Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: abuse, stalker ex-boyfriends, hospitalization, bad home life
Format read: ARC from Simon & Schuester at ALA (Thank you!)
Summary: Over a six month period, we see Rae’s life unravel as her step-father loses his job and becomes more abusive and her relationship with Nathan ends and he becomes more possessive.
If you think back to your high school days, was there ever a time when it seemed everyone around you had a boyfriend but you? That’s kind of how Rae feels. She’s not sure she’s relationship material because she’s super picky. Then one magical day, a new boy (Nathan) appears at her school and he’s immediately interested — blatantly staring at her, making sure she knows he’s interested.
While Rae would like to take things a bit slower, her best friends encourage her to take the risk and go for it with Nathan. What her friends don’t know is how badly Rae wants to be loved, how dire her home life is, and how easy it is for her to fall under Nathan’s spell. Her mom is married to a scumbag of a guy because he promised her a better life (that, unfortunately, will likely never come to fruition). He gets fired from his low-paying job and forces Rae to relinquish nearly all of her wages from her job at the floral shop to “help the family stay afloat” (aka: hand over money for his alcoholic ways).
Nathan quickly begins pressuring Rae for more than just make-out sessions. She would rather build a relationship on something more than the physical. When their relationship falls apart, she feels free of Nathan’s constant watchful eye. She finds solace in her job and her newfound friendship with Leo, the boy who works at the coffee bistro next door (…and is easygoing and happy, makes silly movies, and takes Rae on unexpected adventures). Nathan begins showing up in random places, stalking her, and becomes more possessive and threatening.
Falling For You begins in present day where we see that Rae is in the hospital, not doing very well. The exact details of what happened to her are unknown, but we rewind six months to the beginning of Rae’s relationship with Nathan and her step-dad’s downward spiral. The big question is What happened to Rae? There’s lots of speculation on behalf of the reader, but the real heart of the story is seeing Rae’s life, both the highs and the lows, unfold.
For those of you that loved The Day Before (written entirely in verse), don’t fret. Schroeder incorporates poetry through Rae’s personal diary entries and her anonymous submissions to the school’s newspaper. Through the poetry, we’re opened up to a side of Rae that she shares with no one — she is raw and honest, holding nothing back. This was a lovely incorporation that opened my eyes to how necessary writing is for some people as an outlet when they feel they’re all alone in the world.
Full of charming imagery with awesome I-want-to-know-you-in-real-life-characters (I dare you not to love her boss and co-workers!), Schroeder’s Falling For You will make you want to open up your guest bedroom for Rae to give her a safe, loving place to live. You’ll be eager to get to the end of the story to find out what happened to her, but hesitant to finish the story because you won’t want to leave Leo behind.
Goodreads | Amazon
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin ( website | tweet )
Publication Date: August 26, 2010
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: bullying, online identity, popularity
Format read: Borrowed from library.
Summary: A new girl on scholarship at an all-girls school doesn’t mean instant popularity. But Raye wants it, no matter what she has to do, and getting together with dreamy Julian wouldn’t hurt either.
I’m jumping on the Adele Griffin bandwagon, folks.
Because this gal can pack complexity into 200 pages like no other author I have read.
SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS: LESS IS MORE!
This is not a mind-blowing premise either. New girl wants to be popular. Ignores real friendship to latch on to superficial ones, and along the way hopes all of her efforts will pay off. New girl also likes popular, adorable boy from neighboring school and hopes she can make that happen. And that’s just the beginning.
When Raye and Ella (the popular one) team up to “take down” Julian (because Ella is mad at him) using a fake Facebook profile, Raye thinks she can one up Ella and befriend Julian without any repercussions.
She should have known better.
Two thoughts really stand out to me in this book. 1) How we can use technology to deceive others. Even if we are being genuine to who we are, we never can truly know what’s going on with the other side of the screen. Even the smallest thing can give you the wrong impression of someone, and maybe without even knowing it we are cushioning and forumlating our own online identities all the time. And 2) what about those nice guys who think they are nice guys, kind of act like nice guys, but are really not nice guys? Aren’t we tricked by people like this all the time? Personally, I think they are totally delusional but I like how familiar this kind of character feels to me.
