Scarred by Joanne MacGregor

Scarred by Joanne MacGregor

Scarred crop

“And he sees me, recognises me. Time stretches out slowly and sweetly like a piece of soft toffee. . .”

Scarred is a tender, sensitive story of hope and redemption.

Then he looks back into my eyes and this time his are full of deep revulsion.

While the book started off on a high and the words glide easily across the pages throughout, the plot was predictable, and I thought the twists revealed too early.

In contrast, it was the complex characters that stole the show and I loved getting to know them. The alternating PVO’s allowed insight into their thoughts and drew me in. I particularly loved the witty banter between Sloane and Luke that emerges in the latter part of the story.

Hell is the guilt that termites holes into my happiness. . .

Recommended age: 12+4 Star

Title: Scarred
Author: Joanne MacGregor
Publication Date: 29 September 2015Scarred
Publisher: Createspace
Source: Free copy from author
in exchange for honest review

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Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful.

Sloane Munster had the perfect life, until she didn’t. Now seventeen year-old Sloane is trying to reboot her life after a serious accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatized.

Starting her senior year at a different school, she recognizes Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once had a crush on, in her new class. But when she smiles at him, he glares back with revulsion and she’s sure he’s disgusted by her ugly scar. No matter how hard she tries to keep out of his way, life keeps bringing them together and despite misunderstandings and guilty secrets, the chemistry between them sparks. Meanwhile, tensions are mounting at their school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.

Sharp with bittersweet humor, Scarred is an intense, beautiful, compelling story of life, death, damage, and fighting for love against all the odds.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Clean by Mia Kerick

Clean by Mia Kerick

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In his eye lives the most brutal, bare, raw agony imaginable

Clean is a realistic, hard-hitting, gritty story which will take you on a tortuous journey to the dark side of humanity. The two main characters, whose PVO’s alternate, are both desperate for love and affection and look for solace, in each other but more so in alcohol and drugs. Predictably their choices take them down the slippery slope of addiction.

This story covers important topics, but I found that the further into the story I ventured the more I thought the author occasionally slips over the thin-line between storytelling and preaching.

Overall, a readable, relatable book that will be difficult to forget.

Postscript: I found the cover unappealing and the title ‘Clean’ irked me all the way through. I couldn’t shake the mental picture of housework!

Recommended age: 15+ (mature content)3 Star

Title: Clean
Author: Mia Kerick
Publication Date:
Publisher: Createspace
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review

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The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks… until the fateful day when it all falls apart.
 
Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school bad-boy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.
 
Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the
abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love.
 
When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk
out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate while the other spirals downward into addiction.
 
Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?
 
Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.

– Description provided by Red Moon Book Tours

 

Excerpt”

PROLOGUE
 
Lanny
 
Trevor wouldn’t even look at me when I walked over to the
gas station this morning to say hi. And Jimmy’s Fuel Stop is like three miles from my house so it took a major effort to walk there, especially since I’ve been feeling like total crap lately. Another one of my shaky human bonds bites the dust. I need to go out and get myself a cat.
 
“Can’t you see I’m working, Keating?” That was all he said. But I’ve always been good at reading between the lines. I could tell what he was thinking as he stood beside the gas pumps, totally caught up in not looking at me. “Take a hike before you get me fired, loser. Some of us got goals in life….” So I took off before he had a chance to make me feel like I shouldn’t have ever made an appearance on the planet earth. But I still know it would have been better had I never been born…maybe Joelle would still be okay.
 
It’s Saturday afternoon and nobody’s home. Mom and Dad are probably off at the park with Joelle, sloshing through the wet snow together so she gets her daily exercise. Or maybe they took her to the make-your-own-sundae-place to improve her fine motor skills by sprinkling sweet toppings on big scoops of ice cream. I’m in Mom and Dad’s bathroom, bent in half with my head stuck in the closet, searching the cluttered shelves for anything that will get me high enough to escape. And I mean anything.
 
That’s when I see the cough syrup. The bottle in front is almost new, and there’s an older bottle of a different brand right behind it, little more than halfway full. Seeing these medicine bottles reminds me of something Chad suggested about a week or two ago— that we should try robo-tripping. He told me that if we drink enough cough syrup, the DXM in it would get us high in a “super blissful, tingling-body-parts way,” which sounded pretty decent to me then and still does now. Not completely surprised I remembered Chad’s exact description of a DXM high, I thank God for this dextromethorphan stuff that suppresses nasty coughs, because it looks like I’m going to find my much-needed buzz after all.
 
Pleased that I don’t have to resort to sniffing glue from the tube on my father’s basement workbench or huffing my mother’s hairspray—and believe me I came close—I snatch the bottles with a shaky hand. They’re both sticky with the syrup that dripped down the side last time one of the Keating’s
had a major head cold accompanied by a hacking cough. Licking my fingers provides me with a hint of the cherry flavor I’m probably going to be barfing up later tonight. But I don’t care. I can’t get through a single day without some help, and by that I don’t mean help from my human friends, seeing as I have none left.
Bio: Mia Kerick
 Image and video hosting by TinyPicMia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
 
She focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their
relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safe keeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
 

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Now marital equality is the law of the land!! WOOT!! Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. 

 Author Links
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Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

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Pointe was one of those books that you know you’re going to love before you’ve even finished the first page. It felt like coming home, the writing warm and soothing. This did not stop the story from packing a powerful punch. The blurb and hype surrounding the story tried to prepare the reader, but I am still reeling in shock…

Despite a slight slump at the conclusion the story was dramatic and delivered just how I like it – rich smooth writing and a plot revealed in short bite-size pieces keeping the reader on their toes.

I like to describe the books I read in words summing up my emotions and thoughts as I read. This story floated between beautiful, sad, gritty, lonely, tough, mesmerising, shocking, wistful, longing…

Theo’s repetitive thoughts swirling through the story were both frustrating and realistic. She reminded me a lot of myself at the same age, so desperate for love that I sought it in all the wrong places.

Go and get this book! Read it, share it and let me know what you think. 5 Star

Recommended age: 13+

 

Title: PointePointe
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publication Date: 4 August 2015
1st published April 2014
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased
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Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor. 

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

Everyone Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Everyone Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Everybody sees the ants crop

Everyone Sees the Ants is an incredible story which bravely tackles difficult subjects such a bullying, human failing, despair and betrayal. These topics are all tackled sensitively and maturely with enough hope scattered throughout to keep me enthralled.

By continuously criss-crossing the fine line between reality and fantasy Ms. King took this book from good to great.

Don’t miss this book!4 Star

Recommended age: 14+

Title: Everyone Sees The Ants  Everybody sees the ants
Author: A.S. King
Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Library

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Lucky Linderman didn’t ask for his life. He didn’t ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn’t ask for a father who never got over it. He didn’t ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn’t ask to be the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret–one that helps him wade through the mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos–the prison his grandfather couldn’t escape–where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It’s dangerous and wild, and it’s a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?    — Extract from Goodreads.com

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

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Another book where the premise is better than the actual story. Luckily there were a few exciting plot twists so I could at least drum up some enthusiasm to finish.

These are the reasons I didn’t like this book:

·         A promising plot, but poorly executed

·         A very weak ending.

·         Annoying characters… I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to shake Em. OMG, JUST DO IT!!! Melina is irritating, but Em is…. just frustrating.2 Star

 

Recommended age: 13+

Title: All Our Yesterdays All Our Yesturdays
Series: All Our Yesterdays #1
Author: Cristin Terrill
Publication Date: 1 April 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Purchased
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Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet. 

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

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