Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vigilante by Kady Cross- GIRL POWER on steroids... but not all that realistic


Hadley's best friend Magda killed herself after being gang-raped, publicly humiliated and shamed.  Now, Hadley wants revenge on the guys who got away with it-- guys she sees everyday at school, smiling down from their popular pedestal.

Hadley puts on a pink ski mask and starts out small-- but quickly the situation escalates into something dark and dangerous.  Will Hadley get caught before she can get to the ringleader of the rape? 

I could have a lot to say about this book.  I really and truly wish everything that I'm going to say about it is positive and good, but sadly this book gave me COMPLICATED feelings.

In the beginning, it's about Magda's best friend Hadley and her brother Gabriel and how they were grieving for their friend/sister.  I fucking LOVED that beginning part. They were devastated and angry.  Devastated that Magda was gone and angry at a system that allowed the boys who gang raped her to go free.  I was disgusted by society for blaming Magda for her own rape and letting the boys go about their lives as if nothing had happened.

All that beginning stuff hit me right in the feels.  I was PISSED.  I was SAD.

But then-- well, Hadley goes on this revenge quest to get back at the 4 boys who hurt and violated her friend.  I was on board with that.  I thought her revenge plot was going to be something like what she did to the first guy.  He's passed out in a bedroom and she writes RAPIST on him in lipstick and posts pictures of it on his social media accounts.  That to me was good revenge.  Hit them where it hurts-- in their social standings.  Expose them for what they are.

But that is not how the revenge continues.  After that, the revenge episodes escalate into all-out violent attacks by Hadley.  Just, really??  I'm not saying they didn't deserve it, but I just don't think that's helpful in any way.  It takes the attention off of what they did, and puts it on what YOU did now.

Also, I really didn't think it was all that believable.  Hadley starts this "Pink Vigilante" movement, and her crew of followers get themselves into all kinds of dangerous fight situations with men.  It felt good to read about at times because GIRL POWER, but some of these girls have taken only a few self-defense classes.  I don't think that qualifies them to go beating up groups of grown men.

I want to say this really cautiously-- Here's the thing:  Are there bad guys out there?  Yes.  Should we as women be conscious of that fact, learn to protect ourselves, and look out for each other?  Of course.  But this book made it seem like there's a rapist lurking on every corner.  Every party, every bar, every college campus lawn.  Basically every guy in this book is a rapist except for Magda's brother and one other guy that was friendly with the girls.  I don't think we need to walk around as fearful as this book felt like it was suggesting.  There's a difference between cautious & aware and paranoid.

Guys, every man is not a rapist. MOST guys are not rapists!!  There are some, yes.  But I find it extremely far-fetched that this girl encountered so many rapists in the act.  Every time she walked somewhere, she ended up seeing a woman about to be raped in an alley.

The problem was, this took all the focus off of Magda and I wanted this book to be about HER.  Yes, she was dead.  But what can we do to deal with that besides kicking the crap out of everybody??

The ending didn't help.  I liked that it ended with this dark notion that things are never going to be okay, but the final revenge act felt like a cop-out.  I wanted PUNISHMENT.

OVERALL: I gave it 3 stars because I like the IDEA.  I don't usually give stars for ideas, but I'm making an exception for this.  I love the Girl Power sentiment, but I feel like this book went way too far into a fantasy land of girl ninja warriors and rapists ready to pounce.  I like my realistic fiction to be REALISTIC.

Date Published: 3/28/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy to read and honestly review!
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Hadley White
Book: Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

  • Because while getting revenge probably felt good, I think Hadley needs to learn to deal with the actual loss of Magda apart from her attackers.  This book deals with friendship loss in a very real and honest way.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the Club The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend & Giveaway

The Other F-Word

by Natasha Friend
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
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A fresh, humorous, and timely YA novel about two teens conceived via in vitro fertilization who go in search for answers about their donor.

Milo has two great moms, but he's never known what it's like to have a dad. When Milo's doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo's extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he's always wondered about. 

Hollis's mom Leigh hasn't been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy—giddy, even—by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis's half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died. 

Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family.

Hello Natasha!!  We are super excited to welcome you to the FFBC!


 Favorite Book?

My favorite book is always the one I’m currently reading and can’t put down. Right now that book is THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS by Laurie Frankel.

Favorite TV show?

It’s a toss-up between “Billions” and “House of Cards.”

Favorite book(s) growing up?

