Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

Pub Date: August 2005

Summary: Cassie Morgan, a seventeen-year-old girl, knows what it’s like to live with a ticking time bomb.

Dino Cavalli, her stepfather, has everything together on the outside.

He’s a world-renowned violin player and composer.

But at home it’s a different story.

Cassie knows what he really is, a self-centered bully.

Things at home are starting to get worse now.

Dino never sleeps, he’s paranoid, he starts fights.

At first Cassie was just angry at her mother’s new husband, but now she’s growing afraid.

Then Ian Waters, Dino’s first violin student,enters the picture.

From the moment Cassie sees Ian; she can only imagine what’s going to happen.

She thought she knew that with love could bring pain with it.

But this friendship may have consequences no one ever imagined.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Wild Roses was a lot more than I ever expected. I’ve read a couple books by Deb Caletti before but so far nothing has been as memorable as this. I loved almost everything about this book. The relationships all of the characters had with one another were really believable. Cassie was such a great character, you couldn’t help but relate to her. I often found myself hating Dino right along with her. I, like Cassie and her father, didn’t understand why her mother put up with him the way she did. I think that’s why I loved this ending so much. It wrapped up almost everything, BUT the relationship between Cassie and Ian. Ian has probably made it on my list of my top five favorite guy characters. I fell in love with him right along with Cassie! The way the book ended between then really surprised me but I don’t really think it should have. I don’t think I could picture the ending of Wild Roses any different. It’s definitely worth the read.

-Lexi (:

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Pub Date: January 2010

Summary: Carly. Neily. Audrey.

Three friends who thought nothing bad could happen to them.

That is until Neily finds Carly dead.

Carly was sweet and smart and very self-destructive.

She knew secrets, secrets that got her killed.

Neily was Carly’s boyfriend, until she dumped him for the bad boy at Brighton Day School.

He blames himself for what happened, for not answering his cell phone when Carly called.

Audrey was Carly’s cousin and the reason Carly got involved with the bad crowd.

She also blames herself, but she thinks the wrong person is in jail for the murder.

Audrey wants Neily’s help to find the real killer.

They dig into the past that they both shared with Carly.

Finding the real killer will force both Neily and Audrey to face things about themselves and the girl they loved but couldn't’t save.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: Every review I have read for All Unquiet Things had nothing but positive things to say, and now I know why. This novel is probably one of the best that I’ve read in while. The plot was unique, something I haven’t heard about in awhile, and the characters were all so different but interacted so well. The dialogue never felt forced, it always had some sort of flow to it. The friendship that grew between Neily and Audrey definitely didn’t start out like a normal friendship between strangers would. I found myself feeling sorry of Neily, he lost the one person he loved and he just didn’t really know how to handle himself. He was by far my favorite character even though all of them were just really amazing. Carly was a close second. She was confused by what was going on in her life but yet she kept trying to find some purpose for herself. She did find herself going down the wrong path, but who hasn’t? Carly tried to make it right for everyone even though she put herself in danger. I would really recommend All Unquiet Things to everyone. It’s so powerful and has a lot of insight into what can actually go on someone’s mind when they think that everything has gone wrong.

FTC: I received this novel from its publishing company/author with the understanding that I would provide an honest review. I am not getting paid in any way for writing and posting this review.

-Lexi (:

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

Pub Date: January 2009

Summary: In 23 days, Daelyn plans to be gone.

A suicidal teen is never easy for anyone.

But for Daelyn, being one makes every day a struggle.

After several botched suicides, she plans to make the next one count.

Everyone has tried to help her, tried to get her to stop.

She always has the same reasons.

She’s already made up her mind. She has been suffering her whole life. People were too slow to notice.

Her life sucks. The world sucks. People suck.

Then Santana enters her life.

