The Leading Edge of Now – Marci Lyn Curtis

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The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast/Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Sexual Assault, Mystery, Grief, Family, Friendship, Romance


BLURB:

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor. Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever. Continue reading

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We’re Going to Need More Wine – Gabrielle Union

34884359We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: October 2017
Publisher: Day Street Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Memoir, Essays, Race, Growing Up, Abuse, Celebrity Life, Beauty Standards,  Relationships


BLURB:

In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support. Continue reading

Girl Made of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake

31351689Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
First Published: May 15th, 2018
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Rape, Contemporary, LGBT, Siblings, Romance


BLURB:

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault. Continue reading

Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

28110862Wrecked by Maria Padian

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, College, Rape, Romance

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BLURB:

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict. Continue reading

Review: Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

25255576Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Quercus
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Rape, Feminism

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BLURB:

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes… Continue reading

Review: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

29981261The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Painfully Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Rape, Sisterhood

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BLURB:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding… Continue reading

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: April 14th 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Abuse, Bullying, Romance

BLURB:

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive? Continue reading