Oh, there were so many! All the Judy Blume books, all the Norma Klein books, THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton, GO ASK ALICE . . . I could go on and on. I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book.

Name 3 fictional places you’d move to in a heartbeat?

Hogwarts. Narnia. Sweet Valley High.

Who is your favorite fictional boyfriend?

Ponyboy Curtis or Augustus Waters (if I were still 15.) Now? Coach Taylor from “Friday Night Lights.”

Favorite quote?

Jump and a net will appear.


 Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THE OTHER F-WORD?

THE OTHER F-WORD is the story of 14 year-old Hollis and 15 year-old Milo, two half siblings who only met once, seven years ago, on a seesaw in Brooklyn, and who suddenly reunite in a quest to find their sperm donor.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun writing? Or what parts were the most difficult?

It’s hard to share my favorite scene without giving away an important part of the plot, so let me just say that I loved dressing my characters in disguises (you’ll know when you get there). The hardest part to write was the ending because I wasn’t sure how far I wanted Hollis and Milo’s quest to take them. 

If you had to pick one song to be the THEME SONG for The Other F-Word— which one would you pick?

“Ode to my Family” by the Cranberries.

I’m a big Harry Potter fan. Which houses would you sort your characters into?

Hollis: Ravenclaw. She’s not like the rest of the kids, and she’s got that clever but sarcastic edge. Milo: Gryffindor. He’s brave and vulnerable, the natural leader in the quest to find their donor. JJ: Hufflepuff. He’s loyal to a fault. He'd be the one sneaking into Ravenclaw’s common room in the middle of the night to serenade Hollis on the celesta. The nurse who wouldn’t let Hollis into Pam’s hospital room to say goodbye: Slytherin. Obviously.

What’s next for you? 

I am on my third (and hopefully last) round of revisions for my eighth book. I’m still not sure what it’s going to be called, but it’s about a girl with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that makes all her hair fall out. The seed for the story came from a letter I received from a reader several years ago, pouring out her heart to me about what it was like to be a bald teenage girl. I couldn’t stop thinking about that letter.

Thank you so much for talking with us Natasha!!  I would totally go to Sweet Valley High if I could too!!


Natasha Friend is the award-winning author of Perfect, Lush, Bounce, For Keeps, My Life in Black and White, Where You'll Find Me, and The Other F-Word. When she isn’t writing, she is building forts and making chocolate-chip pancakes. Natasha lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband, three children, and dog, Beckett.

  • (1) Copy of The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend
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Top Ten Tuesday-- Authors I MUST Meet Someday

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (March 28th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Authors I Have Yet To Meet

  • I've been lucky enough to meet some of my all-time favorite authors-- Maggie Stiefvater, Jandy Nelson, Sara Shepard, Marissa Meyer, Sarah Dessen, Lauren Oliver, Jenny Han, A.S. King, Gayle Forman, Adele Griffin, E. Lockhart, Sarah Mylnowski, Megan McCafferty, Rainbow Rowell, Libba Bray, Katie McGarry, Stacey Kade-- and the BEST ONE OF ALL: R.L. Stine!
  • BUT that doesn't mean that I'm satisfied!  Oh no!  I have so many more I want to meet-- here is a list of 10 that was REALLY hard to make because I have SO many on my SOMEDAY list.

