Tag Archives: Realistic Young Adult Fiction

Book Birthday & Giveaway: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

“Laugh-out-loud funny high school drama – perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Meg Cabot

Let’s say you’re fourteen and live in New York City. You’d think your life would be like a glamorous TV show, right? And yet . . . You don’t have a checking account, much less a personal Black American Express card. You’ve never been to a club, and the only couture in your closet is a Halloween costume your mom made from an old laundry bag.

In other words? You’re Kelsey Finkelstein – fourteen and frustrated. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled. Kelsey wants to rebrand herself for high school to make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. But just because Kelsey has a plan for greatness . . . it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary and sardonic narration of her freshman year will have readers laughing out loud – while being thankful that they’re not in her shoes, of course.”

Happy Book Birthday to Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin.

This is not Gossip Girl…this is real life. This is the life of Kelsey Finkelstein as she embarks on that all important freshman year of high school. Whether you’re experiencing that year right now or can clearly remember it as part of your past, you will love living it through the eyes of Kelsey even on her worst days which seem to be every day at times. Realistic, funny and adorable this new work features the perfect protagonist. A girl everyone can relate to who’s as real and authentic as they come. As I have said before realistic fiction for teens can be some of the hardest to come by and to accomplish when done well. Meredith Zeitlin has not only accomplished a great book but she’s done a wonderful job as well. Let freshman year begin…and let’s just hope to survive.

 Book Giveaway

In celebration of the release of Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters Stiletto Storytime is excited to be able to offer a giveaway of one copy to one very lucky reader. Giveaway ends midnight EST March 12, 2012. US/Canada addresses only please for this giveaway. Winner will be contacted by e-mail.

To enter simply share a high school memory below…good or bad. Kelsey has so many in just her freshman year both good and bad that I could completely relate to- it seemed fun to share memories with others. Did or do you have that magical crush, an awesome group of true friends or maybe play a particular sport that means/meant a lot to you?

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

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Be/Become a Follower of Author Meredith Zeitlin on Twitter

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Filed under Book Birthday, New Books, Young Adult Books

Book Birthday: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Happy Book Birthday to Past Perfect by Leila Sales!

“All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….”

Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. Girl and boy begin relationship. Boy ends relationship with no real reasoning. Girl ends up heartbroken. It plays out all the time in a multitude of genres and among books for various ages. However I really can’t express enough how much I enjoy Leila Sales’ realistic fiction for young adults and how she has handled this really common occurrence in teen life. Realistic fiction is tough..it’s a genre that can go amazingly well or horribly wrong with just a turn of the page. The key is being believable and being able to relate and Sales seems to excel in her newest work just as she did before in Mostly Good Girls.

In addition placing Past Perfect in the world of historical re-enactment is solid gold…it’s like a secret language that will leave you giggling long into the night. The “historical” comedy and sometimes sarcastic voice of Chelsea make the plot perfectly matched to it’s setting. However the story goes much deeper. It’s the story of a girl with a broken heart who try as she might still makes mistakes along the way to finding her way in the world. But as she does so she also learns, grows and becomes a better person for it. It’s the kind of book that I personally would want any teen to read. It’s still fun, quirky and laugh out loud hilarious at times but in the end…it’s more than just a pretty cover which is what really matters.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to the always generous Leila Sales one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of Past Perfect. Giveaway ends midnight EST October 18, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply leave a comment below letting my know what “Book Birthday” you are looking forward to in the near future. What new release are you eagerly anticipating? Any pre-order worthy books coming up for you?

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Author Leila Sales on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this “Book Birthday” Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Book Birthday, Books for Girls, New Books, Young Adult Books

Review & Giveaway: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

    SHE’S WRITING ABOUT HIM. HE’S WRITING ABOUT HER. AND EVERYBODY IS READING BETWEEN THE LINES.

“For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions—it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.”

Love Story has been my first Jennifer Echols’ novel and I have to say I was really into it from the very first page. I really enjoyed how there were  stories within a story as Erin chased her dreams of creative writing and Hunter responded with writing of his own. Her writings such as “Almost a Lady” were not only funny, poignant and often brutally honest but also surprisingly well-written and addictive. They almost made you wish there was a book in it’s entirety of more of the short stories and their plots. Nevertheless it has made me absolutely want to pick up another book by this talented novelist.

Another aspect I enjoyed is the realistic quality of Echols’ story which can be hard to find in teen literature. Yes, some of the plot is far fetched but the ups and downs of the relationship between Hunter and Erin is very true to many teen romances as were the friend relationships presented throughout the work. There was a depth to the characters and plot that I was not expecting in a book touted as a “teen romance” and I must say I would recommend this book to a much wider audience than it might normally attract.  All in all the book is one that will be enjoyed by many teen girls and adults alike. I know I stayed up late into the night enjoying it.

Three Book Giveaway

One lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win three of Jennifer Echols’ books as seen above including Love Story. Giveaway ends midnight EST August 6, 2011. US/Canada addresses only please. Winners will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply comment below telling us why you would love to win these books?

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter (Leave Name)

Be/Become a Follower of Author Jennifer Echols on Twitter (Leave Name)

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave links in comments)

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Filed under Girly Books, New Books, Young Adult Books

Review: Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

Every town has an ”it” girl. The one that shines just a little too brightly lives life a little too fully and yet still manages to draw the attention of everyone. Fellow teens, grown men, the town gossips: they all crowd around her like moths to a flame yet still keeping their distance lest they get burned by her intensity.

In the small rural town of Washokey that girl is Mandarin Ramey. In a town of the ordinary Mandarin manages to be both an exotic attraction and a walking rumor mill. Wild behavior, complete disregard for social expectations and a beauty that makes men fall to their feet have all made Mandarin a girl of both myth and reality.

