Archive for the ‘dating and sex’ Category

“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” I remembered that line often as I read this amazing book that better receive some awards. In this story of “star-crossed lovers” those two households are crumbling under the stress of lies, harassment, brutality and rape. Mikey sister, Karyn, was raped at a private party by Tom Parker at his unsupervised home. The only witness was Tom’s younger, bookish sister, Ellie. But what did Ellie witness? She told police and her family that she was asleep and saw nothing.

Mikey and his mate, Jacko, infiltrate the Parker manor to beat Tom to a pulp only to discover a huge party to welcome Tom home from jail. Mikey ends up trying to pump Ellie for information and their mutual attraction snowballs immediately. Deftly executed prose entangles Mikey and Ellie’s love story with Karyn’s slow progression to a new normalcy, with the exposure of emotional abuse of Ellie by her father whose son is following his harassing footsteps. Younger teen readers will not appreciate the depth of plot and character development of the story, but will be tantalized about the intimate scenes. Older teens will appreciate the raw emotions of the love story and easily see the pressures on all the characters in this story of family deception and manipulation, and a story of a relationship that is bruised and bandaged but surviving.

ENDERS’ Rating: ***** Jenny’s Website

Poor Seth. He has lost his fourth job, his girl breaks up with him in Applebee’s in front of the guy replacing him, and then over his shoulder he sees his dad with another woman! He decides to deal with his grief and angst in an oral journal, a podcast, using his mom’s old soundboard. Seth is good and his podcast gains quite a following. While golfing with his dirty-minded bud, Dimitri, Seth determines to ask for his fifth summer job at the golf course and to play gumshoe to ferret out his father’ slut. With zany, witty, hormonal Dimitri as his sidekick they end up in more hot water than fresh lobsters. A new love interest is on the horizon for Seth if he lives through her freakishly horrid sandwiches.

Loved, loved, loved this laugh-out-loud book for its cleverness and compelling story!

ENDERS’ Rating: ****

Eric Luper’s Website

Eric’s Blog

I have had a streak of excellent reads the last few months! Only one book I reviewed did not make this recommend blog. Maybe that supports my theory that the best writers are writing for YAs.

Robin’s first book, Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, was a 2008 BBYA book, and FAT CAT is on the fast track to be a winner for next year. Catherine, Cat, is a brilliant teenager with a knack for scientific inquiry, which is put to the ultimate test during a yearlong science project to be judged at a high school level fair in the spring. Through the luck of the draw, Cat draws a picture from which she uses herself as the primary scientific experiment and observation. This project is anything but ho-hum. Amanda, Cat’s best friend, is beside her all the way. I want Amanda for my best friend. Along the way, Cat discovers that she has become a “guy magnet” and has a crash course in repelling guys. Cat has to face a four-year hurt by her former best friend, Matt. She cooks her way into the hearts of all around her. But does she win the competition? Does Cat understand what has happened to her?

I liked Cat; her focus, her commitment to herself. And what does her story come wrapped in: a funny, well-paced story that YAs will love reading.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Robin Brande’s Website (I suggest following her website if you are a writer).

Brava to BF! In her quest to delve into romantic stories involving dark sides she has concocted a deliciously wicked story with Jekel Loves Hyde. The story is gripping from “I buried my father the day after my seventeenth birthday.” That is in the prologue…do not gloss over it by looking for chapter one. Jill discovers that her father’s death, her not so delightfully alliterative last name, captivating Tristin Hyde, and a science competition sporting a hefty scholarship are all going to complicate her already sorrowful life. Fans of Jessica Guide may mourn the lack of a sequel of that novel, but not for long. Fantaskey’s sense of suspense, shared first person narrations, and episodic tension make a page-turning read that is sure to keep YA readers begging for more.

ENDERS” Rating: Better have mutliple copies in my library!

Beth Fantaskey’s Website

“We do stupid things when we’re hurt. But let me save you some grief. When you feel bad, it’s often best to do nothing at all.” Couldn’t we all have used that a time or two? Along with Molly’s widower, advice-giving dad, live her three bachelor uncles. The chorus of advice and platitudes from the uncle-crowded back seat of her dad’s truck zipping to Aunt Tip’s Bangee’s Wake Irish pub is hysterical. Molly wants to do what is right for herself..if only others would let her! Molly O’Keefe has a slimy boyfriend that everyone knows that he only wants to “ravish and toss” her. Molly is prone to giving in to her self-centered, carpe diem buddy Vanessa. She ends up in The Girl Corps, red cape and all, to discover some strength to deal with the Trevor situation and even more.

ENDERS’ Rating: Fun read that keeps you turning the pages!

Stacey Goldblatt’s Website and Blog

In my recollection there is no book that lays out a young man’s perspective about desire, love, sex, concern, betrayal and the despair of young love the way i know it’s over does. Nick has tried to play by Sasha’s rules, after all she is intelligent, amazingly beautiful and loving; all that he could hope for. The novel begins months later when she tells Nick she is pregnant, after he and Sasha have broken up. The story reverts to the first time Nick meets Sasha who meets his definition of the rarest type of girl, “girls without an act.” What I found amazing was the voice of Nick. Remember this is a first-time novel by a young woman. How Nick could maintain that honest boy-ness while displaying deep emotion and deep thinking was an epiphany for me. The title is prophetic. When the story catches up to Christmas, and it’s over. I eagerly look forward to reading another book by Martin to see what mind she probes next!

ENDERS Rating: A painful, lovely story

c. k. kelly martin’s website