ARC Review – Until It Hurts To Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Until It Hurts to Stop

Title:  Until It Hurts To Stop

Pages:  256

Author:  Jennifer R. Hubbard

Series:   no, standalone

Type/Genre:  Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher:  Viking Juvenile

Date Published:  September 12, 2013

Source:  from publisher

My Rating:  ***

Goodreads Summary:

In seventh grade, Maggie Camden was the class outcast. Every day, the other girls tripped her, pinched her, trapped her in the bathroom, told her she would be better off dead. Four years have passed since then, and Maggie’s tormentors seem to have moved on. The ringleader of them all, Raleigh Barringer, even moved out of town. But Maggie has never stopped watching for attacks, and every laugh still sounds like it’s at her expense. The only time Maggie feels at peace is when she’s hiking up in the mountains with her best friend, Nick. Lately, though, there’s a new sort of tension between the two of them—a tension both dangerous and delicious. But how can Maggie expect anything more out of Nick when all she’s ever been told is that she’s ugly, she’s pathetic, she’s unworthy of love? And how can she ever feel safe, now that Raleigh Barringer is suddenly—terrifyingly—back in town?

My Thoughts:  This was the first time I have read anything by Jennifer R. Hubbard and I liked it.  This book took a realistic take on the issue of bullying and the lasting effects it has.  I liked the message that it sends about standing up to your bully without violence or stooping to their level.

Likes:

  • It was sad that Maggie spent so much time waiting and worrying when the next attack from Raleigh, who wasn’t even thinking about her, instead of concentrating on her own life.  She lost focus of her relationships because of it.  It was such a real portrayal of what someone goes through when being bullied that it was heartbreaking.
  • I admired Maggie’s strength of character that kept her going back to school, even when she expected an attack, and kept pushing her to climb that mountain, even when she was scared.

Dislikes:

  • I liked Nick’s character mostly, but I could not stand how passive he was.  I guess that comes from his issues with his father, but he should have stood up to him also.  I have to remember that these kids are in high school but it drove me crazy that he liked one person but couldn’t talk to her about it so he got involved with a different girl instead.
  • The pace of the story was a little slow.  I guess I have been reading a lot of fast-paced, action-packed stories lately, but that is not what this story was supposed to be about.

About the Author:

Thanks for visiting my page. A few words of explanation about how I use Goodreads:

I find it difficult to rate books with stars, or to review friends’ books. Therefore, I don’t list reviews or ratings here. Rather, if I like an author’s work, I will become a Goodreads fan and list him/her as a “favorite author” here. I also have one shelf listing some contemporary, realistic YA books that you might enjoy. On my blog, http://writerjenn.livejournal.com/, I do sometimes recommend books using the “recommended read” tag.

I accept fans and friends here, and browse the bookshelves.

A Few of the Author’s Other Books:

  • The Secret Year
  • Try Not To Breathe

Would I Recommend This Book?  Yes

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

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Review – The Book Of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

The Book of Broken HeartsTitle:  The Book of Broken Hearts

Pages:  368

Author:  Sarah Ockler

Series:   no, standalone

Type/Genre:  Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher:  Simon Pulse

Date Published:  May 21, 2013

Source:  library

My Rating:  ****

Goodreads Summary:  Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

My Thoughts:  I really wanted to read this book especially after seeing it so much on other blogs, but I had a hard time getting into this story.  I think because of the title and cover I expected more romance and that’s what I was in the mood to read but this was more about family.   It was a good book though.

Likes:

  • Jude’s relationship with her father was very sweet.  She took her last summer before going to college to spend it with him and take care of him when she could have been out with her friends.  It was heartbreaking that his Alzheimer’s progressed so fast.  At first I didn’t know if I would like Jude’s character but as hard as she tried to get her dad’s bike working won me over.
  • I loved Mari, the overprotective, bossy sister.  She was a bit overwhelming, but her character was well written for the part of Jude’s sister.
  • The best part of this book was Jude’s family and Emilio’s family relationships.
  • The cover was my biggest reason for picking this book.