However Mandarin Ramey is not our protagonist. She is simply everything our protagonist longs to be.

Grace Carpenter is everything Mandarin is not. She is smart; a loner who chooses to stay safely in the shadows and observe all that goes on around her including the life of Mandarin Ramey. The two girls could not be more different.  If Mandarin were a color she would be a bright orange bursting with fire while the much younger Grace would be a pale pink or blue- a wallflower wanting to blend in but also secretly dying to stand out.

When Grace and Mandarin become somewhat improbable partners for a school project, an unexpected friendship unlike any other in Washokay, Wyoming begins. Grace would do anything to be seen and Mandarin is the master at the art of drawing attention but just what kind of attention does Grace truly want.  A few weeks as the sidekick of the wildest girl in town soon teaches both girls about true friendship, ultimate betrayal and the reality of freedom.

In a work of realistic young adult fiction Kirsten Hubbard has delivered a stunning debut that addresses many of the tough issues facing today’s teens including peer pressure and the expectations of popularity and conformity. However she also digs deeper to what lies beneath characters. Grace and Mandarin could be no different but in the end we see that each have wounds, desires and pasts that make them who they are.

Exploring the teenage search for identity while also tackling controversial and yet relevant subject matter for teens, Like Mandarin is a story of two girls, one friendship and an unforgettable few weeks in a small Wyoming town.

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Filed under New Books, Young Adult Books

Review: Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n71/n357982.jpg Most girls in high school are not the prettiest, the smartest or the most experienced with boys.  Most the girls in high school are pretty normal actually, they make up the background of the teenage experience but they’re still special in their own way. Most the girls in high school are “mostly good girls”. Take sixteen-year-old Violet Tunis, a junior at Westfield, an exclusive all girl prep school on the outskirts of Boston. She’s your everyday girl. Trying to keep her grades up, spending good times with her best friend Katie and even nursing a hardcore crush on a boy seemingly just out of her reach. She’s a girl that most girls can relate to.  She’s not uber rich and not totally popular but she’s even better because she’s real.

In Leila Sales debut young adult book Mostly Good Girls, Sales shows us that normal is not only okay but unique in it’s own right. Channeling every girl’s high school experiences such as crushes, wanting to fit in and that relationship with your best friend that just seems to click like no other, she has given us a winning work that teen girls can not only relate to but also laugh out loud along with. In her sarcastically funny vignette style chapters she manages to make Violet Tunis a character you will not only love but also wish you could be friends with in real life. Every experience or event in Violet’s somewhat average life becomes instantly alive with her witty humor and slice of personality shining through every time. She makes you laugh, she makes you smile and she makes you feel like you’re not alone.

Violet’s relationship with her best friend Katie is also a riot with tongue in cheek humor and a wonderful reflection of that one friend who just “gets” you like no one else.  However people change and readers get to watch as Violet and Katie fight to hang on to what they have as each also has to in some instances go their own way. Katie may be Violet’s other half but what happens when your other half becomes all that you want to be and your still stuck behind at sixteen, never been kissed and without the perfect PSAT score? As Sales puts it:

I’ve watched Katie cry and I’ve watched her sleep; I’ve watched her try on a Versace dress; I’ve watched her bite into a whole onion and I’ve watched her fight with her mother- but there was just something weird about watching her stick her tongue into a stranger’s mouth. Like she was a stranger herself.

In a greatly relatable tale about what life really is like in high school even if you do go to a Prep school, Sales has given girls a wonderful stylish work on real life. It’s not Gossip Girl, it’s just the every day life of Violet Tunis but it’s pretty darn funny and impossible to put down.

Also check out Leila’s Blog The Leila Texts.

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Filed under Books for Girls, Girly Books, New Books, Young Adult Books

Review: Freefall by Mindi Scott

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_R5DhcbL4pfM/S7VWQAZ1nxI/AAAAAAAAARc/KEtMRVTi-m8/s1600/Freefall+by+Mindi+Scott.jpg In a genre overloaded with bubble gum pink teendom and paranormal dark fantasy full of fangs and fur, Mindi Scott’s debut novel Freefall is a breath of fresh realistic young adult fiction.  Highlighting the dark side and yet somewhat normality of high school today, Scott brings to the table heavy issues that are impacting teens with a storyline that reads as real as life itself.  With characters that ring true and a journey that proves honest, Freefall is no doubt sure to be one of the best contemporary young adult books of the year.

Seth is your true average teenage boy or he was until the death of his best friend Isaac from binge drinking. Haunted by regret Seth fights to find a place of safety in the unsteady world of high school. Drugs, alcohol and music have all been part of his past but what will be his future? What will life be without Isaac?  And could he have prevented the death of his best friend by doing something as simple as rolling him over as he slept?

On the other side of the high school social strata is Rosetta a new girl in town with her own secret battles, a girl who refuses to ride in cars and attracts Seth like a moth to a flame. Beautiful but rich Rosetta seems out of Seth’s league but somehow it seems she’s as drawn to him as he to her. Their battle to be together becomes almost as strong as the battle against they wage against their own personal demons.

Highlighting relevant teen issues such as binge drinking, drug use and cliques FreeFall is a story not only with a lesson by also with a heart. Scott’s writing is honest without being preachy and never comes out as an adult lecturing teens but as a story of how two people can help each other get on track in their lives despite the influences and “rules” that seem to surround them. Freefall is a book for teens to relate to but also a book for them to learn from. It’s a must for teens, parents and even other adults. Scott’s novel is more that just well written book about the struggles of adolescence it’s a book that deserves to be read and acknowledged by readers as true portrait of what teens battle in our modern world everyday.

Freefall by Mindi Scott is available for pre-order and will be published by Simon Pulse on October 5, 2010.

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Filed under New Books, Young Adult Books