TGIF (20)


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2012 Must Reads: Which books are at the top of your list to be read this year (new or old releases)?





Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


MUST. HAVE. ALL OF THESE! I already own TFiOS, and I plan on going for Bittersweet and Try Not to Breathe next. Huuuuuge Green, Ockler and Hubbard fan.

How about you? What’s on your 2012 reading list?

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Waiting on Wednesday (23).


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Waiting On Wednesday is from Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard
Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough – or cared enough – to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again.

Not too long ago, I read Hubbard’s The Secret Year and really loved it. I have high hopes of this one being just as deep and touching, despite the lack of originality concerning the plot.

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REVIEW! The Secret Year.


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The Secret Year
Jennifer Hubbard


How do you get over someone who was never really yours to begin with?

Julia and Colt were together for a year, but nobody knew of their secret love. Then Julia dies, and Colt’s life spirals out of control. He is haunted by her memory, and things only intensify when her journal falls into his hands. Can Colt bring himself  to read Julia’s diary? Or will he live without answers to his burning questions about a romance that changed him forever?

My rating: 4 stars.?
Blown away by Colt’s insight. 

When I’m introduced to a male main character and point of view, I expect wry humor and blunt sexual encounters.  But this is not the case in The Secret Year.  Colt isn’t a dark, brooding teenager.  He’s not a nerd or a freak.  He is simply a boy, and I love that about him – that there’s nothing special, that he’s typical. It makes him all the more real.

The plot focuses less on Julia’s letters and more on Colt coming to terms with her passing, which is both unexpected yet all right.  I don’t feel like I missed much by not hearing about each and every note she wrote. Again, it made her all the more real.  She isn’t the token dead girl or wispy, alluring ghost.  She’s simply Julia, a girl caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with many faults and imperfections. It’s not that she or Colt possesses any magnificent powers or quirks.  It’s that they share a connection with one another that abruptly ends forever.

After her passing, Colt tries to get involved with other girls. This is the one inconsistency for me. Neither Syd nor Kirby (the two girls he attempts to date) are characterized much, save for a handful of personality traits. I feel like I don’t know them enough, so his relationships with the two of them seem too spontaneous and developing from nothing. I would rather have gotten to know them better so that they didn’t just seem like two girls Colt dates.

The writing is nicely descriptive, creating perfect balance between dialogue and description. It’s not that the descriptions are mind-numbingly beautiful, but that they make you, as the reader, think. Hubbard phrases simple gestures and sights in the loveliest ways. If I’d gotten to know the characters better, this would be a solid five-star.

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In My Mailbox (6).


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This meme originates over at The Story Siren.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard.

I love love love David Levithan so I can’t wait to read The Lover’s Dictionary!
As for The Secret Year, it seems promising, though a bit depressing. But I’m all for the unhappy endings!

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