Daelyn starts to develop feelings for him but she doesn’t plan on letting them interfere with her plan.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: Mysterious and touching. Those two words are one of the best ways to sum up By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead. Daelyn is a very unique character and within the first page you start to feel sorry for her. You don’t want her to kill herself, you just want to see her happy. Seeing inside her head is a different story, it’s dark and scary at times. Even though it helps you understand why she wants to end her life, it doesn’t really make it more acceptable. I could relate to this book in a lot of ways, I saw myself in Daelyn like I’m sure a lot of people did. This book is not just for teen audiences, even though that’s where it will get its strength. I took this book with me on a church trip and within an hour, one of my adult leaders had already gotten half way through this book. It’s hard to put down By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead; you actually don’t want to put it down at all. Daelyn’s story and struggle is just intoxicating.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this novel from it's publishing company with the understanding that I would provide an honest review. I am not getting paid in any way for writing and posting this review.

Invisible I: The Amanda Project by Stella Lennon

Pub Date: September 2009

Summary: Amanda Valentino changed something for everyone.

Callie Leary, Nia Rivera, and Hal Bennett only have one thing in common.

All three were chosen by Amanda herself to be her guide.

Amanda lied. A lot.

Not just to parents and teachers, but from the first minute so meets someone new.

Callie was told by Amanda that the reason she’s at Endeavor High is she moves around a lot.

Another lie: Amanda always chooses just one person to help her at a new school.

Nia, Callie, and Hal all only have one question, why did she lie?

After finding cryptic clues, they all know they have a course to follow that only Amanda could have planned.

Soon, they all come to realize that Amanda has left behind more questions than answers.

Hal, Nia, and Callie want to find out what happened to their best friend Amanda more than anything.

They put aside all of their differences and learn to get along with others who are different.

But before they can find out what happened to the person who changed their lives…

They must find out, Who exactly is Amanda Valentino?

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Review: I love a good mystery novel, and this was no exception. Throughout Invisible I, I had no idea what was going to happen and I definitely couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what happened to Callie, Nia and Hal so bad. All of the characters just pull you in right from the beginning. You can’t help put want them to get along and find their friend. Even though you couldn’t really get inside Amanda’s head in the usual way, all of the clues she left behind did a good job of letting you see inside her. One could easily tell that Amanda was a very complex character; I always got the feeling that maybe she didn’t exactly know what she wanted. That’s the great thing about this novel though, everything is complex but yet so easy at the same time. I can’t get over the ending either. It will really surprise whoever reads it. I never saw this ending coming but I think a different ending would have changed everything about Invisible I, which wouldn’t be what we wanted. (: Also, who is Stella Lennon?


FCT: I received this novel from it's publishing company with the understanding that I would provide an honest review. I am not getting paid in any way for writing and posting this review.

Secret Society by Tom Dolby

Pub Date: October 2009

Summary: Secrets. Are they fun or do they just hurt everyone?

Phoebe, the eccentric new girl.

Lauren, the brooding socialite.

Nick, a member of New York’s wealthiest families.

Patch, a filmmaker in the making.

These four teens are about as different as they get.

But, only three get invited to join the Society.

After becoming a member, more doors are opened for them than they ever could have imagined.

Every day their wishes are fulfilled, every day things fall into place for them even more.

On the outside, it all seems so perfect.

Until the body of one of their members is found in Central Park, dead.

The only way to identify the body was by the ankh-shaped tattoo on his neck.

Something all members are required to get.

But once things start to get too dangerous, these teens find that there is no way for them to get out.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Secret Society was definitely a fun read. I thought this book was going to be a lot different when I first started it, but I’m glad it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would! Because of the cover of the book, I thought this book was going to have an older setting, not something so modern. The modern setting changed this book a lot for me, but in a very good way. If the book would have had an older day setting, I don’t think some of the things would have come as such as a surprise. All throughout the book, I had very clear pictures in my head of the characters, setting, and such. For me, that’s an important piece to the reading experience. I really recommend this book; lots of people will really love it. It has all of the parts that make a book so likable by everyone, young and old.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this novel from it's publishing company with the understanding that I would provide an honest review. I am not getting paid in any way for writing and posting this review.
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