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Blog Tour hosted by Itching for Books

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Tidewater girl born and bred, Regan Claire’s first friend and love was the Atlantic. Growing up being told the legends about Pirates and American Natives common in coastal VA and NC, coupled with being an only child, did wonders for her imagination; Regan had one foot in fantasy-land ever since, a trait her dear husband heroically endures (and one she secretly hopes her daughters have inherited). Her family moved inland to Nashville while she was entering tweenhood and not a day went by that she didn’t miss her childhood playmate and her crashing waves. Nashville has her perks though, namely the love of Regan’s life and their two sweet girls. Their insane mutt-dog and the stray cat that refuses to leave their porch aren’t too bad either. Regan loves fairytales A LOT, teen movies (preferably with dancing or singing), reads entirely too much, and is constantly late.                                                                                                                                                               

Spotlight: Bootie and the beast by Falguni Kothari

Fairytales don’t end with True Love’s Kiss, they begin with one…
Diya Mathur (aka Beauty), celebrated supermodel and Party Princess of India, is adored by everyone. She works hard, plays hard, and has the biggest shoe fetish on the planet. But after she purchases one baby bootie, Diya’s reputation is in ruins. There’s only one place to escape the rumours – Texas, under the protection of her lifelong friend, and secret love, Krish Menon (aka the Beast).
Financial whizz-kid, CFO and entrepreneur, Krish is a brooding workaholic with a charisma that still brings Beauty Mathur to her knees. He has no idea, of course! They’ve shared a bond since childhood – a special friendship that thrives on sparring, teasing and goading – but with Diya back in his life and under his roof, Krish’s latent desire for her explodes. And when he finally admits to the secret that has never allowed him to commit to any woman – especially Diya – everything changes. Krish might finally realise how much he wants his Beauty. But he won’t get her until Diya has tamed her Beast.

Falguni Kothari is a non-traditional homemaker who accidently tripped on a misplaced soccer ball and fell down the writer’s rabbit hole. Having no more experience with the whole writing/publishing shebang than being a voracious reader and movie buff, it more than surprised her that she could, in fact, write a full-length novel. 
Now, several manuscripts down, when she is not trying to find a way out of her many domestic duties or cajoling her Latin dance coach to compose a rumba on Bollywood music, she is found embroiled in some or other scandal—sorry, creating stories—on her ever-faithful laptop.
She’s authored Bootie and the Beast, It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! and Scrabbulous Impre
ssions, a short story. She rumbas across a whole smorgasbord of Social Media daily and loves to connect with most living things. 
 

Review: 17 first kisses + Giveaway!

Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club
 

No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.Until Claire meets Luke.But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

REVIEW
 
This book did really surprise me. I mean it looks like a typical YA summer romance but it is so much more than that. The book talks about relationships and all its complexities. It deals with serious issues like depression, death, cheating, dealing with pain and whatnot. It is realistic and I like how Claire’s family dynamics are described. 
 
All the characters are very well developed even the secondary ones and they all have a purpose. What I really liked was that not all of them are particularly like able. They have flaws and that makes the book stand out among the others in this genre.
 
There is a bit of slut-shaming in the book and it may get some people annoyed but really I felt that it was realistic. Teenagers were behaving how teenagers behave. They are not pretentious or too good to be true. Thank God! I’m done with High School and all its drama.
 
Claire is a complex character. You feel her pain and sympathize with her situation. You feel proud of her for being such a wonderful sister and daughter but then she makes some stupid choices and it gets you annoyed. Though, her character shows growth in the end and that’s all I ever ask for. 
 
This book had me in dilemma. I was never this unsure about my feelings before. I still am not sure how I feel about Megan and her friendship with Claire. But even when I was shaking my head at things they were doing. I still enjoyed the book. Their friendship is NOT perfect, not even close but somehow they make sense. Let’s leave it at that. Its difficult writing flawed characters but the writer pulls it off effortlessly. Kudos to her! 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA where she’s working furiously on her PhD in neuroscience. When she’s not doing science or writing YA, you can find her chasing after her toddler and her two sled dogs. Her debut YA novel 17 FIRST KISSES, is forthcoming from Harper Teen. Rachael may or may not have had 17 first kisses…luckily she doesn’t kiss and tell.