Griffin’s writing style is so punchy, completely fast-paced, and grounded. She has her character voices down, she doesn’t overshare with the reader, and, my favorite of all, her words are witty, hard hitting, and honest. Her supporting characters are pretty fantastic as well: Tal is Raye’s bestie who is pretty patient and supportive, and even though I really wanted to hate Ella, I was surprisingly entertained by her sometimes and could also see that flicker of HUMAN flashing somewhere in her body. Supporting characters do not have to be caricatures and villains do not have to be typically mean. Griffin is a generous writer and gives everyone substance. (Even Raye’s dad’s girlfriend.)
So what price would you pay for popularity? And what happens when people are not what they seem?
The Julian Game is worth the ride.
Goodreads | Amazon
From our book-filled homes to yours, we wish you the happiest New Year! We hope 2013 is filled with lots of love, tons of amazing books, and great new memories!
Last year we made bookish resolutions for 2012. We thought it would be fun to do the same for 2013. Here we go!
- Read 100 books. I know I read 160 this year, but for most of the year, I was commuting almost 2 hours each day + that’s not the case anymore. Plus I want to concentrate on reading some classics and also conquering some larger books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for a long time. I’m not going to worry too much about numbers this year.
- Think long and hard before I buy a book. It’s not a shock that I’m sort of a shopaholic. Books have really taken the place of the clothes I used to buy + leave tags on in my closet for months and months. By the time I hit December I was just noticing way too many brand new books going unread and I didn’t even LOVE the titles. I want to have a nice collection of books but I also need to calm myself when it comes to opening my wallet. (It’s out of control!!)
- Go to my first book conference? As much as I would love to go to ALA, I’m not sure if it’s going to happen. Oh, if I was a millionaire. But I am hoping to be around for BEA this year + finally meeting some fantastic people? I do have to say going to book readings around town is certainly a wonderful alternative.
- Taller bookshelves! We just moved into an apartment a few months ago, and all our furniture is very short. And our ceilings are very high. At the moment I have one wide bookcase, and two little ones in the bedroom overflowing with books. With piles on our floor and window sills. I’m thinking something like this or this? Plus I could multi-use the shelves for dishes and things.
- Hope for lightbulbs. I need some new [blog] ideas to hit me! It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good one. But I would love to do more posts like our themed gifts packs + things like that…
- See Magan again! I’m hoping hanging out with Magan will become at least a yearly thing… but I’d feel better if we just KNEW when it was going to happen… Time to start planning a trip!
- Read 100 books. I don’t quite know what to expect of myself in 2013 since, ya know, we’re going to be fostering a child soon. That will definitely change things a lot for us, but for now, I’m going to set my goal at 100 and see what happens!
- Give myself a book budget. I need to set a spending limit and stick to it. I let my kindle fill up with titles I didn’t get to right away in 2012 and bought books that are sitting in neat little piles on my bookshelves that are still unread.
- Attend another book conference in 2013. I really, really want to go to ALA Annual. Chicago?! I’ve never been there. And guess who lives there? Some of my faves – Anna and Tara. Must. Make. This. Happen. More than anything, I want to continue meeting my blogger friends in person!
- See Estelle. As you know, E and I live in two different states, New York (her) and Texas (me). Though we talk and text every single day, I
want need to see her. If I could, I’d book a plane ticket to NYC right this second. This should really be priority numero uno.
- Complete our author list. This was a fail for me in 2012 since it was one of my resolutions. We still have letters I, N, U, X, and Y remaining. Any book suggestions by authors whose last names begin with those initials? HELP!
- Continue sharing and passing along books. I’ve tried really hard to share books with friends and donate others to organizations to a) share the awesomeness and b) help de-clutter our house. I want to continue doing this to make sure that you don’t see me on a future episode of Hoarders.
We are so excited to embark on a brand sparkley new year with all of you! Your support and enthusiasm when
it comes to Rather Be Reading has been so amazing, and we can’t thank you enough! Here’s to 2013!
