Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Malik is a bad boy. His actions reveal the apprehension and mistrust he feels towards others and the wrongs that were done to him. He willingly takes the blame for a crime a friend committed, does community service, and tries to make things right with two girls he’s hurt. Still, many times Malik veers onto the wrong path.
Despite Malik’s wrongdoings and faults, I thought he was likable since what he’s going through can be attributed to his youth and past. Also, he does undergo positive changes throughout the book. He’s a young man dealing with many friend, family, and girl issues, as well as sexuality, alcoholism, crime, and gang activity. Set against the streets of Chicago, Malik is tough, but at the same time vulnerable.
This was an enjoyable, realistic book in the male POV. I am now very curious about the previous novel in this series, PULL. I would like to delve into Malik and his friends’ world again.
Josie is the daughter of a prostitute and she pines for a better life. She meets a man who inspires her to apply for college, but he’s robbed and murdered. Her mother is involved in the murder, and by association Josie is in the middle of things. All Josie wants to do is leave town and get an education, but there are forces working against her. Her upbringing, her mother, and surrounding thugs all seem to be holding her down.
I really felt for Josie. Her desire to leave everything behind and have a glorious future was poignant, but she lived in a time when reputation and lineage were important. The characters and setting were amazing. I felt like all my senses were engaged. This book will take you to New Orleans in the 1950s. The characters—madams, prostitutes, johns, and Josie’s love interests—all added to the richness of this novel. I received the galley from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
Imogen can break a board with one hand and punch and kick like a pro. She’s a Tae Kwon Do Black Belt. But the one day when she really could use her skills, she freezes. During an armed robbery at a local diner, Imogen hides under a table instead of saving others.
There was another person hiding underneath a table across from her. The boy’s name is Ricky. At school they go to counseling together, but Imogen wants to explore a different path of healing to get rid of the nightmares and flashing scenes of the diner. She wants to believe she’s strong and capable, unlike the girl who was hiding under the table.
How Imogen goes about healing was interesting and compelling. This book has a strong, believable main character and the other characters came alive as well. I’ve read books dealing with PTSD before, but this one was unique with the robbery and a female martial artist. I received the galley from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
The book starts out with a young man named Ben living a military life. There seemed to be a lot of telling in the beginning and I almost put it down, but then it got really good when Ben recounts what happened in his hometown before he left for Afghanistan.
While working on a farm, Ben befriends the owner’s son, a boy named Jimmy. Jimmy has a surprise for him…for everyone, actually. Unbeknownst to Ben, Jimmy took a sensual, topless photo of his sleeping form that won second place in a photo contest. Jimmy never thought he’d win, but he did, and the local news gets wind of this. People are spreading rumors about Jimmy and Ben.
A possible hate crime, murder, and small town intrigue follow. I don’t want to reveal too much, because I feel like I already have. The beauty of this book is related to all the surprises, the twists and turns, which are unexpected. After an iffy beginning, I couldn’t put the novel down. I received the galley from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.