Blog Tour Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols + Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on Dirty Little Secret Blog Tour organized by Shane@IFB Blog Tours. See schedule here.
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again

REVIEW

Bailey and her sister Julie were a team. They spent their childhood, singing and doing gigs so that one day somebody would discover their talent and they would get their big break. But things didn’t go entirely as planned. Julie got signed but the music execs didn’t want Bailey. They told her parents that Bailey needs to disappear and not be in the music scene anymore for the sake of Julie as nobody would like the story of a star who left her sister behind for fame. 

But what sucks is that Bailey’s parents agree to that and end Bailey’s music career. What kind of parents do that? It made no sense to me. They really messed up and I don’t think I would have been able to forgive them.
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I was furious with everyone for treating Bailey the way they did. Her parents, for trampling her dreams, her sister, for not fighting for her, Sam, for just being well, him, Charlotte, for being a pain and Toby, for just being a perv. They all need a long lecture from me. 

I really liked Bailey. I could feel her pain, sadness and anger. She is as real as you and me, she has flaws, she gets jealous about her sister’s success, she is bitter at times and she still craves her parents approval, even after all they have done. She is so talented and I really wish we could have read one of her songs. I liked that in the end, she stood by her sister. That made me respect her more. 

What do I say about Sam? I know a lot of people would not like him and so the book won’t work for them. But I never not liked him. He acts like douche and there are no two ways about it. But he also has a good side, a charm that pulls you to him. Like, when he donated the money to the church. He has an alcoholic father and he went through something that ended up changing him and his perspective about relationships, which isn’t very convincing but enough for me to cut him some slack. 

He is always honest to Bailey, about his passion for music and his drive to make his band get a music deal, no matter at what cost. Yes, that’s his flaw. His ambition makes him selfish and a jerk but I couldn’t hate him for it. It made me want to punch him but not hate him. Confusing, huh? Let’s just say he is a complex character that you can’t fully understand. He is just so real and unapologetic about the way he is. I liked that about him also his double meaning lines were cute. 


I loved the scenes between Bailey and Sam. They together made me smile and go through so many emotions. They “get” each other. They are so honest to each other, holding nothing back, it’s their strength and maybe their weakness too. 



“Deana Carter sings about it. Lady Antebellum sings about it. Eric Church. Gosh, not just country artists. Katy Perry. Everybody has a song about it because everybody’s been through it. You find that person at eighteen and you lose yourself. And the tragedy is, it’s the person who’s completely opposed to everything you’ve ever wanted. You bond with that person, and that person breaks your heart. I’m that tragedy for you, and you’re mine.” 

The book has strong emotions and makes you feel with the characters. The story mostly is about Bailey and Sam and all other are just around, not doing much. I would like to give a shout-out to Ace for being just plain awesome.

It’s an enjoyable book. I don’t know much about country music but I had fun learning about this genre.  The gigs, the songs, the story behind the lyrics, the mood of the book is amazing. Like a great country song that you wish would go on and on. 

It has a rocky start but once you get into it there is no looking back. It’s different than typical YA books you might have read. Jennifer Echols is an amazing writer.  She creates such complex, flawed, layered and real characters. I totally loved the writing.

“If you’re putting that energy into performance,” he said, “you’re also getting it back out again, right? You’re giving so you can receive.” He spread his arms wide. “If you were writing songs with it, you’d be holed up in your room in the middle of the night, scribbling them in a notebook and feeling self-important. You’d think you were getting it out, but really you’d be keeping it inside and quiet. You’d take what upset you and turn it into art, and now it would fester, because you think other people ought to share your outrage at what happened to you.” 


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Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: The Nightmare Affair

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.

Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

REVIEW:
I enjoyed the book. The protagonist, Dusty, is a nightmare. Literally. Yes, that was enough to get my attention. Nightmares feed on dreams of others and one night while feeding on Eli’s dream (the really good looking boy from her previous school) she sees a murder. Things turn really weird when the dream turns out to be real. The killer has to be stopped and Dusty and Eli are the only people who can do anything to help. 

I really liked Dusty with her witty comebacks and sarcastic remarks. She is immensely likeable. Dusty is trying to move past her mother shadows. Her mother is known in the magic-kind community as a trouble-maker. Dusty doesn’t want to be her mother who left her when she was a child and only came back when Dusty started developing nightmarish(it sounds weird) tendencies. I loved their relationship and want it to be explored more in the next book. 

