This Sky by Autumn Doughton

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When he touches me, the sky and the earth switch places

Gemma Sayers has spent the last six days rotting in a hotel room, wallowing in a noxious combination of gin and self-pity. She’s no stranger to disappointment but nothing could have prepared her for the chaos that unfolded when her celebrity boyfriend publicly humiliated her. Now the fairytale is officially over and Gemma is determined to put the past behind her and strike out to find a new dream. Just a few teeny-tiny details to work out: she’s currently broke, homeless and unemployed.

Landon Young has his own worries. Surfer by day and bartender by night, he doesn’t have the interest or the time to be anyone’s happily-ever-after. Weighed down by the memory of what happened two years ago, Landon can barely keep his head above water.

This Sky is the thoughtful and often funny story about broken trust, an unexpected love and the hopes we keep sewn in the linings of our pockets.

Anne’s Review

*** 3 stars ***

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The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

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Sweet Gum Tree

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.

Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.

Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well heal.

Anne’s review

*****5 stars*****

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Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol

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All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

 

Anne’s Review

***** 5 stars *****

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Ignite by R.J. Lewis

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Ignite by R.J. Lewis

They grew up together as the closest of friends… and then more. When Sara Nolan and Jaxon Barlow decided to be together, their relationship as a young couple was consumed by a love that was both passionate and beautiful. Sara had it all when it came to a boyfriend: romance, trust, and a protector of all things bad. Jaxon had given her his bleeding heart for the keeping.

The last thing Sara expected was to ruin it all. Falling into a darkness that turned her loving relationship into a chaos of deceit and violence, she walked away from the pain she was inflicting on the man she loved, never seeking to return again.

But when Sara is forced to return to her hometown, she didn’t anticipate for Jaxon to be there. Nor does she anticipate the change in him; a change so harsh and callous, he is a stranger with a dangerous agenda of his own. Ignited by her past feelings and the reminder of the guilt she carries in her heart, Sara attempts to avoid Jaxon at all costs… only to find herself trying to pull him out of the same darkness she was once in.

Millie’s Review:

**** 4 Stars ****

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Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

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Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free. 

Millie’s Review:

****  4 Stars ****

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STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli

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Stargirl

“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

– Jerry Spinelli

Anne’s Review

***** 5 stars *****

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Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie. She’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Anne’s Review

**** 4 stars ****

This was such a beautifully well written story about first love, friendships, holding on and letting go.  Do not let the title fool you because its kind of irrelevant.  This book is more than just boys and hook ups.  It is a story of a girl who fell in love with someone and lost that person in less than a month of being together.  She struggled to move on since she was still caught up in the past and was not ready to let go.  This novel perfectly brought out how differently each person handles grief and shows us that it never truly is a goodbye because you will always have them in your heart.

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( L: Anna and R: Frankie )

Anna and Frankie have been best friends since they were young along with Frankie’s 2 year older brother Matt. The trio have been inseparable. But Anna always saw Matt more than just a best friend. She has been in love with Matt since she could even remember,  but she never told Frankie about how she felt.  One of her only wishes for her birthday was for Matt to show her that he felt the same way….. and he did. Matt kissed Anna on her 16th birthday.  They continued to sneak around for the next 3 weeks and failed to tell Frankie about their new relationship status.  Matt promised Anna to never say a word to Frankie.  He wanted to tell his own sister about them on their annual family trip to Zanzibar Bay.  But Matt never had a chance to say anything because the eve of the trip he passed away  and Anna carried the secret she promised Matt.

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( Matt )

“He loved to read. He loved words, the way they string together into sentences and stories. He wanted to study them, to know and create them, to share them with the world. ”

Anna, Twenty Boy Summer

“Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s to much gravity on my heart.”
Anna, Twenty Boy Summer

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Zanzibar Bay California

A year came and Frankie invited Anna to their annual trip to Zanzibar bay.  Frankie wanted the summer to be memorable and wanted for both of them to have fun.  “Fun”  meaning boys, sun, boys, parties, and a chance of romance.  But how great could this trip be when this was the first time the family ever came back without Matt?

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I never really gave out any spoilers because the book is way more than what I just shared.  I really enjoyed this book.  It made me cry ( often ) and feel sad for Anna, but at the same time I was so moved by how strong this girl is.  The way she handled her grief was something I could never do.  I gave it a 4 stars because I stayed up late to finish this book. I gave it only a 4 and not a 5 because I fell in love with Matt and I was like Anna, it was hard for me to even let him go.

ps: I picked this up because of the cover and loved it even  more after reading the book.

** soundtrack **

1. Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing

2. Parachute – Forever and Always

3. Mariah and Boyz2men – One Sweet Day

4. Artic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

5.  Michael Learns To Rock – Sleeping Child

6. Jack White – Love Interruption

7. Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather

8. Noah and the Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N

book:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-boy-summer-sarah-ockler/1100269297?ean=9780316051583

author:

http://sarahockler.com/

photo cred:

http://www.google.com