Dislikes:

  • The “romance” between Emilio and Jude.  I felt like the only reason Jude liked Emilio was because she knew they weren’t supposed to be together.  I just didn’t connect to that part of the story.
  • Jude’s “best friends” were a complete joke.  Jude and her family were going through a lot of issues and all they cared about was themselves and not being embarrassed.  I felt that Jude could have tried harder to spend her rare free time with them, but that they should have been more mature to handle what was going on with her father.  They were getting ready to go to college but acted a lot younger.

About the Author:

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of novels for teens, including Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Book of Broken Hearts, hits the shelves in May 2013.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Visit her website at sarahockler.com or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.

A Few of the Author’s Other Books:

  • Bittersweet
  • Fixing Delilah
  • Twenty Boy Summer

Would I Recommend This Book?  Yes

Review – Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Forget YouTitle:  Forget You

Pages:  292

Author:  Jennifer Echols

Series:   no, standalone

Type/Genre:  Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher:  MTV Books

Date Published:  July 20, 2010

Source:  library

My Rating:  *****

Goodreads Summary:  WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . .  AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER?

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.  But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all–the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug–of all people– suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life–a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

My Thoughts: After I read Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols, I had to check out her other books.  I loved Forget You.  I think this is one of my favorite books for 2013.

  •  I like the type of story where two people feel attracted to each other, but for some missed opportunity, it doesn’t happen.  They don’t stop thinking about the other person though.  Then, on down the road, they meet again and get a second chance.  This type of story always draws me in.
  • I like Echols’ writing style also.  It just flows and before you know it you’re already through the book, which can be a bummer.
  • I can relate to Zoey’s need to hold everything together and keeping everything that is going wrong to yourself.  Sometimes I worry what other people think too much and it’s a struggle trying to overcome that.
  • Doug was my favorite character.  He was so sweet and protective of Zoey.  No matter how she treated him he was always there for her.

About the Author:

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

A Few of the Author’s Other Books:

  • Going Too Far
  • Playing Dirty (on my Kindle waiting to be read)
  • Love Story
  • The Boys Next Door series (already checked out from the library, just need to get time to read them)

Would I Recommend This Book?  Yes

Review – Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Going Too Far

Title:              Going Too Far

Author:    Jennifer Echols

Pages:     245

Series:    No, standalone

Publisher:       Pocket Books

Publish Date:   March 17, 2009

Source:    library

Genre:  young adult, contemporary, romance

My Rating:      *****

Goodreads Summary:

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge — and over….

My Thoughts:

This was my first time reading anything by Jennifer Echols and I have to say I really enjoyed her writing and this book.  I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did and ended up reading it all in one day.   

Likes:

  • My first impression of Meg wasn’t a very good one, but by the end of the book she was my favorite character.  She starts out in the beginning of the book in trouble, smoking pot, drinking, and hanging out on the bridge which is off limits because of a dangerous accident that happened in the past.  Then I realized that was not who she really was.  Most her bad girl behavior and bravado was just a cover-up for her being sick and not knowing how to handle it.  She was actually an intelligent, funny, and scared girl trying to deal with her illness and that showed her true inner strength.
  • John After was another one of my favorite characters in this book.  He is a 19-year-old cop who has his own tragic issues to cope with and is mysteriously drawn to the bridge where he meets Meg.  He brings her into the station and decides to show her and her friends the serious the consequences of those can be by taking them on patrol with emergency vehicles.  What he doesn’t plan on is falling for Meg.
  • I liked the chemistry between Meg and John from the beginning.  It felt believable and drew you into their story.  You could feel the tension between them and wonder what would happen next.
  • I found myself laughing a few times out loud, especially when Meg was first caught in the police department and was struggling with John’s last name.

Dislikes:

  • I liked everything about this book.  I can’t think of anything that I could list here.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.