Aside from the nightmare concept, the book is not very original. A magical boarding school, murder, there are far too many similarities with Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. Especially the ending. The plot had potential but somewhere it just got lost among other things. 

I still think the author has done a great job with using imagination. I was impressed with the world building. It managed to make me wish that I was in the book. There are also some really interesting characters and concepts. The whole “things becoming animated” (due to constant exposure to magic) idea was brilliant. I would love if my laptop developed a personality. Though the way I treat it sometimes I think it will probably hate me and will shut down at random times just to irritate me. But it will be fun! 

I liked the romance. Eli and Dusty are adorable together and they made me happy. Though they are not really a couple for the most part of the book. The love triangle was unnecessary and I never really liked Paul. His character needed development. I think the book was entertaining and fun. I enjoyed it for the most part and would love to read the sequel. 


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Blog Tour Review: Recalled by Cambria Hebert

Tour Hosted by Xpresso Book Tour

Love or Death? A simple question really. The choice seems obvious. But. What if you never knew love, what if your life was spent just trying to survive? What if you knew your fate before you were fully grown?
And then you died.
And you were given another chance. A better chance.
This new life depended upon one thing: your job. And so you agreed. You thought it would be simple. You thought it would be cut and dry.
It never is.
And now you are left holding the fate of someone else in the palm of your hand and you have to make the ultimate choice.
Love or Death?

REVIEW
I haven’t read any story about Death Escorts or Grim reaper before. The synopsis is really intriguing and made me pick up the book right away.

Dexter and Piper meet in a dark street. He saves her that night from an accident and dies in the process. He meets a dealer who gives him a choice between hell or a life of service to death. He chooses to be a “death escort” but the irony is that if wants this life he has to kill and his first target is Piper.

I could understand why Dex chose to be a death Escort. It was better than going to hell and he had a tough life. He lived on the street and fought to survive everyday. What I didn’t understand is why he had to go to hell. I mean he killed his mom’s abusive boyfriend and that to me is not something he should be punished for. It was self defense, right?  

I liked Dex. He was too hard on himself. I think he was a much better person that he gave himself credit for. He died to save a complete stranger What else can you ask of a guy?
Life and death both gave him crappy choices and I don’t blame him for anything. 

I didn’t understand Piper. She is like-able but I just couldn’t connect with her. If I saw a vision of my best friend dying I would probably want to stay by her side and would certainly not be going on a vacation with some guy, that I have just met. It made no sense to me.  The romance was not believable. It seemed forced and was done only because it was necessary for the plot.

I like the idea behind the novel. It’s a fun, fast read.  It’s entertaining and manages to keep you hooked. Nothing more, nothing less.

Blog Tour Review: Stitch by Samantha Durante

Tour hosted by CBL Tour Host


Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

REVIEW:

I get so happy when a book manages to surprise me and forces me to keep reading it till the end. This is that kind of book that it will immerse you into its world and will have you turning pages quickly.


This is me while reading the book, 

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I was following Alyssa’s journey to understand why she was the only one seeing a ghost in her room and suddenly BAM! There is a twist and the whole story suddenly changes and goes from paranormal to dystopian.  I like when authors give me the unexpected. I know that I’m being vague but I don’t want to spoil the book for you. Read it fast so we can discuss it. It will blow your mind, take my word. 
Samantha is a great story-teller. She gives you what is required and keeps you guessing. This book is extremely entertaining. It has some sci-fi aspect to it too which I found really intriguing. I’m not much into it so that’s saying a lot. The beginning is a little slow but after the revelation everything just becomes so clear. It’s like a fog is lifted and I had this “Oh” moment where I understood certain things that didn’t make sense to me before. I like how the author tied up all the loose ends.

I think the concept is really original and interesting. The romance is sweet but I would have liked more scenes of Alessa and Issac together. More conversations, perhaps. But the plot is the main hero of the book. I liked what I saw of Jo and Janie was just amazing. There were moments when I didn’t understand Alessa’s reaction to certain things but she has been through a lot so I’m trying not be too hard on her. 

I’m excited about the next book. It will be hard task for the author to live up to this one and surprise me again. If you want to read something new and different. Give this book a try. 🙂
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Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye

Tour Hosted by CBB book promotions

Before my older sister Francesca died, I worked at the bakery and wrote songs, but now I write lists. Lists like ten reasons why it’s my fault Francesca’s dead, or five reasons why I should try and win Howie back, or one reason why I need to stop lying to everyone, including myself.

Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is an extraordinary novel about one family’s struggle to make sense of their world after losing a family member to addiction. Through sixteen-year-old Carmella’s eyes, we witness the courage and strength it takes to overcome the consequences of grief, guilt and co-dependency. WIth conviction and determination, Carmella shows us what can happen when we’re open to love, feel the pain of our loss, and find the courage to accept the truth of our lives.

Review:
I like how the author has balanced the emotions in the book. It wasn’t downright sad or depressing, which is what I was scared about. It has moments of smile and tears both and it’s all very well done.

“Hi, I’m Carmella. My sister just died, I can’t sleep, I don’t eat, and I’ve got boy phobia so I can’t speak.”

I liked Carmella. She doesn’t know how to live without her sister and best friend, Francesca. She feels guilty for her death and is scared to open up about it. I wanted her to talk to her parents or Anna or anyone, she just keeps so much bottled up inside her. She isn’t trying to move on with her life. She wears black everyday and is just hiding from her life. She grows up through the course of the book and realizes how she is different from her sister. 

The romance is perfect. It’s realistic and awkward, sweet and adorable. This is how teenage love should be like. I loved Howie and all his ways. I also liked that romance was a part of the book but it didn’t just take over the entire plot.  Howie brought laughter and love back into Carmella’s life.
“Howie makes me think there’s a chance my life could get better”.
I liked Anna and she was a really nice friend. I think all relationships in the book are real and honest. Donny was someone who actually helped Carmella the most. The first few scenes, he seemed like a jerk but I guess it was not his fault. That was the alcohol talking. I hope he changed his lifestyle.

I liked the writing really very much. It’s simple and I think a good author is one who could give depth to the simplest of words. 
“So I turn away and walk along the wall of books, touching the spine of each one with my fingers, wondering what lurks inside the pages, wondering if someone became so torn apart by a story she’d decide to never take a chance on reading that kind of book again”.

My feelings for her parents are so all over the place. In the beginning, I was really mad with their responses and nothing-has-changed attitude. But I get it. Everybody deals with grief differently, some stay quite, some lie, some cry, some talk and some just ignore. They were scared and just trying to live through all of it. 

The romance is the best thing about the book. I wouldn’t have liked the book so much if it wasn’t for Howie. Also, the writing is perfect. I will be looking forward to more books by the author.

I recommend the book to everyone. 
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Blog Tour Review: Down to You (The Bad Boys #1) + Giveaway!

ADULT
Tour Hosted by AToMR Tours
Author: M. Leighton

The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not. Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white. But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins. 

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her. Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together. 

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them. Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire. She wants them both. And they want her. How will she ever choose between them?

REVIEW

Down to you is sexy and steamy. It’s really going to leave you breathless and begging for more. I don’t read this genre often but I’ve been hearing great things about it from everywhere and I’m not disappointed. I read it in one day and thankfully the cliffhanger was not completely evil, so my heart is at peace. Now I just need the second book.

Olivia is a young college girl who has been with too many bad boys and all it gave her was a broken  heart so she is trying to stay away from them. Enters Cash, irresistible, charming, dangerous AND Nash, sweet, caring and kind. Olivia finds herself in this dilemma and just can’t choose between the two of them and then there is this mystery which will make you gasp. I was suspicious about it from the beginning but then I let it go and it turns out I WAS RIGHT! See, I’m going to trust my instincts from now on. 


“And most of the wreckage revolves around two guys. Two guys that, for totally different reasons, are tearing me up inside. Two guys I want. Two guys I can’t have. Two guys I can’t stop thinking about.” 


There are things about Olivia’s character that I have a problem with. Like how she didn’t know which brother she was having sex with and that doesn’t make her stop, she is like ah…they are both hot so it doesn’t matter. To be honest, they are extremely hot and it created a hilarious situation but still, it was wrong.

Also, she was juggling between two guys and has no right to question Cash about lies and secrets. I don’t like double standards, honey. Though we sometimes see Olivia’s confident and fun side too, which I liked very much. Wish she stayed that way for the whole book.

“Where did you get that dress?
I stole it from a homeless person,” I say straight-faced. “She was lying right beside the stripper that gave you yours.”


