Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace
Publisher: Flux
Publish Date: February 8, 2012
Paperback, 228 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
 ISBN: 978-0738726007

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My Review:
Wow, what an emotional read.  I never could figure out how I felt about Sam.  I actually read this book a few months ago, but it sticks with you.  Sam makes a play for Carter, is rejected and in that moment makes a bad decision that begins to affect everything in her senior year and it not only affects her, but others as well, especially Carter and even her best friend Nick.

I wanted to like Sam, I really did, but felt she could have stopped things from getting that far.  But then again, I could understand her situation as well.  I was that girl, not in that situation, but I could see myself being passive like her.  I'm not a kickbutt girl and not all main characters can be or should be the strong type.  I think Sam while not likeable through the whole book is actually relate-able, and that may be contradictory, but I feel it's true.  I felt it. And the truth was, she wanted to stop things, but then they steamrolled and she could not. 

Read the book, you won't be able to put it down. It's a fast, engrossing read.  I guarantee Sam won't be your favorite character, but I think you will like Nick and you will like the book overall.  There is a good message in it and the storyline is very interesting and keeps you hooked.  Ms. Grace does a wonderful job crafting this story and keeping it real and interesting.

So grab this one, curl up and read for a couple of hours.  Then you will be thinking on this one for months afterwards.  It's a good solid book with interesting characters, a different premise and a good lesson to be learned.  Give it a try.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Parental guidance: Since this book deals with the sex/rape issue it's best for the older teens or your more mature younger teens.  This is where I say it's up to the parents.  There is lots of talk in the book, but that is what you expect of a book that deals with this subject and I never felt it was out-of-line or over-the-top.  I felt the subject was handled well.  It's a topic that affects all teens and should be discussed.

About the Book:
At an end-of-senior-year party, invisible Samantha Reeves decides to make a play for Carter, the jock she's crushed on for years. When Carter rejects her cruelly, she leaves the party in tears, leaving others who didn't see the rejection to speculate why Sam was crying. Back at school, Sam hears a rumor that Carter raped her and, for once, her classmates seem to care about her. When she decides not to tell the truth, the school divides between those who believe Sam and those who don't. Soon, the little white lie escalates and Sam finds that the resulting war at school could cost her the boy she's only just started to love.

About the Author (from 
Amanda Grace is a pen name for Young Adult author Mandy Hubbard (PRADA AND PREJUDICE, YOU WISH). She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her husband and young daughter.


FTC Information: I received this book through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

Book Review: The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy

The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
Publisher: MIRABooks
Publish Date: January 24, 2012
Paperback, 400 pages 
Fiction, Fiction, Family Saga
 ISBN: 978-0778329558

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My Review:
The Legacy of Eden is a very interesting book.  Told through the generations of one family, it's the story of secrets and eventually overcoming those secrets.  It's one of those reads you can't really put down because you wonder what you will find out next.  It's like talking to the best town gossip and getting all the good details about that one family.  It's all in here laid out for the reader.  The good, the bad and the really ugly.  It's a tale of how a family can look so great on the outside yet have such secrets on the inside.

I enjoyed the book, as much as you can say you enjoy this kind of book.  You never like to say you enjoy anyone's pain, even fictional characters', but it's a book that really grabs you, reels you in and keeps you interested until the last page.  Learning about Lavinia, her marriage and her life is fascinating and then learning how her decisions affect the rest of the generations is just eye-opening.  The Legacy of Eden is told mainly through the point-of-view of Meredith who is Lavinia's granddaughter who happened to be around when Lavinia's health was failing and heard many of Lavinia's secrets straight from her.  As the story moves forward, Meredith unravels more and more of the story of the family members of Aurelia and what leads up to what the reader knows was the final breaking moment for the family.  And while the reader is never quite sure what that moment was, they do have a good idea.

Meredith is also seeking a redemption from her sisters in the book and she's looking for some kind of connection as well.  I felt sorry for her most of the book.  She's an interesting character that made some mistakes that she is paying for, but through the book I still felt for her.  I felt Ms. Davy created an interesting character in her, but Lavinia really steals the show in the novel. 

This isn't a novel you speed through, it's one you read and absorb.  It's a tale of family struggle, it's a tale of one woman who would go to almost any length to get what she wanted.  It's almost frightening.  You want to look away but you can't.  Ms. Davy manages to create a story that captivates you and won't let you go even when you finish reading the book. 

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
"To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.

"Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void."

About the Author (from her website): 
Nelle was originally born in St George’s Grenada under the name Janelle (which she always hated and immediately shortened when she went to University). She moved to London when she was nine months old because her grandfather was English and her parents supposedly wanted a better life. She got a scholarship to Sir William Perkins School for girls where she had a wonderful English teacher Mrs. Wells who encouraged her constantly in her love for books. She went to Warwick University to study English with Creative Writing where after swearing she would never marry, she met her future husband. She did a masters in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin and then moved back to London in 2007 where she almost immediately began working in publishing. After working at Pan Macmillan she moved to work at a literary agency while also writing and pursuing a career as a novelist on the side.

She is 27 years old and The Legacy of Eden is her first novel. She has finished writing a second novel based on the civil rights movement in Louisiana in 1963. She still lives in London with her husband and still works full time in publishing.

So far, she has not had a meltdown…


FTC Information: I received this book through Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.