore begs his father to help Tony. The mob boss finally gives Tony a job, freeing him from the Slayers. He always tells Tony that he is indebted to him and the mob family and owes them, even though Salvatore continues to remind his father that he’s really indebted to Tony for saving him from the awful detention center in the first place. This story reminds me of the movie “Scarface”, with the hatred, anger and violence. I admire the author for being brutally honest with the details of the harm and violence that is predominantly portrayed throughout the book. Perseverance is strongly represented also. Tony has amazing strength and because we’re given his view of tragedies that he suffered through, his strength and perseverance become even more hard- earned and amazing because he carries on. The choppy grammar is used to make the characters real and it does work. Heartbreaking realistic fiction that’s also very eye-opening, 4 stars.

The Irish Getaway by Siobhan Davis

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The newest addition to the Kennedy Boys series by Siobhan Davis, The Irish getaway throws us right back into the never dull, sometimes chaotic lives of the Kennedy family. The cheese factor is high with Ky and Faye and everyone calls them out on it, humorously. The interestingly complex parts of the story involve a mystery dealing with Rach, the conflict between Kal and Lana, the group fight, the sisterly contention between Faye and Whitney and the odd, but funny conflict triangle with James, Adam and Alex. I also enjoyed the bonus reads about Ky, Faye, Brad, Kalvin and Lana that are included with the arc. Thanks Siobhan, for the extra reading material! 5 stars for this quick read addition to the Kennedy Boys series.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Loving Kalvin by Siobhan Davis

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Loving Kalvin by Siobhan Davis- Kalvin was accused of raping his girlfriend, Lana, and is scheduled for court. Eleven months later they are both attending the same college and run into each other by accident. Lana is hiding something from Kalvin and she’s reluctant to tell him about it. The story contains graphic language and graphic sexual content and fits in the new adult genre. The characters are more vulgar and arrogant than in the Kyler Kennedy books. Lana was a contradiction of confidence and lack of self esteem, so I questioned her sincerity at times. She also wavered between mature decisions and immature actions. 4 stars for this addition to the Kennedy Boys series.
I read a complimentary advance copy of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.

Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read and review Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes. Eddie has taken a job in the Alaskan bush while he’s on academic probation from college. He wants to earn money and turn his life around and he feels that the next year of his life can do this for him. This book contains new adult language and is geared toward college age young adults . Desolate Alaska is more dramatic than Eddie thought it would be. He makes some good choices and then some bad choices and that’s when things spiral out of his control. I enjoyed the descriptions of Alaska and its wilderness and the sled dogs were pretty impressive! 4 stars for this coming of age story with its unique setting and characters.

Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

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I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis, is the second book of The Kennedy Boys series and broken hearts are as prominent as the dysfunction in this family. More secrets come out into the open and cause more family distress, along with one of Kyler’s brothers being accused of rape. Faye shows extreme maturity and true empathy for the situation that her mother and her new guardian James found themselves in many years ago. I appreciate how open minded she tries to be and this shows that she is wise for her age. Her wisdom helps everyone else deal with their struggles. This second book has so much going on that it is intense reading! Siobhan Davis pulls it all together so well and in such a smooth way that makes the suspense build and when the ending hit, I just wanted to read the next book in the series immediately! I am in awe of Siobhan’s writing and I love her style. She has taken a good story and made it great and brings the characters to life realistically. I am looking forward to reading more about the Kennedy boys! 5 stars for this engrossing romantic story!

Love Blind

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Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the arc of Love Blind by Christa Desir and Jolene Perry! A teenage boy, Kyle, as the main character in chapter one, then Hailey for chapter two. Alternating between Kyle and Hailey each chapter lets the reader live in both of their worlds better than first person point of view would have. Hailey has been diagnosed as legally blind (the ophthalmologist tells her she has “old-people eyes”),lives with her two adoptive moms and she has a list of fears to overcome. Hailey is the singer in the band, Blinders On, with her two friends. Kyle lives with his single mom and he’s dealing with being painfully shy and getting bullied at school. Kyle and Hailey meet and become reluctant friends and begin to work on Hailey’s fear list. In the meantime, Hailey talks Kyle into making his own list. Some use of the “F” word, but it fits in with the situations discussed in the book. Love Blind fits in the young adult genre because of its swearing and sex language. This book deals with some intense, tough issues: extreme bullying, losing virginity, hpv, dysfunctional families, blindness, being adopted, gay parents, sexuality and love with creative writing and care. One of my greatest fears is becoming blind and I admire anyone who has dealt with blindness. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and grew to care about them, with their dynamic personalities, humor and drama. The story is intense and deep with an inconclusive ending that leaves the mind to wonder about the characters’ futures.

A Totally Awkward Love Story

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Thanks to First In Line for selecting me as a winner and giving me a free copy of A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison! The title is perfect for this story as the awkwardness continues throughout the entire book and throughout the relationship between Hannah and Sam. Young adult British humor made me laugh a ton! I enjoyed the humorous honesty and complete openness about everything, and I mean everything! Fun and fast read by clever authors.

 

Diary of an Oxygen Thief

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Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous had a page posted on Facebook recently. This post caused interest in the book and so I purchased it to read and review. Disappointment abounded! Not only does it contain graphic, vulgar language but graphic sexual content also. Targeting young adults on Facebook created a young audience of interested readers, but the book is written with adults in mind as the audience. On top of all that, the writing isn’t very good and I was annoyed at the lack of editing. Maybe that was the point. Maybe this book is meant as a journal of sorts. Whatever the case may be, I will not read this again and will not be recommending it to my library students.