Cash and Olivia do share a great chemistry. Their conversations were cute and made me smile. Cash is totally swoon worthy and made me feel all hot and bothered. He is just plain awesome and manages to be a good bad boy. Did I mention that he is very hot and sexy? Because he is. Very Hawt.


“But you don’t get social with your employees,” I remind him quietly. “I’d made an exception for you.” His face is getting close and closer. Slowly. A centimetre at a time.“But it’s your rule.”“I’ll break it for you,” he whispers.“No, don’t do that,” I say breathlessly. “Fine, then you’re fired,” he says just as his lips meet mine.” 

I loved Ginger. She was awesome, Everyone needs a friend like that. It’s entertaining, fun and a sizzling book that will keep you turning pages. Read it and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Up To Me (The bad boys #2)
Published January 6th 2013


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Uses for Boys: Blog Tour Review + Except & Giveaway!

Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna’s new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can’t know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical,  Uses for Boys  is a story of breaking down and growing up.
3.5 stars

REVIEW:

I’m having a hard time putting my feelings for this book into words. It was not an easy read. It’s sad, depressing and leaves you feeling helpless. It takes you through a dark tunnel and for a long time there was no light, no hope. But it’s engaging and captivating. I know that some girls will be able to relate to it and it may help them. The cover actually fooled me, I thought it was going to be a light, fluffy read. It was not what I was expecting.

Anna is a girl that we don’t like to talk about. A girl who had a tough life, who was abandoned by her father, whose mother didn’t take care of her. Anna is a girl who made wrong decisions, who believed love and sex to be the same, who never accepted reality and what it brought. And us not talking, maybe that’s the problem. Loneliness is a demon and that’s the worse there is. People need each other and love. No child should grow up without love. Anna would go to boys looking for affection because she didn’t find it at home. It makes sense. But not all boys she went to, were good or right for her. Sometimes the boys used her, she is filling a void but she is still alone.

I wanted to talk to her, to tell her things to help her because she was alone and the world is not an easy place. I was angry at her mother, yes, I see that she was going through her own issues but then she is still a mom and she should have been there for her daughter. I’m furious at Todd and the fact that Anna never talked about it to anyone. It also bothers me that he can just walk on with his life after doing something like that. I’m confused because I don’t understand what Toy brought to the story. I’m happy that she found Sam and I’m hopeful for her future. See the amount of things this book made me feel. 

This book is not for everyone. The writing style, while I liked it, I just feel that it wasn’t right for the book. I had a hard time accepting certain things but the characters are realistic and her story is gritty and honest. I am not very happy with the ending and there were times when I wasn’t sure what was the point of the whole book. I saw things but there is a lack of depth and I couldn’t feel sympathy for Anna. So my feelings are a little mixed but I think you should give it a try.

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EXCERPT: 

Sam’s house is everything I wanted, but didn’t know to want.


“I’m home,” he calls, pushing open the heavy wooden door with me close behind. Past him, worn hardwood floors stretch through archways into a patchwork of deeply colored rags. The house thrums with the smell of roasting meat, the murmur of voices, rustling movement. There are thick curtains in muted patterns draping the windows and sheltering Sam’s family from the city outside. 

I want to wrap myself in this house like a blanket.

Instinctively I take Sam’s hand and then, just as quickly, I drop it. He keeps walking and I’m still in the entry, fixed in front of a wall of framed family pictures. Dozens of them: here is Sam and a similarly featured little sister; a solemn and masculine brother; and the mother, casual, relaxed and happy. Here is a bookish bearded father. Black-and-white. Color. The house is warm and I feel flushed. This home pulses with their shared life. I don’t belong here. I turn to leave, but Sam puts his hand against my back.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When Erica was a kid all she did was write. She dropped out of high school and attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University where she was surrounded by writers and artists.
But then, in Erica’s early twenties, she got a job. She worked hard at that job for 15 years and didn’t write a word.
Then this happened: Erica walked into a bookstore and bought two books by Francesca Lia Block. No particular reason, she just liked their covers. Then Erica read everything Francesca wrote. She read all the YA she could. She still does. Erica think’s the world that happens between 13 and 17 is everything.
She quit her job. Studied writing. And then spent three and a half years writing Uses for Boys. Now she’s working on a new novel and it’s like falling down a hole. Writing her first novel taught her nothing about writing the next one.


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