I may or may not be humming the theme from “Home Alone” as I write this.
Okay, fine. I am.
Hope all of you are keeping the holiday spirit alive this weekend! It’s a bit colder in New York, and there was a good amount of snow this afternoon. (Not much of it stuck to the ground though… it just blew into my eyes instead.)
It’s been a really great few weeks of celebrating the holidays, and as I’m sure you can assume, I’m going to be sad to let it go. (So we’ll see how long I can get away with keeping my Christmas tree up. I’ll keep you posted.)
I wanted to share a few of my own holiday highlights with you!
From left to right:
♥ My sister bought me this adorable Red Velvet hat! I love cupcakes, and I’ve been proudly wearing it through the streets since the day after Christmas. This is actually the picture I sent Magan on Christmas Day. Not the prettiest + I also forgot to turn the label. Much too much eggnog. (Also, I read Sarah Oakler’s Bittersweet while wearing this hat and it couldn’t have been more perfect.)
♥ I hiked down to the post office this week to retrieve a thoughtful and lovely gift from Magan! Here are two of my favorite treasures: a Nook “sweater” (as I like to call it) from Etsy + a gorgeous necklace from Kendra Scott.
♥ James and I on Christmas Day! My parents surprised me with a FujiFilm Instax camera + I absolutely love it! I can’t wait to snap more pics + maybe do a photo collage in my apartment.
♥ Tara (Fiction Folio) knows me so well. Perfect bookmark for me!
♥ A bookmark in a Christmas card? Alexa is such a genius and this really is one of my favorite quotes!
♥ Big, huge thanks to my friend Nisha for gifting me this lovely stack of books for the holidays! I was so surprised! I already devoured Bittersweet, and can’t wait to get to the rest! [Along for the Ride, Never Enough, and Leverage.]
And there you have it, my holiday in a nut shell!
What were some of your favorite moments? Bookish or not?
Howdy, howdy! Happy (almost) 2013! It feels so good to be back in the swing of things and to have books to share with you guys in this week’s Shelve It. I was kind of on a self-imposed-book-ban to help save up for the holidays. Never fear! I’m back with lots of awesome!
*All links below will take you directly to the Goodreads page for each book.
Gifted by Estelle:
My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly La Force — Authors, architects, celebrities, etc. share what’s on their bookshelves and what that says about them!
Crazy by Han Nolan - Oh, ya know – another book about a parent who is going crazy that’s probably right up my alley. It’s rated over a 4 on goodreads so I expect sheer awesome.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - Who doesn’t love Ruby Oliver? Well, I adore her, but since the 4th book in the series hasn’t been returned yet (IN WEEKS) I’m moving on to Frankie!
When It Happens by Susane Colasanti - This will be my first book of Susane’s so I’m starting with one of the highest rated (according to goodreads).
If We Kiss (If We Kiss, #1) by Rachel Vail - I’ve seen lots of great reviews for this book’s sequel so I had to join in on the fun.
Heist Society (Heist Society #1) by Ally Carter - Elena at Novel Sounds encouraged me to purchase this one! So many people have listed this on Top Ten Tuesday posts lately or End of Year Surveys.
Never Enough by Denise Jaden - If you feel like you’ve seen this on a previous Shelve It of mine, you’re right. I’ve checked it out from the library, but never gotten to read it on time.
On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves – Highly recommended by Jess at Gone With the Words and oh em gee I picked up an adult book! What is happening?!
The Two Week Wait by Sarah Rayner - ANOTHER adult book? Whoa buddy!
What Happened on the Blog (over the last two weeks):
♥ January 2013 Young Adult (YA) Book Releases
♥ Estelle Answers WeVerb12 Prompts 15, 18, 20, 24, and 26
♥ Review of Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman
♥ Review of The Glass Collectors by Robert C. Tabs
♥ Estelle’s 2012 End of Year Survey
♥ Review of The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer
♥ Magan’s 2012 End of Year Survey
♥ DIY Bookish Gifts for Your Friends