The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis

 

Indie Bound  |  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Sky Pony Press

 

Adam Hawthorne is addicted to porn, not that he’ll admit that. We first meet Adam sitting outside the principal’s office after he did something so bad he is suspended for weeks. All we really get to know is that a group of girls in his high school have named themselves the Anti-Adam Order and they wanted him out of that school. His teacher and family friend, Mr. Cratcher takes him under his wing to try and get him back on track, something Adam absolutely doesn’t like especially since he’s not addicted to anything.

In the opening pages Adam informs us he will only be referring to Mr. Cratcher as Mr. Crotcher and that he hates him. What I enjoyed the most about this entire exchange is that when he dropped the “Crotcher” he didn’t even notice it. We were able watch him mature and change as a person without Adam even realizing and I loved it!

Another Adam quirk that I loved were the Golumn and Lord of the Rings references. In my reading of it the moments came out when Adam felt he was struggling or conflicted about something and aware of it. There was a span in the book where not a single reference was to be found and it was interesting to note during those pages Adam was just living as a teenager and not as an addict. The moment his addicts came back into his mind and he began to struggle again the references were back.

The cast of characters in the book were entertaining to watch. From Adam, to his father, and Dez, and the Knights of Vice, and Addy, I felt all these characters rooted to reality in an organic way. These are not characters that exist only on the books of a young adult novel about addiction, these are characters I can meet in my everyday life.

The second half of the book sends the characters on a road trip to Nashville and I was totally okay with it. I feel like this fit because these are teenagers who need to believe in something grander than what they are going through and for them that is rescuing Mr. Crothers long lost record. During this trip we see one character begin to spin out of control while the others have seemed to be able to almost overcome them. I liked this because this is a group of teenage addicts, they aren’t going to get better overnight and it was nice to see some overcoming, some still struggling, and some failing in their struggles.

Overall this book proves that people should not be put into a box because of their addictions. Addicts are still human with human struggles and I think that’s one of the biggest lessons here. After admitting his addiction to himself he identifies as an addict, but at the end of the book he identifies as a flawed human being instead of only an addict. As Dave Connis said, “Humanity is a uniquely shared experience.”

 

 

Zodiac Read-a-Long Spotlight

Today I’ve got a spotlight for Zodiac by Romina Russell as part of the Read-a-Thon by Penguin Teen.  I started reading this book, but I haven’t finished yet so there are no spoilers today because I don’t have any!
Just to start I can tell you that I love what I have read so far! This is a true science fiction/fantasy and I feel like we don’t get very many of those in YA! At least not that I have read! So if you are looking for a really cool YA book that takes place in space on other planets then this book is for you! Once of the coolest visual scenes that I’ve read so far in the opening chapters was the concert that Rho and her friends put on for the other students at her school. Both the concert with the students bouncing outside in the different gravity and the immediate aftermath was so well written and described that I could see every exciting and horrifying detail in my head. If there are more descriptions like this throughout the book then this is going to be a very visually appealing read.
Today I want to spotlight the world building that Romina Russell has done with this story. Now, again I have not finished Zodiac yet, but already I feel like I have such a rich understanding of the world she is creating.
The world is made up by groups of people who identify with one of the twelve zodiacs in groups known as Houses. Our central character, Rho is from House Cancer. What I love is that each of the Houses has different characteristics, whether that be looks or personalities or things they excel at.
So far I’ve seen a lot of description of House Cancer and for good reason since Rho comes from there. We learned that it’s a beautiful blue ocean planet and we also learn that of the four members of her family she had when she was younger, only her dad is left on the planet. Her mother vanished, her brother left, and she left to go to school. It’s interesting to my because the planet seems to idyllic in her mind and yet three of four people in her immediate family vanished.
One thing I haven’t gotten too much into yet is how each of the Houses fit together so I am anxious to see if they can bring all of their strengths together to fight whatever this big bad that’s coming is. It seems to me like everyone would bring something new to the table and a different viewpoint.
Now that Rho is the Guardian of House Cancer I want to know if she will bring all of these elements together to fight Big Bad. I also am interested to see how her relationship with her friends with change now that she is a Guardian. I can see it strengthening or falling to pieces, but I do not see it staying the same with all of this huge changes in their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Authors Notes: There’s a giveaway but for some reason I can’t get the link to work in here so I am going to link to another website where you can access it!

http://www.papertrailya.com/news/zodiacbooks-readathon-rereadgiveaway

 

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

Indie Bound |  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

I really love the idea of Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake. Hadley father and Sam’s mother had an affair that was revealed explosively when someone literally plastered the truth to Hadley’s front door.
Fast forward a few months and both families have been shattered by the affair. The twist of the story is that Sam knows all about Hadley and the fact that it was her father that his mother had the affair with. Hadley on the other hand has no idea that Sam is entwined in her familial pain at all.
It is interesting to see their romance unfold. It’s certainly complicated not only by their parent’s history with each other, but also just the fact that they are teenagers trying to navigate through their own lives while having feelings for each other.
One of the things that I really love is that Sam and Hadley are both developed in their own right and not just as part of a romance. We know about each of them individually, their wants and needs on their own outside of a relationship. It felt like this book was more about two teens trying to navigate life in new towns and new family dynamics who just happened to develop feelings for each other. I feel like that just serves to strengthen each of the characters and the story.
I would have liked to see more of the friendship between Ajay and Sam. We saw a little bit of it, but in comparison to what we got from Hadley and Kat I feel like it wasn’t as developed. We only really got to see glimpses of Ajay and in all honesty that may have been because he lived in a different town while Kat lived and went to the same school as Hadley and Sam.
Something that kind of got on my nerves was the friction between Kat and Hadley. Hadley is making life decisions that Kat does not agree with and for the most part Kat stays silent. It isn’t until a bit of the way through the story that Kat begins to reveal her true feelings. From a perspective not in the book Hadley annoyed me during this whole argument. Hadley herself knows that her actions would not have been made if she hadn’t been in a desperate state of mind trying to escape the problems of her real life, but when someone points this out to her she just becomes angry. But I feel like that is so real, which is why even though it got on my nerves I feel like it added value.
Herring Blake is not writing a book that is supposed to be overly romantic or that’s easy to read. She is writing a book about what happens to people when families fall apart and the effect that adult’s actions will have on their children.


Can’t Wait Wednesday June 28, 2017

It’s about that time again!!!! Can’t Wait Wednesday! This week I can’t wait for The Queen’s Rising.

 

February 6, 2018

Born out of wedlock, Brienna was cast off by her noble family and sent to Magnalia House–a boarding house for those looking to study the passions–art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge. There, she has been tutored by the great (and handsome) Cartier in the hopes of becoming one of the impassioned–the elite masters who specialize in one of these subjects. Now Brienna faces the test that she must pass in order to attract the support of a patron. But on the eve of her evaluation, Brienna has a startling revelation–she is capable of recalling the memories of her ancestors. And one of these memories may hold the answer to a mystery from the past–one that may have very real consequences for the northern land of Maevana. Maevana has been ruled by a usurper king, and when the disgraced northern lord Alderic Jourdain finds out about Brienna’s memories, he realizes she may be the key to his plot to overthrow the king and restore the rightful monarchy. Brienna accepts Jourdain’s patronage, but quickly realizes that his plan to reclaim the north may have consequences that she never imagined.

Ummmm a book about a girl cast out by her family because she’s not “worthy” who then becomes an important key to the future of the kingdom? Yes, please! And I love how she is cast out and sent to study the “passions” which leads me to believe that maybe these qualities aren’t as important to the kingdom? Which then leads me to wonder what qualities have taken their place?
This book is definitely on my To Read list!