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Saturday, January 26, 2013

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly post hosted by Kristi 


Aren't these covers absolutely gorgeous?! I'm reading Unearthly right now and am LOVING it! I don't know why I put off reading this series for so long, but you will definitely be seeing a fangirling post on it in the near future. Love love love. 

What did you find in your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments :)

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

If I Lie
by Corrine Jackson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Challenge: none

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise - Summary from Goodreads

My thoughts

I’m a huge fan of the new trend in military fiction, and I feel like I’ve waited months for Corrine Jackson’s debut, If I Lie, to be released. Luckily, I was not disappointed.
Sophie / Quinn is a character that I really felt for.  Her grief throughout the novel felt so real that I physically ached for her. She’s a girl who has been through so much in her 17 years, and it was easy to see what a toll keeping Carey’s secret took on her. I felt for her so much, I did, but at times I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stand up for herself. She let her ex-friends trod all over her for the most part, and it was painful to read about. Luckily, Quinn grew as a character as the story progressed and really came into her own by the end. She’s one of the strongest YA heroines I’ve read about.  

While I thought Quinn was great, George, Quinn’s friend from the VA hospital is the character that really stole my heart. George gives crotchety old men a good name. I loved that he and Quinn were able to build such a connection through photography and that photography played such a huge role in the book.  The love and friendship George and Quinn shared made me tear up a few times. He really acted as a father figure to Quinn, and I was so happy that she had someone in that godforsaken town who was on her side and believed in her through thick in thin.

All of the other characters in If I Lie felt fully realized as well, from Quinn’s marine father to the vicious kids at school. They all had their own backstories and motives.

While I expected Carey’s “secret” to remain a mystery for a large portion of the book, Ms. Jackson surprised me by revealing the secret within the first 50 pages. That didn’t stop the book from being nailbitingly suspenseful for me though. I think revealing the secret early on allowed more time to be focused on the characters and the ramifications Quinn faced by keeping said secret. It was a stressful journey to go on, but I’m so glad I did. If I Lie contains everything that a great contemporary should: fully realized characters, a great plot, and a ton of heart. If I Lie is one of my favorite books of the year so far, and I hope you’re able to check it out if at all possible. I know my review was vague, but there are so many layers to this story. I want all of you to be able to discover those layers for yourselves, and I hope you will.

I'd recommend If I Lie to fans of:
military fiction - marines
complex family dynamics
grouchy but sweet old men (joking, kind of)

Similar books: 
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

Friday, January 25, 2013

Anatomy of A Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

Anatomy of a Single Girl 
by Daria Snadowsky
Publisher: Delacorte for Young Readers
Release Date: January 8, 2013

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one. 

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever. 

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through
- Summary from Goodreads

My thoughts
I first heard about this book back in December and was very intrigued, having read the prequel, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, a few years ago. I had no idea the author planned to write a sequel, but I’m happy she did!

I loved Dom. I don’t remember feeling strongly about her in Anatomy of A Boyfriend, but I noticed SO much character growth in this sequel. At the start of the book, Dom is finishing up her first year in college. She’s just gone through her first major breakup and is slowly getting back on her feet. The pain she went through was evident throughout the book, but she was a strong character and I loved her snarky way of talking.

I feel like this book is essentially about Dom finding out who she is as a person and what she’s looking for in a love interest. Dom’s sexuality played a major role in the story, which is realistic considering she’s in college. I wasn’t expecting the graphic sex scenes in the book, but I think they served a purpose. By the end of book Dom seemed to have a much better grasp or who she is as a person and what she’s looking for in a guy.

Don't go in thinking that this book is just about love, sex, and guys though. Dom loves science and spends a great deal of time thinking about her goals to become a doctor. Her scientific way of thinking was evident in the author's writing style, and I loved that. 

The “New Adult” genre is all the rage now, and I feel that this book is one of THE BEST within the genre. If you love strong, college age protagonists facing real life issues, this book is for you. 

I'd recommend Anatomy of a Single Girl to fans of:
romance / sexuality
protagonists with wit 

Similar books: 
Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty
Hallie Palmer Series by Laura Pedersen 
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