Book Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter (9781939106445)

1939106443.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Ashley is an artist and has become accustomed to being ridiculed for simply being herself.  Would she feel differently about herself if her mom thought differently of her?  Does she make choices based on how she perceives how others expect her to behave, and does she subconsciously draw their attention to her flaws?  She’ll never beat them at their own game.  Will Matt ever know how much she cares about him?  “Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop when you grow up.  It just looks a little different.”

The author, Aimee L. Salter, was a victim of bullying herself and has written a very personal story to inform others that there is help and that there are people out there who value them exactly as they are.

This is an emotional and very raw story that shows bullying at its worst which is a serious issue in society today.   One feels the pain and fear of the main character and I couldn’t put this book down.

Book review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington (9780373210527) E-book

“Words matter–how we use them and how we don’t.”

Chelsea learned the hard way.  Her words almost ended up killing a fellow classmate. When she outed a boy at a party, her “friends” decided to beat him and send him to the hospital.  Her conscience made her rat out those friends and all hell broke loose.  Due to the incident and her actions, she decided to take a vow of silence which changes her life forever.  Chelsea reflects, “I’m a work in progress.  Because nobody is perfect.”

This is a frightening, true-to-life,  story that we see way too often in our world and Ms. Harrington, again, finds a very real way of bringing this raw view of bullying, peer pressure and friendships into the 21st century.  The story is riveting and the characters are well-developed and engaging.  A must-read for young and old alike.

Thank you to Ms. Harrington, Harlequin and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book review: Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen (9781441775320) Audiobook

This YA book leaves you feeling emotionally raw. It’s a story about Danny, an up-and-coming gymnast, who has a unfulfilling relationship with his dad especially since his mom died. It’s about Kurt, an up-and-coming full back with a speech impediment, who is starting at a new school and living with his new foster mother. Danny and Curt feel they don’t have anything in common until tragedy strikes and Danny’s teammate commits suicide. Only Danny and Kurt truly know what really happened to Danny’s teammate and their lives are in jeopardy unless they come forward with the truth.

This is a very good audiobook narrated by Kirby Heyborne and Paul Michael Garcia about friendship, obligations, bullying, justice and courage. You will not be able to put this book down. It’s a hard hitting, gut wrenching look at bullying and the perseverance to overcome the odds.