  • Author of: All the Rage, Cracked Up to Be, This is Not a Test, Some Girls Are
  • This is on my LIFE BUCKET LIST, not just my bookish one.  I will meet my #1 fave author someday!! I will make this happen!
  • Author of: The Hate List, Bitter End, A Thousand Words, Torn Away
  • I've loved every book I've read from her & definitely want to tell her that.
  • Author of: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Haters
  • Pittsburgh native who features Pittsburgh as the setting of his books???  Umm, yeah.
  • Author of: Hold Still, The Disenchantments, Everything Leads to You, We Are Okay
  • Been wanting to meet her since BEFORE I blogged.  Her books are beautiful and I need to meet the mind behind them.
  • Author of: Speak, Wintergirls, Twisted, Catalyst
  • I love all her books, but I read Speak wayyyy back in the day and it's what got me into YA, so yeah....
  • Author of: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, The Silver Linings Playbook, Every Exquisite Thing
  • He was at ALA in Atlanta when I was there and I missed out on meeting him and/or seeing him talk because I didn't stay until Monday :(  Someday hopefully it will happen.
7.  Jay Asher
  • Author of: 13 Reasons Why, The Future of Us, What Light
  • I was bummed that he didn't go to BEA last year to sign What Light.  But I was happy just to get a copy of it, so I got over it.  I would like to meet him someday though.
  • Author of: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After
  • Man, I really miss this author's writing.  I CANNOT WAIT to read her YA Horror coming in September.  There's Someone Inside Your House sounds like everything I LOVE about slasher movies, so I'll be all over that.  And I really really hope she tours for that book-- and that she comes somewhere that I can go!
  • Author of: The Creeping, The Telling
  • This is a NEW favorite author-- because I just discovered her last summer-- but I want to meet her as bad as some of these authors that I've loved for years.  I completely love her books and can't wait for more.
  • Author of: Nothing Like You, Then You Were Gone
  • I'm SO excited to read her new book, 16 Ways to Break a Heart-- SO EXCITED.  But I would also be really excited if I got to meet her.  It's kind of fun when you're in love with authors that aren't being fangirled over.  It feels like an awesome secret club.
  • Author of: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To, What I Thought Was True
  • Oh yes, this will happen!!  I will make this happen. (in a normal book fan non-stalkerly way, I promise).

Honorable Mentions: Sarah Ockler, Kim Savage, Robin Roe, Mindy McGinnis, Kat Spears, Sarah Combs. Jo Knowles. Eileen Cook. Annabel Pitcher. Nova Ren Suma. Jennifer Mathieu. Stephanie Kuehn, Barry Lyga, John Green (yeah right!!).

What authors are on your MUST MEET LISTS??  Or what authors are you stoked that you actually met?

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Monday, March 27, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the Club The Slope Rules by Melanie Hooyenga & GIVEAWAY

The Slope Rules

by Melanie Hooyenga
Publisher: Left Handed Mitten Publications
Release Date: February 24th 2017
Genre: Romance
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Fifteen-year old Cally accepted her fate as one of the guys, so when she meets Blake, a hot snowboarder who sees her for more than her aerials on the slopes, she falls fast and hard. But their romance can only last as long as vacation.

Or so she thinks.

A twist of fate—well, her Dad opening another brewery in a new town—lands her in Blake’s school, but the charismatic boy she fell for wants nothing to do with her, and worse, the Snow Bunnies, the popular clique, claim her as their newest recruit.

Cally must learn to be true to herself—all while landing a spot on the ski team and figuring out who she is without her old friends. And when she finds out what Blake is hiding, she learns the rules on the slopes apply to more than just skiing.

Hello Melanie! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

YA Dystopian Books-- Where Are They?

This is more of a thinking out loud post than it is something that is going to generate discussion-- but I've been wondering something & it's: WHERE IS ALL THE YA DYSTOPIAN?

Remember back in the Hunger Games heyday when you couldn't shake a stick without hitting a knock-off??  Well, I was one of those people who were SO annoyed by it.  I didn't understand why everyone had to just jump on the bandwagon and write mediocre copies of the series.  Seriously, even the covers of those books were all the same.

So, in the sea of copies, there were a few that were unique and worthy of praise.  But you know, I didn't read them because I was annoyed.  Now, for whatever reason (mostly because I'm difficult), I've been in the mood for dystopian books.  I like a good apocalypse book and I've been wanting to read books that explore what happens after a world changing "event".

The thing is, there aren't any!  Right now it seems like what is being published as far as Dystopian goes are fairy tale retellings or high fantasy crossovers.  And yeah, I like a good retelling, and I'm trying to branch out in to fantasy more, but honestly I just want to read a good Hunger Games knock-off.

I recently read The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee, which I wouldn't say is the classic definition of dystopia, but it's in the ballpark.  I really did like it, but I'm not seeing anything new or upcoming that is like it.

I know trends come and go (and that there are plenty of backlist books I could read), but just because it isn't a "trend" doesn't mean it should be extinct!

I know I'm like 7 years late to this party.... but UGHH.

I need your help

I want to read a new Dystopian that has these elements:
  • 2017 release date
  • Futuristic setting
  • A powerful government or entity in charge
  • Things look grim
  • No magical or fantasy elements
  • No monarchies
  • No space
(Now I bet you're waiting for me to say I want that whole Twilight bandwagon book phase to come back.  Well, rest assured, I won't be asking for more vampire romances.  Ever.)

Any suggestions?

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